1 1/2 cups milk
5 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon cinnamon, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup brown sugar
5 to 6 cups cubed whole grain bread
2 tablespoons butter
4 apples, peeled, cored and sliced 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick
1/4 cup maple syrup
Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Oil or butter an 8 x 8 inch baking dish.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ginger and brown sugar. Add the bread and toss well. Set aside while you cook the apples, stirring once or twice to ensure the liquid soaks into the bread. Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the apples and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes until they begin to soften. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon and stir in maple syrup. Cook another few minutes, allowing the maple syrup to caramelize and coat the apples. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Gently stir the apples into the bread mixture and pour into the prepared baking dish. Bake for about 45 minutes until firm throughout. Serve warm with additional maple syrup if desired.
Tips: This hearty breakfast bake is a great way to use up day-old bread. Avoiding gluten? Just substitute gluten-free bread. Maple-glazed pears or bananas are delicious instead of apples, too!