Fresh Strawberries and cream bring rich flavor to this easy Oven Strawberry French Toast recipe. Perfect make ahead recipe for breakfast or brunch!
If you are having a crowd for breakfast or hosting a brunch, serving Oven Baked Strawberry french toast is an enticing idea. Instead of standing at the stove cooking batch after batch, it bakes in the oven, puffed up and golden, ready for a drizzle of syrup. This french toast can also be prepped the night before and just popped in the oven about an hour before serving time.
Plain french toast get the star treatment here, with the addition of strawberries. Any berries that are in season will add an extra special touch, like with our Blackberry Cream French Toast.
INGREDIENTS FOR OVEN STRAWBERRY FRENCH TOAST
- Italian Bread Loaf
- Heavy Cream
- Granulated Sugar
- Fresh Lemon Zest
- Almond Extract
FOOLPROOF TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST OVEN STRAWBERRY FRENCH TOAST
Oven French Toast is a super time-saver when making breakfast. Assemble it the night before, then just pop it in the oven. You’re free to make side dishes, or just sit down, relax and enjoy your morning until it’s done.
- Too much dairy or not enough mixing results in a thin custard mixture. This will make the bread soggy. Measure carefully and whisk the eggs into the cream and milk until completely combined.
- Use the right bread. Standard sliced loaf bread is not sturdy enough to absorb the custard and retain a nice texture. An Italian or French loaf are great for baked french toast, as well as Brioche or Challah.
- Day old bread works best for making french toast. Bread with too much moisture will not absorb the custard mix as readily as day old or dried bread. (see instructions below for drying bread)
- Fresh cut strawberries work best for this recipe. Drain any juice before adding the strawberries to the bread. Thawed frozen strawberries are okay to use as long as the strawberries are well-drained.
- Soak the bread for at least 15 – 20 minutes before baking. The entire slice should be coated and soaked in the custard. You might need to press down on the bread to help the custard absorb.
- Adjust the sugar to your tastes – use less sugar if you are going to serve the french toast with syrup or dusted with powdered sugar.
- buy extra strawberries to use later for garnish and to make strawberry sauce.
HOW TO DRY OUT BREAD FOR FRENCH TOAST
The easiest way to get dried bread for making french toast is to buy a whole bread loaf and let it sit in the package on your counter for a few days. If your bread is too fresh, follow these steps below to get your bread ready in a jiffy.
- Preheat the oven to 350°
- Slice the bread loaf into slices as called for in the recipe.
- Arrange the slices in a single layer on sheet pan large enough to fit all the bread slices with no overlap.
- Bake on middle rack of oven for 15 minutes until the bread is dry and toasted, but not browned.
- Use the dried-out bread in your recipe.
TOOLS USED TO MAKE THIS FRENCH TOAST RECIPE
- Ceramic Baking Pan – this is similar to the ruffled edge baker I used.
- Large Measuring Cup – makes it easy to measure large amount of liquid.
- Whisk with Bowl Scraper – easily get every last bit out of the bowl!
OVEN STRAWBERRY FRENCH TOAST
- 1 loaf Italian bread, day old loaf
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups milk, 2% or whole
- 2 TBSP granulated sugar
- 8 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp fresh lemon zest, optional
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1/8 tsp salt
- Start by gathering your ingredients. If you are baking this dish right away, preheat the oven to 375°. Grease or spray a 9 x 13 baking dish.
- Use a sharp knife to slice the bread into 16 slices. Discard or save the ends to use in another dish.
- Arrange the bread slices in the baking pan. Tuck strawberries slices between and around the bread.
- Whisk together the eggs, cream, milk, sugar, lemon zest, almond extract and salt until well combined.
- Pour the egg mixture over the bread slices, to coat. Most of the mix will be absorbed by the bread but it’s okay if a little is in the bottom of the pan. Press down on the top of the bread to help the egg absorb. Let the egg mixture absorb into the bread for 15 – 20 minutes.
- Bake on the center rack of the oven for 45 -55 minutes until the bread is firm when gently pressed and the top is crispy and golden. If it feels soft, keep baking, checking every 5 minutes until done.
- Serve with extra berries, whipped cream and strawberry syrup.
- *If you are making this the night before, cover the pan with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours. Let the pan stand on the counter while you are heating the oven to 375°.
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