If you're baking it now without chilling, you'll also need to preheat your oven to 350° F.
In a small mixing bowl, mix together the melted butter, maple syrup, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
Spread this mixture on the bottom of your greased baking dish.
Place 2 rows of the brioche bread slices in the pan, sprinkling raisins and half of the pecans in between each slice.
Then sprinkle the rest of the pecans on top.
In a separate mixing bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the eggs, milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Pour the egg mixture over the bread in the pan.
At this point you can either cover and chill the casserole overnight, or you can go ahead and bake it.
When you're ready to bake the casserole, you'll need to cover the dish with foil, and bake it at 350° F for about 30 minutes. Then uncover and bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes.
Once your casserole is baked, it should be soft in the middle but slightly crispy on top. It should come to an internal temperature of 160° F with a food thermometer.
When serving, you may want to add certain kinds of toppings to your French toast. I like to keep it simple and just give our French toast a sprinkling of powdered sugar or a generous drizzle of real maple syrup. It's so, so good!
*Be sure to use real maple syrup, not table syrup. *I used 12 slices of Marketside brioche bread from Walmart. You may be able to add more or less slices, depending on the thickness of the slices in the loaf that you purchase.HOW TO KEEP FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE FROM GETTING SOGGYThere are a few things you can do to ensure that your French toast casserole is not soggy.
Instead of pouring the egg mixture right over the bread in the pan, you can soak the bread in a separate dish instead. Then carefully place each slice in the pan.
On a related note, if you are pouring the egg mixture over the bread, each piece of bread really needs to be completely soaked, so it firms up as it bakes. Try not to leave liquid just sitting in the pan; make sure it's all soaked up.
Use a more shallow baking dish or baking pan, something like a sheet cake pan or baking sheet with sides. This helps all that liquid to spread out instead of just sitting on your bread. Of course, you may need to adjust your cooking time if changing the size of your pan.
Be sure to follow the recipe to a t. Don't add any extra liquid or change the type of liquid used. If you do make changes, it will alter the recipe, and it could lead to soggy French toast.
BEST TOPPINGS FOR FRENCH TOASTYou can top it off with all sorts of things, besides powdered sugar and maple syrup, including…
Fresh berries and fruit – blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries
CAN YOU FREEZE A FRENCH TOAST BAKE?Yes, you can freeze French toast casserole before or after baking. Just be sure it's either in an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap and aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn.Also, be sure to allow enough time for thawing in the refrigerator before baking. Bake time will vary, depending on whether or not your casserole was already baked before freezing.Re-heating after freezing…Allow time for the casserole to thaw in the fridge. Then cover with aluminum foil, and re-heat in a 350° F oven for about half an hour, or until it's warmed through.Re-heating after refrigerating…You can re-heat it in the oven or microwave. If you're in a hurry, it's easier and quicker to re-heat it in the microwave in 30-second intervals until it's heated through.