Individual Baked Bagel French Toast Pots are a classic, family-style dish, which has been elevated to something special and unique. Try using bagels instead of bread for a whole new level of texture!
Call them individual pots or call them personal casseroles – it doesn’t matter what you call them, because these Individual Baked Bagel French Toast Pots are super easy, super impressive, and super delicious! We all know that French toast is rustic and comforting. It’s meant to be enjoyed by family and friends. Breakfast or brunch, it doesn’t matter as long as there’s good conversation. And, in the privacy of your own home, copious amounts of syrup and hot coffee!
These are so easy to prepare and they are most certainly ideal if you are serving French toast for breakfast or brunch to a crowd. You can easily prepare the mixture the night before and load it all into individual casserole dishes, ramekins, or even little cast iron skillets. Bake them off in the morning and serve them up with plain and flavoured syrups. Put out lots of fruits and berries, whipped cream, and even some confectioner’s sugar for dusting.
Whenever you are tasked with feeding a crowd – be it 6 or 26 – it’s always a good idea to make things as easy and as simple as possible. And, if you set out with the mindset that there are bound to be special dietary requests and restrictions, you can eliminate the stress, by allowing for personalization. You can even make a batch of these using gluten-free bagels too!
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FRENCH TOAST COOKING METHODS
THE PAN-FRIED METHOD
We don’t actually make french toast often. But, when we do, it can come to the table in one of three basic formats. The first way I like to prepare and serve french toast is the way my mom used to make it. I soak thick-cut slices of home-style white bread into the egg mixture. It’s pan-fried in butter on low, steady heat.
The low heat helps to cook the egg on the inside of the bread without burning the exterior. And, the butter, well, that’s just a whole lot of delicious flavour! I’ll usually serve these up piled high onto dinner plates just like a stack of pancakes.
THE BAKED SHEETPAN METHOD
Another method that I use is one that comes in handy when preparing french toast for a crowd. With this method, I’ll usually use a baguette that I’ve sliced about half an inch thick. I soak the slices in the same egg mixture that I would use for the pan-fry method above. But, rather than fry them, coat a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Bake the slices, turning once halfway through to ensure browning on both sides.
That method works nicely when stacking the smaller slices into a serving bowl or onto a serving platter. Set it right in the center of the table. Surround the platter with bowls of fresh berries, syrups, whipped cream, and even chocolate. It’s a great way to serve french toast for a crowd at breakfast or at brunch.
THE INDIVIDUAL SERVING METHOD
Now, that leaves us with the third option. The third option is the one you see in the photographs before you. If I’m trying to impress, or if I’m feeling a little fancy, I’ll opt for individual ramekins or small pots of french toast.
I’m showcasing this particular version as a Mother’s Day brunch option, which is why I wanted to jazz it up a little. I used my mini Le Creuset, but you can use ramekins or small baking dishes. I piled the egg-soaked bread high to add more to the visual effect as well. Besides, I didn’t want anyone to go hungry!
These are perfectly portioned, which is a great way to serve them if you’re hosting a Mother’s Day brunch. I served these with some breakfast sausage links and a fruit salad on the side. Set the table and put out your good maple syrup and a bit of confectioner’s sugar for dusting. Everyone loves to add their own touches to their individual pots.
USE BAGELS FOR A HEARTIER FRENCH TOAST
Rather than using bread, I opted for bagels. Since the pots were quite small, I wanted to ensure that the dish was filling enough for everyone. Bagels tend to be a bit more filling than bread. And, bagels will also hold up better and not become a mushy mess when left to refrigerate for eight hours or overnight.
The type of bagel you use is up to you. To make things easy, I used a plain white bagel. Try Individual Baked Bagel French Toast Pots with blueberry bagels. They would be divine with cinnamon raisin bagels! (I can’t use cinnamon raisin bagels, because McKenna is under the impression that raisins are for old people.)
I guess that’s a little bit of an improvement for her. When she was a kid, she told a babysitter that she was allergic to raisins when the babysitter offered her some as a snack! The babysitter was so upset when we dropped by to pick up McKenna. She thought it was quite irresponsible of us not to tell her that McKenna was allergic to raisins. Imagine our surprise!
INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO PREPARE THIS RECIPE
The following is a list of the ingredients needed to prepare these Individual Baked Bagel French Toast Pots. For exact amounts and measurements, refer to the printable recipe card located near the bottom of this post.
- Bagels – You can bank on the fact that for each person, you will need one large bagel. I’m using Original Country Harvest Bagels. You can also use my homemade Weight Watchers Bagels in this recipe!
- Eggs – I used 8 large eggs.
- Vanilla Extract – This recipe is for sweet French Toast, so vanilla extract works very well! I love a savoury French Toast too, in which case I do not add the extract.
- Cinnamon – John.e and McKenna refuse to eat French Toast without cinnamon!
- Maple Syrup – I absolutely love the fake, sugary, sweet maple syrup, but, the real stuff works best in this recipe.
- Milk – Whenever I cook or bake with milk, I always use whole milk.
HOW TO PREPARE THIS RECIPE
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract, cinnamon, maple syrup, and milk. Add the chopped bagel pieces and toss well to combine with the egg mixture. Set the bowl aside and let the mixture set for 30 minutes. Toss the bagel pieces with the egg mixture every 10 minutes. This will help the bagel to soak up the egg mixture. Remember, bagels are denser than bread, so it needs a little help along the way to properly absorb the egg mixture.
In the meantime, prepare the pots or ramekins by liberally coating the inside with cooking spray. Place the pots onto a small baking sheet. You can also use a casserole dish rather than individual baking pans. Fill the pots (or the casserole) with the egg-soaked bagel pieces. If there’s any leftover egg mixture in the bowl, evenly distribute it over top of each bagel-filled pot. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 8 hours.
When ready to bake, remove the French toast from the fridge and allow the bagel and egg mixture to come to room temperate while the oven preheats to 350 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and serve while still warm. Be sure to garnish with confectioner’s sugar, berries, extra maple syrup, etc., or whatever you desire.
If you’re serving these Individual Baked Bagel French Toast Pots as a brunch item, you might consider serving them with a few other goodies. The first time I served these, I made sure that I had several options to make a full, bigger brunch. A plate of crispy bacon on the table is always a good idea. I’ve even whipped up some scrambled eggs to set in the middle of the table too!
Let’s see – how about some Very Berry Muffins, or a skillet full of my Potato and Bell Pepper Hash? I also think a Fresh Fruit Salad is a great option! You can make this fruit salad ahead of time and save yourself the task of washing and cutting up fresh fruit in the morning. Lastly, ensure that there is a bottle of maple syrup, lots of coffee and tea, and good conversation! Enjoy!!
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Individual Baked Bagel French Toast Pots
- 5 large bagels, cut into bite-sized cubes
- 8 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup maple syrup, plus more for topping/garnish
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar, for garnish (optional)
- 1 cup berries, for garnish (optional)
- 1 small bunch mint leaves, for garnish (optional)
- non-stick cooking spray
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract, cinnamon, maple syrup, and milk.
- Add the chopped bagel pieces and toss well to combine with the egg mixture.
- Set the bowl aside and let the mixture set for 30 minutes. Toss the bagel pieces with the egg mixture every 10 minutes. This will help the bagel to soak up the egg mixture.
- In the meantime, prepare the pots or ramekins by liberally coating the inside with cooking spray. Place the pots onto a small baking sheet.
- Fill the pots with the egg-soaked bagel pieces. If there’s any leftover egg mixture in the bowl, evenly distribute it over top of each bagel-filled pot.
- Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 8 hours.
- When ready to bake, remove the pots from the fridge and allow bagel and egg mixture to come to room temperate while the oven preheats to 350 degrees.
- Remove the plastic wrap and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven, garnish with confectioner’s sugar, berries, extra maple syrup, and a mint leaf. (All of the garnishes are optional!) Serve warm.
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