Several months ago I received a recipe for baked French toast from a reader in Minneapolis. I loved the method so much that I immediately started working on a more healthful version to make for my own family. Baking French toast is so much easier and less messy than cooking it in a skillet or on a griddle.

I have added dark brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon to this recipe, which makes the toast so sweet and flavorful that you won't even want to pour syrup on top of it. In fact, it is so good plain that it is my son's favorite sweet treat in brown-bag lunches.Each serving contains approximately 136 calories; 45 mg cholesterol; 2 gm fat; 201 mg sodium.- Jeanne Jones is a consultant on menu planning, recipes and new-product development for major hotels and spas. She is also the author of 18 cookbooks.

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Baked French Toast

10 slices whole-wheat bread

1 1/2 cups (12-ounce can) evaporated skim milk

2 whole eggs plus 4 egg whites, or 1 cup liquid egg substitute

1/3 cup dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Lightly coat 9x13x2 pan with a non-stick vegetable spray. Arrange bread slices in bottom of pan.

Combine all remaining ingredients and mix well using a whisk or egg beater. Pour mixture evenly over bread. Cover tightly and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

To bake, preheat oven to 350 F. Remove bread from refrigerator and spray lightly with non-stick vegetable spray. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until lightly browned.

Makes 10 servings.