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Upside-Down Orange French Toast

Skill: Beginning Prep Time: 20 Bake Time: 30 Servings: 8


1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon (plus extra for sprinkling)
1/2 cup chopped pecans, or medium pecan pieces
2 Tbs orange zest
8 slices of Rhodes White bread cut 3/4" to 1" thick (about 1 full loaf)
6 eggs
1 cup orange juice
1 Tbs orange extract
1/2 tsp salt


Melt the butter and pour it into the bottom of a 9x13" pan. Combine the sugar, cinnamon, pecans and orange zest in a bowl. Sprinkle it on top of the melted butter.
Lay 8 slices of Rhodes bread, cut into 3/4-inch to 1-inch thick slices, on top of the cinnamon-sugar mixture.  
Combine eggs, orange juice, orange extract, and salt into a bowl.  Whisk well, then pour the egg mixture on top of and around all the pieces of bread.
Sprinkle everything with some extra cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.  Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 to 45 minutes or as long as it takes to puff up and a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  Scoop the slices of french toast individually out of the pan and immediately invert each piece onto a plate, so the bottom is now right-side up.  Serve plain or with a light drizzle of syrup.