baked french toast sticks
Breakfast

Baked Challah French Toast Sticks with Berries

All the French toast taste you love, but lightened up just a tad and baked in the oven. As a bonus, you can pop them in the freezer and bake them up for a quick ready-to-go breakfast!


baked french toast sticks

Scott has been asking forever for me to figure out a recipe for French toast. He has great memories of growing up on French toast sticks, but I’ve been too scarred by bad reheated rations and by the Jenny Craig meals I had to help me shed the baby weight {they worked, but I’m not a fan of what they’ve done to the recipes lately – so much sauce and pasta!!}. For the longest time, whenever I thought about French toast, I thought about soggy or rubbery bread that held all the taste appeal of a pencil eraser soaked in too much additional fat.

Yeah, not a pretty picture. Our Army cooks downrange did an amazing job with so many things, but there just isn’t a good way to reheat French toast so that it’s any good. And since you throw all your Jenny Craig meals in a microwave, same thing applies.

So I did what I normally do when presented a challenge. I dove into my research, and tried to figure out a way to lighten up the batter – and the calories – and make something that could stand up to being warmed up for a second run or from freezing.

I think we have a winner! These things turned out amazing!

baked french toast sticks

The trick is finding a soft bread that can stand up to batter and syrup. Challah and brioche are both awesome in this. I still haven’t figured out my best recipe for either of those, but fortunately, my local Giant has a great bakery that makes amazing challah, and I stock up on the regular {please don’t judge my carbs, my LoseIt app is already doing that!}.

Cut up the bread into sticks – I slice the bread and cut each slice into about 1″ sticks. Because the challah is uneven sizes, I cut any stick that’s longer than about 3″ in half. It gives you these nice solid pieces of bread that won’t get all limp and soggy from the batter.

The batter is fairly traditional, but heavier on the milk than usual. I also like throwing in some maple syrup and some of my homemade vanilla – which has darkened up absolutely beautifully and adds just the best flavor and scent to everything! A little bit of cinnamon and nutmeg finishes the deal, and all you have to do is bake them and brush them with a little bit of brown butter, and they’re ready to go! Serve with syrup and fresh berries for a nicely rounded out breakfast.

Baked Challah French Toast Sticks with Fruit

All the French toast taste you love, but lightened up just a tad and baked in the oven. As a bonus, you can pop them in the freezer and bake them up for a quick ready-to-go breakfast!
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 6 people
Calories 379 kcal

Equipment

  • Baking sheet
  • Whisk
  • Medium bowl
  • 8" skillet

Ingredients
  

  • 1 loaf challah or brioche
  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 4 ea eggs well beaten
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp butter

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 350F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Cut your bread into slices, and cut the slices into 1" sticks. If any of them are too long, cut them in half. They don't need to be uniform, but too long and they'll get soggy.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and 1 tbsp melted butter.
  • Dredge the sticks through the egg mixture until well coated. Then place the sticks on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Bake at 350F for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, turn the sticks, and bake another 10 minutes, or until the edges are nicely golden.
  • While the sticks are baking, melt the rest of the butter in a small skillet. Allow the butter to brown until it smells slightly nutty, about 3-5 minutes. When the sticks are done, brush them lightly with the butter.
  • Serve with fresh fruit and warm maple syrup for dipping!

Nutrition

Sodium: 494mgCalcium: 82mgVitamin A: 112IUSugar: 14gFiber: 1gPotassium: 99mgCholesterol: 9mgCalories: 379kcalSaturated Fat: 1gFat: 7gProtein: 14gCarbohydrates: 64g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

If you want to cook these from frozen, bake them all the way through but don’t coat them with butter. Instead, freeze them for about 2 hours on the baking sheet until they firm up enough to transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container. When you’re ready to heat them up again, place them back on the baking sheet and bake at 350F for about 8-10 minutes. We’re still working on this, so let me know if this works for you or if you’ve figured out a good way to warm them up!

baked french toast sticks

When I first made these, Scott went through about two and a half servings of them and said even though he was full afterward, they didn’t feel heavy. No soggy, heavy, thud-in-the-pit-of-your-stomach French toast around here!

Happy last day of November 2020!

About the ChefKristin

Career Army officer with a tendency toward workaholism. On the side, self taught cook, carpenter, and gardener, working to build a beautiful life for my family. Trying to tilt my balance in the right direction.

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