Overnight Orange Honey Vanilla French Toast - gluten free, dairy free, soy free
 
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A make-ahead breakfast or brunch crowd-pleaser full of orange vanilla flavor bathed in a rich honey custard french toast baked to heavenly perfection. It may have you wondering how on earth it is gluten, dairy, and soy free!
Jessica:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 2 tablespoons oil (I use avocado oil)
  • 2 tablespoons pure honey
  • zest of 2 large navel oranges, (about 2 tablespoons)
  • juice of 1 orange (scant ¼ cup)
  • 1¾ cup coconut milk (not canned)
  • 1½ teaspoon orange extract
  • ½ vanilla bean (scraped out of the center for seeds, store bean in sugar for vanilla flavored sugar) or 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • dash of grated nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1½ loaves gluten, dairy, soy free bread (I use Canyon Bakehouse Mountain White Bread)
  • avocado oil for greasing
  • For topping:
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, softened
  • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar (or light brown sugar)
  • 5 tablespoons organic white rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon pure honey
  • optional:
  • additional teaspoon grated orange zest
  • maple syrup
  • powdered sugar
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 C).
  2. Grease a 9-inch round baking casserole dish at least 2-inches deep or a 9 X 9-inch rectangular pan at least 1½ inches deep.
  3. Crack eggs into a medium bowl, whisk to combine then add sugar, oil, honey, orange zest, orange juice, coconut milk, orange extract, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon; whisk to combine well.
  4. Working in batches, stack up about ½ a loaf and using a serrated knife cut of crust ends bread, then cut into fourths. Don't discard the ends, use for breadcrumbs at another time. Trimming a stack of 4-5 bread slices will speed up the process. When all the bread has been cut, transfer into the greased baking dish. It will form 2-3 layers of bread cubes. Pour the egg-sugar mixture over the bread pieces and press bread down into the wet mixture for about a minute. The liquid egg mixture will only come up halfway, exposing the top layer of bread cubes, with orange zest sticking onto the bread. Compress the topping ingredients to form clusters, then distribute across the french toast. Cover, first with parchment paper and then aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.
  5. When ready, bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake another 30 minutes.
  6. Take a peek after 25 minutes to check for doneness, as oven temperatures and elevation vary.Test for doneness with a skewer or knife, it is ready when it comes out with a wet crumb and the french toast feels somewhat firm to the touch.
  7. Optional: add about a teaspoon of orange zest evenly across the french toast. Let it cool for 20 minutes before slicing so the liquids can redistribute. Serve with maple syrup and/or confectioner (powdered) sugar. It has a good amount of sweetness already so you may want to taste first and add to your liking.
  8. Note: I find wrapping with both, parchment paper and aluminum, helps trap more steam than the conventional way with just aluminum foil, resulting in a french toast bake that is always moist even when it continues to bake uncovered.
  9. Notes on making ahead:
  10. This recipe is very adaptable; it can be baked ahead up to 2 days in advance, cooled completely then covered and stored in the refrigerator. Reheat in a preheated 300 degrees F or 148 C for 20-30 minutes until nearly hot. Serve immediately.
  11. For make ahead freezer alternative: prepare then bake as noted in the recipe. Cool completely (to avoid freezer burn) then cover with heavy-duty aluminum foil, then seal with plastic wrap three-ply and freeze or use jumbo sized freezer bags to seal the baking dish. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Then reheat in a preheated 300 degrees F (148 C) oven for 30-40 minutes or until hot in the center.
  12. For a boozy alternative: add a few splashes of Cointreau or Grand Marnier to the egg mixture, both gluten free, dairy free, and soy free.
Recipe by From Jessica's Kitchen at http://fromjessicaskitchen.com/overnight-orange-honey-vanilla-baked-french-toast-gluten-free-dairy-free-soy-free/