fresh ricotta french toast bake with no cook strawberry compote

by Chen

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I was in bay area last weekend (no particular reason, just homesick) and brought some SF sourdough to LA.

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One key to good french toast lies in the bread. Some people like the french toast made with soft white bread, some prefer buttery and eggy brioche or challah, and, of course, there is a group for the rustic and wholesome types. My favorite, regardless of the purpose, is always hearty sourdough–the rich flavor, the dense and moist texture, and the chewy crust. Further enhanced by sweet and creamy ricotta and in-season strawberries, it makes this recipe a no-fail.

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fresh ricotta french toast bake with no cook strawberry compote
Makes 4 servings

For the toast:
4 thick slices of nice & sturdy bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (I used multigrain sourdough)
3 eggs
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt

For the strawberry compote:
a big handful of strawberries, quartered
1 tsp honey
1 tsp balsamic vinegar (optional but great)

Combine all the ingredients for the compote in a bowl and chill until ready to serve.

Arrange the bread cubes in a lightly greased 8*8 baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, ricotta, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt together until smooth. Pour the egg mixture over the bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, preheat the oven to 350F. Uncover the baking dish and bake until the center is set and the top turns golden brown, about 40 minutes. Serve warm with strawberry compote.

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