As the cold snap sets in, I’ve been looking for warming breakfasts to cook on weekends with friends. French toast is a classic brunch staple, and baking it this way means you can make enough for several people without having to do it in batches.
I used a sourdough tin loaf, which had a tighter crumb and more regular shape for this recipe but you can use any kind of bread you like. The addition of frozen cherries is optional, it’s also delicious just as a brown sugar and cinnamon version without the berries.
Preheat your oven to 180℃. Melt your butter, and pour it into the base of a 24 x 15cm ovenproof baking dish.
Whisk the milk, eggs, and salt together with a hand whisk. In a separate bowl, combine the spices and sugar.
Sprinkle half the sugar and cinnamon over the bottom of the dish, followed by a layer of bread, and repeat for a second layer of each.
Dot the cherries in between the layers, and scatter a few on top. Pour the liquid over the top, and leave it to soak for 20-30 minutes or so (if your bread is stale it may need longer).
Sprinkle muscovado sugar and cinnamon over the top, cover with tin foil, and place in the oven for 55-65 minutes, or until the liquid has set. Remove the tin foil for the last 10 minutes of the bake, to allow the top to crisp up and become golden.
Remove from the oven and leave it to settle for 5 minutes before serving.
Sprinkle extra muscovado sugar and a dollop of crème fraîche or double cream with each portion to serve, along with fresh fruit.