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1 loaf French bread (approximately), cut or torn into 1/2 inch cubes (about 12 cups of bread)
(if you have some bread left over, simply whir in your food processor, throw into a freezer bag and you have fresh bread crumbs waiting for another recipe!)
2 1/2 cups milk
6 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the Cinnamon Streusel Topping:
1/4 cup cold butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
Butter and Maple Syrup, for serving, optional
Preferably in an 8 cup measuring cup with a spout (a bowl works too, but it’s easier to pour into the muffin cups from a large measuring cup) whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.
Grease a 12 cup muffin tin. Add about 1 cup of bread cubes to each muffin cup. It will be heaping full but as the bread absorbs the milk it sinks down into the cup. Start by carefully pouring ¼ cup egg and milk mixture evenly over the bread in each muffin tin. Let the bread soak up the milk for a minute or two, and then press down on the bread cubes a bit and pour more. Pour slowly or you will have a mess. (Trust me, this is the most difficult part of this recipe!) You may not use all of the milk mixture, but continue to add milk until the muffin tins are full of liquid. Again, the bread will absorb most of the milk by the time you bake it. Cover the muffins with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to overnight. Move the tin carefully so as not to spill the milk!
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. To make the cinnamon streusel, in a small bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Mix together with your hands, until you have a crumbly mixture. Remove the muffins from the refrigerator and sprinkle the muffins evenly with the streusel topping.
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Let muffins cool for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and serve with butter and maple syrup, if desired. And a side of Lepp’s double smoked bacon or breakfast sausage certainly wouldn’t hurt!