If you're hosting a large group of people at your house this Thanksgiving, and especially if they will be there for longer than just the day, it's helpful to have a couple of go-to recipes that can feed a group. This Pumpkin French Toast Bake hits the mark. It will also come in handy during the business of next week because it can be mostly assembled the night before it's baked, making it an ideal Thanksgiving Day breakfast. It's hearty but not too over the top, so your guests should be sated but still hungry for the big meal later on.
Pumpkin French Toast Bake
- 6 to 7 cups (1-inch) bread cubes
- 7 large eggs
- 2 cups milk (any kind, even nondairy like soy or almond)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 3 to 4 tablespoons brown sugar for topping
- Nuts, like pecan or walnuts
- Cut any kind of bread into 1-inch cubes. (I recommend a crusty white or whole-grain variety, but sandwich bread will work, too.) Just use enough to fill a lightly greased 9- by 13-inch baking dish quite full.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin puree until well combined. Pour over bread and push down with a spoon or your hands until it's all soaked and mostly covered. If it looks too wet, add more bread. Cover with foil, plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate overnight.
- In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, uncover and top with brown sugar, additional pumpkin pie spice and nuts. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or golden brown and no longer wet. Alternatively, you can bake this French toast the same day you assemble it. Just let it soak for about 15 minutes before popping it in the oven.
- Serve immediately with maple syrup or honey. Store leftovers in the refrigerator, covered, for up to a couple of days. Serves 8.