Do you remember that really simple loaf of 100% whole wheat einkorn bread I shared with you? Well, it was so simple to make that I made another loaf specifically for this recipe. I really enjoy the flavor in einkorn. It’s delicate, a bit nutty, and sweet. I knew the flavors in einkorn would lend itself well when used to soak up a creamy egg batter and then finished with a fine drizzle of the sweetest maple syrup from our own backyard.
With the season starting to bring forth the juiciest strawberries sweet as candy, I knew I had to make something extra special.
I couldn’t think of anything better to marry with strawberries in this season than rhubarb. They’re like a good old married couple, one a bit sweet the other a bit tart; yet, they compliment each other in just the right ways. Rhubarb is the tart partner. It’s a peculiar vegetable – some consider it a fruit. Its crimson stalks are tart and sour yet compliment strawberries in all of their sweetness very well.
So together in their sweet and tartness, I decided to make a baked strawberry and rhubarb french toast casserole. (Little Mama couldn’t seem to keep away from the fresh berries. We’ve had a long winter without, so I let her indulge.)
Making a baked french toast casserole is very simple and truly delightful. I’ve started making them when I wanted to be a bit more intentional on what my family would be eating on Sunday mornings before church. Gabe and I teach 1st-3rd graders every other week so we need to be at church by 9am. That leaves me little time to make breakfast in the morning since I enjoy to spend some extra time getting myself ready for the service.
Making a french toast casserole was a great solution since it’s prepped the night before. The night before it’s baked, all you need to do is roughly cup up a loaf of bread. I like to use a simple 100% whole wheat einkorn bread. Then, you pour an egg and milk mixture all over the bread and allow that to sit in the refrigerator overnight.
That same evening, I prep my strawberries and rhubarb and a crumble topping that I set both aside in the refrigerator overnight as well. It seriously takes me about 15 minutes. The next morning, all that’s left to do is sprinkle on the strawberry and rhubarb (watch out for sneaky little hands).
And finish by sprinkling on the crumble topping.
I then make sure to pop it into the oven at 6am since it takes about 45-60 minutes to bake at 350F.
This would make a great breakfast or brunch idea for a large gathering and one that won’t keep you in the kitchen. It tastes wonderfully sweet of the seasons best strawberries and my family absolutely adored the bit of tartness the rhubarb added to this baked french toast casserole.
I think you’ll need to try this baked strawberry and rhubarb french toast casserole before the spring turns into summer.
This baked strawberry and rhubarb french toast casserole is simple to make and tastes of the seasons best fruit. It's a bit sweet, tart, and creamy. A family favorite recipe!
- 1 loaf bread
- 8 farm fresh eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup milk kefir (substitute cream)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 tbls pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup rhubarb, sliced in half, then sliced into small pieces
- 1 1/2 cups strawberries, roughly chopped
- 1 tbls honey
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar (substitute rapadura or brown sugar)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 stick cold butter, cut into pieces
- Tear the loaf of bread into chunks (or cut into cubes) and evenly distribute into a 9" x 13" baking pan or stonewear.
- In a medium sized bowl mix together eggs, milk, kefir, honey, and vanilla extract. Pour evenly over the bread. Cover the baking dish and store it in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the rhubarb, strawberries, and honey. Transfer the contents to a ziplock bag or small glass container and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- In the same bowl that you mixed the fruit and honey, mix together the flour, coconut palm sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add the butter and cut them into the dry mixture until it resembles fine pebbles. Again, store in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- When you're ready to bake the casserole, preheat the oven to 350F.
- Remove the casserole from the fridge and top with the strawberry and rhubarb mixture. Finish by sprinkling on the crumb topping.
- Bake for 45 minutes for a softer, bread pudding type of texture and 1 hour or more for a firmer texture.
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