A writer friend of mine blogged about baked French toast the other day—she wasn’t thrilled with the recipe—and it got me thinking about the amazing Overnight Baked Panettone French Toast I’d made for a Christmas brunch last year. Sweet baby Jesus in a chicken basket*, that was good. But not terribly Weight Watchers-friendly, plus we’re a week or two shy of panettone season, so… When I realized we had two-thirds of a loaf of Italian bread leftover from dinner last night, those concerns were tossed aside in a heartbeat.
Since I wasn’t using rich, eggy bread and Weight Watchers is my lord and master these days, I had to adapt. I changed the ratio of egg whites to whole eggs, and to add a shot of moist, sweet flavor, I shredded a Granny Smith into the low-fat custard. And whaddya know, it worked! A good long soak in the fridge yields a breakfast that’s soft and melty on the inside, and firm but not tooth-busting crisp on the outside. All this for about 20 minutes of work last night, and only 3 Weight Watchers points.
Folks, if you’re not on Weight Watchers, go right ahead and make a decadent version of this: Use 6 whole eggs and heavy cream. Yowza, that sounds good.
* To quote my husband, the very lapsed Catholic
No, silly, that’s not grated cheese. It’s apple!
Cooking Time: 20-30 minutes of work the night before, plus an hour baking in the AM
Weight Watchers: Each serving is 3 points, before you pour on the maple syrup
6 ounces Italian or French bread
5 egg whites
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup, plus more for serving
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of grated nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 medium apple, peeled and grated
- Cut the bread into 1/2” slices. If your bread’s not already fairly dried out, place the slices in a single layer on a cooling rack and stick in the oven set to “Warm” for 20 to 30 minutes. Allow them to cool before proceeding.
- Coat a small baking dish (mine is 7 x 10) with nonstick spray, and place the sliced bread inside—two layers is just fine.
- Whisk together the remaining ingredients, and pour over the bread. Nudge some of the shredded apple down into the crevices to ensure apple-y goodness throughout. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and refrigerate at least 2 hours, or overnight.
- Heat the oven to 350°F. Place the dish, still covered with foil, inside and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 15 minutes, until the top is nicely browned. Serve with more maple syrup.