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Sweet French toast

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With a cracking, caramelized brown sugar crust topping and soft, custardy slices of challah, this sheet-pan French toast is sweet perfection all by itself, without the need for maple syrup or powdered sugar. Baking it on a sheet pan eliminates the need to stand at the stove, pan-frying slices in batches. And while the oven is on, it’s easy to throw in a pan of bacon as well. If you can plan ahead, it’s best to start this the night before; the longer the challah soaks in the cinnamon-scented egg mixture, the better and more cakelike the result.

Brown Sugar Sheet-Pan French Toast
Ingredients:
• 6 large eggs
• 2 1/4 cups/535 grams whole milk
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt
• 1 (1-pound) challah loaf, cut into 1-inch-thick slices
• 1 packed cup/210 grams dark brown sugar
• 1/2 cup/113 grams unsalted butter, melted

Directions:
In a bowl, whisk eggs until well combined, then whisk in milk, vanilla, cinnamon and salt.
Place the bread in a rimmed sheet pan. Pour the mixture on top and flip the slices to coat with custard on both sides. Let bread soak in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight. Flip the bread again halfway through soaking (or about an hour before baking).

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Pour brown sugar and melted butter onto a baking sheet and use an offset spatula to help combine it into a smooth mixture.

Carefully place the bread on top of the sugared baking sheet, leaving any excess liquid in the other pan. Bake for 27 to 35 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and puffed and the sugar is bubbling.

Serve immediately, with the crunchy brown sugar side facing up, and drizzle more of the pan syrup on top.
Total time: 4 hours 45 minutes, serves 6-8.

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