Easter is just around the corner and this ham and gruyere stuffed french toast is the perfect entrée for Easter brunch or dinner. Actually in my opinion, this stuffed toast is good anytime of year and anytime of day. I baked this up the other night for dinner and it was amazing, and needless to say it got the double thumbs up from both of the kids. Eli was literally licking his plate, of course he slathered his piece with maple syrup, but he was still licking his plate, and that makes any mom happy. Sometimes breakfast for dinner is the best! This french toast is perfect for those that like a sweet and savory combination. To get the sweet, you just add some maple syrup. I love the sweet and savory combination for breakfast or brunch, but for dinner I tend to omit the maple syrup and go for more of the savory route. Eli on the other hand likes the maple syrup on all occasions.
So let’s be honest, this is not one of the healthier recipes on my blog, nor is it low in calories, but I will say that it’s worth the indulgence. If you havent noticed already, I have a pretty good balance between healthy dishes, as well as what I would consider pure comfort food, and this recipe totally falls into the pure comfort food category. I’m a pretty healthy eater most of the time, but sometimes I just want to splurge and be bad, and cheesy baked goodness like this is worth the splurge. I just make sure when I splurge to get an extra run or workout in the next day to burn off all those calories! I honestly work out so I can eat cheese and comfort foods like this.
So besides the fact that this baked toast is super tasty, it’s also super simple to make. It’s one of those perfect weeknight dinner recipes or make-ahead brunch recipes, as the bread can sit in the egg mixture overnight for up to 12 hours. Pair this with a salad or some roasted asparagus and you have yourself one satisfying dinner or brunch.
ham and gruyere stuffed french toast:
recipe from Martha Stweart Living
serves 6-8 – depends on how long your loaf of bread is
- 1 loaf of rustic bread, such as pane Pugliese or Italian, cut into 1 1/2-inch thick slices – You want to use a wider bread here, not a thin loaf of bread.
- 1/2 pound of ham, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces gruyere cheese, thinly sliced, plus more for topping
- 8 large eggs
- 2/3 cup whole milk - you could try 1%, 2% or skim here
- Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- maple syrup - optional but tasty, and a must for the kiddos
Butter the bottom and sides of a large 9-by-13-inch baking dish or a lasagna dish. With a serrated knife, trim off the ends, then cut your loaf into six to eight 1 1/2-inch thick slices. Then make a deep slit into each slice of bread (about 3/4 down) to create a pocket. Thinly slice up your gruyere cheese.
In a small to medium-sized bowl, whisk together the 8 eggs and 2/3 cup milk until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture into the prepared baking dish. Add the bread slices in a single layer, gently pressing down into the egg mixture.
Let the bread soak for 15 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees while your bread is soaking.
Note: If you want to prepare this the night before, you can do these two above steps and just refrigerate it for up to 12 hours, loosely covered. Just be sure to let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking off in the oven.
To get the bread and cheese to brown up, turn on the broiler and set a rack 4-6 inches from the heat source. Broil the bread until the cheese and ham get crispy and the bread browns up, about 1 to 2 minutes. This last step makes it so good!Serve hot and feel free to slather each slice with some maple syrup, or just eat as it. It’s great both ways.
I reheated our leftovers for breakfast the next day in a pre-heated 350 degree oven till warmed through. The leftovers were great, not as great as the day before, but there were no complaints in my house and the french toast was devoured.