I like to do up breakfast around here but with
my inability to get out of bed shiny-happy-June Cleave-style our dairy-free/gluten-free family members it can get a little overwhelming. This Gluten-Free Caramel French Toast Casserole can be adapted to encompass everyone in one dish.
Whilst parusing Pinterest, I discovered this casserole at Six Sisters’ Stuff and decided it was one I MUST have. I’ve made a few adjustments to make it gluten free and dairy free for our family. This is so quick and super easy and you make it ahead, letting it set in the fridge overnight making a no fuss breakfast in the morning. My biggest challenge is getting out of bed to preheat the oven and pop it in before everyone is ready to carve ME up for breakfast…
For the Caramel You Will Need:
Melt everything together except nuts in a heavy saucepan stirring constantly. Do not let this boil (the sugar starts to crystalize and you are going to get actual caramel instead of caramel sauce). When it is all melted together, toss in the nuts (if you’re feeling nutty) …then pour it in the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 glass baking dish.
For the Bread You Will Need:
Beat the eggs, milk, vanilla and salt together in a shallow dish. Cut your bread into 8 -10 slices around 1/2 – 3/4″ thick each. Soak…and I mean DRENCH your bread in the egg mixture, use it ALL up. If you have some mixture left in the dish when you are finished …use a basting brush to dab it onto the tops of the bread. (French Toast Casseroles are known for being soggy and, frankly, a little gross…so I can understand your hesitancy when it comes to this step…but I promise you that this will not be soggy…it is perfection.) Lay your soaked with eggy goodness bread on top of the caramel sauce, cover it with foil and stick it in the fridge until you are ready for it the next morning.
Preheat your oven to 400°F and pop that casserole in, uncovered. Bake for roughly 20 minutes, until the tops of the bread start to turn brown. Pull it out of the oven and let it sit for 3-5 minutes. THIS IS CRUCIAL. Flip the 9×13″ pan over onto a like-sized platter and serve your ooey-gooey mound of goodness. (If you don’t wait those few minutes when you pull the casserole out of the oven? When you flip you are going to have a bigger mess…those couple of minutes give the caramel a chance to thicken ever so slightly.)
Our family is lucky enough to have no egg allergies and since SuperDad’s gluten intolerance is just that: an intolerance and not an allergy, we can mix the gluten free bread with regular bread in the same dish…. but I tried it with the gluten free sandwich bread and it was equally delish. This caramel french toast casserole is polished off in our house each time I make it …and those are some of the quietest breakfasts we’ve had (disclaimer: that isn’t saying much).