Alright friends I have a delicious and easy to make ahead french toast bake for you! But this isn’t in light of France’s recent World Cup victory. No, I’m actually pretty bitter about that, because HELLOOOO Croatia totally should have won. For those of you who did not watch the game, the end score was 4-2. But let’s talk about those first two French goals. (Sorry if you aren’t a sports fan, but the game was so lively I can’t not talk about it - but feel free to skip directly to the recipe).
The first goal was off of a free kick that should not have been a free kick. French player, Griezmann slipped and dove while making his way to the goal. There was no Croatian foul, and yet the referee awarded a free kick to France. During that kick, one of the French players was offsides, which therefore that play should have been invalid. And then unfortunately, in attempting to clear the ball, Croatian Mandzukic’s head skimmed the top and made its way into the back of his own net.
The second goal was a penalty shot that should not have been a penalty shot. During a French corner kick, the ball hit Croatian Perisic (aka what Tyler from 13 Reasons Why will look like in 10 years - but seriously google it, the resemblance is UNCANNY!) and was thus ruled as another corner kick when the ball went out of bounds. France loudly called for a hand ball, and the referee eventually went to review the play on the VAR. He rewatched the play foreverrrrrr and once he started to make his way back he quickly ran back to the screen to rewatch it. So basically by him taking so long, and then having to return clearly shows that it was NOT clear and without a reasonable doubt that the call should be reversed - therefore the call should have stood as it was.
Croatia played so passionately and truly gave it their all, and should have absolutely have won the World Cup had France not gotten so lucky with unfair calls. Had Croatia won, they would have been the smallest country to ever win, becoming the 9th country to win a World Cup title. Plus some the players on the Croatian team were war refugees growing up, and it is just so inspiring to see how far they have come since then.
Alright, so off my rant and back to this recipe. Ok so raise your hand if you love brunch! I am right there with you - I love it! And this Blackberry Challah French Toast is the perfect addition to your next brunch. You can make this recipe the night before, and then pop it in the oven while you do any other brunch preparations. Or I mean, if you somehow aren’t a brunch person (don’t worry I still appreciate you) then you can simply make this dish for special occasions - ie birthdays, anniversaries, parents in town, etc.
The challah bread, moist and infused with a hint of honey, is soaked in a vanilla/almond/orange egg mixture, then drizzled with blackberry jam. Fresh blackberries are added for additional sweet and tangy flavor. I made the dish in a round baking pan, but you can choose whatever dish shape you please, as long as the bread can stand up straight without falling over.
I served the french toast with syrup and a sprinkle of powdered sugar, but you could also add whipped cream or even more blackberry jam and fresh blackberries!
Easy Overnight Blackberry Challah French Toast
Bake time:Serves: 8
- 1 challah loaf
- 6 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups almond milk
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons blackberry jam
- 6 ounces fresh blackberries
- Preheat oven to 250F.
- Cut the challah loaf into 1" pieces, cuttin off the ends. Place in upright positions in the baking dish you wish to use (I used a 10" pie dish), to test the size. You may need to cut a few pieces in half to fit better. Transfer the slices to a baking sheet, and place in the oven for 10 minutes. This will dry out the bread, thus allowing it to better absorb the egg mixture!
- Spray the baking dish with nonstick spray, then set aside.
- In a large pyrex or bowl whisk together the eggs, almond milk, syrup, vanilla extract, almond extract, orange zest, and salt. Once combined, transfer half to a pie tin (or other deep dish that is large enough for a slice of bread to lay flat).
- Soak each side of the bread slices for ~20 seconds, then transfer to the prepared baking dish, again placing the bread slices in an upright position.
- Pour any remaining egg mixture over the top.
- Heat the blackberry jam in the microwave for ~20 seconds, then drizzle on the tops and sides of the bread slices.
- Add the fresh blackberries to the dish.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.
- In the morning, allow the dish to come close to room temperature while the oven is preheating. Preheat oven to 375F.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes. If the tops become brown too early, place tin foil lightly over the top while it continues to bake.
- To serve, cut out the individual slices, and top with your preferred toppings!