Food + Wine

Sit Down French Toast

Or Snow Day French Toast?  Or Lemon French Toast? Baked French Toast? Eh… call it whatever you want.  It’s delicious and easy (lemony) french toast.  That’s all you need to know.

But my mom created the brilliant game of ‘Sit Down Hide and Seek’ one day when my son was little and the adults were tired… he wanting to keep playing, but we just wanted to sit.  And it goes like this: The grown up sits down and the kids go hide.  The grown up yells out questions as to where they think the kids are.  When they get it right, the kid pops out from hiding.


So, this here is that same lazy-brilliance, but with french toast instead.

Sit Down French Toast.

There’s snow on the ground here in North Carolina.  I know a lot of you reading this have had snow on your ground for so long that you’re sick of it by now, but this is our first!  We woke up to a white scape and it was quite exciting.  My son, who knew the night before that school was cancelled due to definite snow fall, came running into our room and climbed into bed with us first thing.  (My husband and I slept with our blinds open so the first thing we would see when we opened our eyes was white.  And it was a magical thing to wake up to.)  Slowly trailing behind big brother was little sister, who had no clue as to what was happening… We told her to look out the window, and I wish I could have recorded her response.  She gasped and opened her mouth in shock and let out a loud ‘SNOW!!!!!!!!’ followed by the biggest squeal and grin I’ve ever seen.  She then climbed into bed with the rest of us and we had a good 20 seconds of family cuddle before the excitement forced us out of bed.

And then it was my job to make a snow day breakfast.  French Toast was the family request so I pulled out the challah I had in the freezer and quickly decided that I did not want to slave over the stove for this.  (Mama’s been a bit more tired lately…) So, along with the help of my eager daughter, I whipped up a stupid-easy french toast.  All because I wanted my family to have something yummy and homemade and special… but I didn’t wanna have to be without them as it cooked.  (Also not wanting to have to work more than I needed to?  Yes, that too.)

And this is the best french toast I’ve had.  So I thought I would share it with you lovely people.  Instead of using milk and sugar and eggs and so forth, I opened up a can of sweetened condensed milk and had that take care of two of the main ingredients all in one.  The good thing about sweetened condensed milk is that it has that yummy caramelized flavor to it.  So not only did it add sugar to the milk, (when I didn’t have to), it added another layer of cooked down, yummy caramel flavor.  But the real reason why I went for the can is that I didn’t want to use up our fresh milk (you know, because us Southerners think the power will go out every time it snows and we will be stuck at home indoors and the thought of doing so without an abundance of fresh milk and bread sends us into a tailspin… case in point- the grocery store bread aisle yesterday:

And the milk aisle was empty too…

Me and the husband did our shopping that day at the wine store instead.


BUT, since I always have a stocked pantry and freezer, I knew we wouldn’t starve.  And that’s why I picked these ingredients for this french toast.  So, call it what you want.  But make it now.  And save that fresh milk and sandwich bread for the dire, dark days of the ice storm…

And know you’re welcome to our house when you realize you should have stocked up on wine instead.



serves 4 hungry people

Slice a (30 oz) loaf of challah into 1- 1/2 inch slices.  You should get around 9 slices, including smaller end pieces.

Lay them down in one layer in a super large, greased, 11×15 inch baking dish.  If your challah was in the freezer like mine, no need to thaw first.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the following…

  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • big splash vanilla extract
  • smaller splash almond extract
  • 1 lemon – zested and juiced

Whisk together until the eggs have broken down and the custard is thick and smooth.

Pour evenly over your bread.

Flip the pieces over to soak both sides.  (You can absolutely soak this hours ahead of time but the point here is that you don’t have to 😉 )

Place in a preheated 375 degree oven and bake for 20 minutes.

  • Go sit down and have your coffee by the fire with the family 

After the 2o min, it will be fully cooked, but it will not be golden brown yet.

Remove the pan from the oven and butter the tops of the bread slices with softened butter and place back in the oven, but this time under the broiler.  (I recommend the lower rack instead of directly underneath the broiler if your oven works that way, in order to prevent burning.  But just be sure to watch it closely.)  Once it’s browned to your liking, remove.

Serve hot with maple syrup.

Then get your butt out in the snow and play with your kids.  Or play like one.

XOXO. Have a beautiful day, y’all.







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1 Comment

  • Reply cary January 22, 2016 at 10:05 am

    awesome 🙂

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