The casserole should be prepared the night before and then baked in the morning...which is a more convenient option than cooking individual pieces of French toast and trying to keep them all warm before serving! I've slightly adapted the recipe from this source!
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup brown sugar (plus more for 'sprinkling')
1 and 1/2 loaves of Challah bread (see description/picture below)
1 and 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon powdered sugar (and more for 'sprinkling')
Ground cinnamon for 'sprinkling'
The original recipe calls for using Texas toast, which is essentially a thickly cut type of bread. My local grocery store only had the frozen garlic style Texas toast which wouldn't work for this recipe. So, after speaking with someone in the bakery, they suggested using Challah bread which I cut into roughly 1 inch slices:
I would recommend using any thick bread...French bread might work, too. Just be sure your bread is thickly sliced so that it will sufficiently absorb the egg mixture!
Melt butter in the microwave, then stir in brown sugar until totally mixed. Spread this mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish (be sure to cover the entire bottom).
Slice your bread into roughly 1 inch thick slices then place into a single layer on bottom of your baking dish.
Mix your eggs, milk, vanilla, and tablespoon of powdered sugar until combined.
Pour half of your egg mixture over your layer of bread. Then sprinkle cinnamon and brown sugar on top of this first layer.
Add your second layer of bread slices, then pour the remaining layer of egg mixture on top.
Cover your dish and set in the refrigerator over night.
In the morning, sprinkle more cinnamon and brown sugar on top and cover your dish with aluminum foil. Then place dish into a 350 degree oven. Bake for about 45 minutes total, keeping foil on your dish for the first 25 minutes before removing and baking the rest of the time without foil.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle powdered sugar on top! You won't need any syrup because this dish is sweet enough on its own!
Enjoy with friends and family!