Baked French Toast Casserole with Praline Topping

This breakfast treat goes well with warm maple syrup and bacon, and a homemade fruit salad or juice.
It’s easy to prepare and refrigerate in the evening, so you can just pop it in the oven in the morning for breakfast.

Or you can prepare it and bake it without the step of refrigerating it overnight.
Optional extras: raisins, dried cranberries or chopped dried apricots.
4-6 servings.  Need to serve more people? Just double the quantities and bake it in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

1/2 loaf bread such as Reesor’s Challah Bread or Raisin Bread (day old works well)
4 large eggs
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup milk
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Dash salt
Praline Topping, recipe follows


Slice the bread into about 4 slices and then cut into 1-2 inch cubes.
Arrange cubes in a generously buttered 9 x 9-inch flat baking dish.
In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and whisk until blended.
Pour mixture over the bread cubes, pressing down on the bread making sure it is  covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to bake:  preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread Praline Topping evenly over the casserole and push some of the topping into the bread cubes. Bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with maple syrup.

Praline Topping:
1/4 cup butter , cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 Tbsp corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Combine all ingredients except nuts in a medium bowl and blend well.  Then stir in the pecans.