For the streusel topping
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
For French toast casserole
2 1/2 cups 2% milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
12 cups cubed hearty bread
1 1/2 cups whipped cream (optional)
Maple syrup (optional)
To make the streusel topping, in a medium bowl, and using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the butter into the flour. Add the pecans (if using), sugar, and cinnamon and stir. Add 1 tablespoon of water, working it in with a stiff spatula or wooden spoon until you have a crumbly dough. (This can also be done in a food processor on pulse.) Place in the fridge, uncovered, to chill for at least 1 hour, or up to overnight.
To make the casserole, whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add the milk and whisk to incorporate. Add the sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Mix to combine.
Place the bread cubes in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish and pour the egg mixture overtop, making sure the whole shebang is well coated. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Lightly mix the casserole with a wooden spoon and then scatter the streusel topping evenly overtop.
Bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 50 minutes, until the streusel is browned and bubbly and the casserole is showing no signs of wobbling.
Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or maple syrup—or both!—if you like.
Prep this the night before you plan to eat it.
Excerpted from Rocky Mountain Cooking by Katie Mitzel. Copyright © 2019 Katie Mitzel. Food photography by Shallon Cunningham. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.