Tag Archives: french toast

Friday Favorites: Weekend Breakfast

I have always been a sucker for weekend breakfasts, and that goes double now that brunch in public is a high-risk activity. I wake up on Saturday mornings excited to ransack my pantry and fridge to see what I can slap together and enjoy in my pajamas in front of the TV. Whether I’m making eggs on toast with a big side salad, or something extra-carby like waffles or biscuits, this ritual is an act of self-care that sets the tone for my weekend. In COVID times, this is about as luxurious as things get around here.

Below are a dozen fourteen of my favorite weekend breakfast items from the archives. Please believe me when I tell you that this *is* the narrowed down version of the list. I just really like breakfast, y’all.

Friday Favorites: Weekend BreakfastPuff Pancake {Dutch Baby}

My mom made Puff Pancakes for my sister and me when we were growing up, and they are still my favorite weekend breakfast of all time. You wouldn’t know it by their golden bowl shape or custardy centers, but these oven pancakes are absurdly easy to make and require just five ingredients. The best part? You can easily customize them for one serving or up to four.

Friday Favorites: Weekend BreakfastButtermilk Pancakes

Oh man, I am so proud of these fluffy, buttery pancakes. I made many, many test batches as the beginning of quarantine to get them juuuust right. I am here to tell you that I succeeded.

Friday Favorites: Weekend BreakfastWhole Wheat Pancakes for One

Are you a single human like me? Or maybe someone who hates sharing? Well then, this recipe for exactly three pancakes is for you! I have a regular all-purpose flour version too, so take your pick.

Friday Favorites: Weekend BreakfastSour Cream Waffles

These are the best waffles I’ve ever had, period. They’re fluffy, crispy and oh-so easy (no whipped egg whites!). Make a double batch and keep some in your freezer. You won’t regret it.

Friday Favorites: Weekend BreakfastOatmeal Waffles {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

All that said, I posted these Oatmeal Waffles a few weeks ago and am crazy about them! From the blender batter to their crispy exteriors to the fact that they’re vegan and gluten-free, these are a win all around.

Friday Favorites: Weekend BreakfastOvernight Yeast-Raised Doughnuts

I won’t lie to you, yeast-raised doughnuts are a “project” breakfast, but they’re well worth the effort and forethought. Also, do you see that glossy chocolate dip? Because that should be all the convincing you need.

Friday Favorites: Weekend BreakfastPineapple Kolaches

Kolaches are a variety of Czech pastry that is very popular in my home state of Texas. I’ve got many varieties in my archives, but this jammy pineapple version is calling my name right now.

Friday Favorites: Weekend BreakfastCream Biscuit Pecan Sticky Buns

These are sticky buns made simpler. Where sweet rolls are traditionally made with yeast doughs, these buns rely on my trusty Cream Biscuit dough. Oh, and a lake of sticky pecan stuff.

Friday Favorites: Weekend BreakfastBrown Butter Nutella Swirl Muffins

I posted these muffins right before lockdown began, so they understandably got a little lost in the mix, but they are *really* good and you need to know about them. I mean, they’re made with brown butter and swirled with Nutella, so how could they be anything but wonderful?

Friday Favorites: Weekend BreakfastBaguette French Toast

I know this recipe has baguette in the title, but please know that you can make it with any good crusty bread you like. This is just a really solid basic French toast recipe–we all need one in our culinary arsenal.

Friday Favorites: Weekend BreakfastButtermilk Biscuits & Chocolate Gravy

My grandmother used to make biscuits & chocolate gravy for us on Sunday mornings. Her recipes died with her, but mine is pretty dang close to the real deal. Sweet, savory and deeply southern, this is one of my favorite things.

Friday Favorites: Weekend BreakfastBacon, Cheddar & Scallion Scones

These savory scones are great any time of day, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t suggest you use them to make an egg and tomato sandwich for breakfast tomorrow.

Friday Favorites: Weekend BreakfastFriday Favorites: Weekend BreakfastHow to Make Eggs 5 Ways

And speaking of eggs, my first post of 2020 detailed how to make eggs five ways: scrambled, poached, fried, hard-boiled and soft-boiled. If you can master these, you can put an egg on toast or dang near anything else.

Friday Favorites: Weekend BreakfastMason Jar Cold Brew Coffee

For me, no breakfast (weekend, weekday, whatever) is complete without a small bucket of coffee. This small batch cold brew is a summer staple for me, and far more manageable than most of the methods out there. Just shake it together at night and swap the mason jar lid for cheesecloth in the morning. Perfect cold brew every time.

Have you made any of these or any of my other weekend breakfasts? Let me know in the comments or on social media!

Friday Favorites: Weekend BreakfastFriday Favorites: Weekend Breakfast

Baguette French Toast

Baguette French ToastThe great thing about classic dishes is that there are a million ways to make them. Take Chocolate Chip Cookies for instance: whether you like them soft and chewy, thin and crispy, with chocolate chips, with chocolate chunks, more brown sugar, more granulated sugar, etc., there’s a recipe out there to suit your preferences. The same rings true for just about any dish you can think of, really–no matter what you like, I guarantee there is someone else out there who feels the same way. While I like to think this blog is full of the “best” ways to make 200+ recipes, it’s really just a bunch of things made exactly the way I like them.

Baguette French ToastToday, let’s talk about French Toast, that classic dish made by dipping day-old bread in custard, frying it up, and serving it with maple syrup. The concept is simple, but there are endless ways to make it. Whether you like your French toast thin, thick, with just a whisper of custard, soaked with custard, fried, baked, stuffed, baked and stuffed, on the sweet side, with more of a savory note, or any other way, know that a recipe exists that suits your needs.

Baguette French ToastBaguette French ToastWhile I don’t think I’ve ever turned up my nose at any variety of French Toast, right now I’m into Baguette French Toast. My particular recipe was born of necessity on the last morning of my trip to Maine–we had two kinds of bread leftover, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to make this custard-dipped syrup-smothered dish with whole wheat sandwich bread. Thick-cut white bread or bust, am I right?!

Baguette French ToastBaguette French ToastMy Baguette French Toast (or Pain Perdu, if you’re feeling kicky) is made with thick slices of day-old baguette. You want each piece to be somewhere between 1- and 1 1/2-inches thick; I can get about 20 slices out of a baguette. The advantage to using thick slices of slightly-stale crusty bread is that they can soak up a lot of custard without getting mushy and weird. This French toast has all the fluffy texture your (or uh, my) little heart desires, but also stays fully intact.

Baguette French ToastLet’s talk about the custard. While the (very good) French toast of my childhood was soaked in just eggs and milk, as an adult, I like mine to have a little more panache. I add cinnamon, a bit of sugar, salt, and vanilla to my custard, and while none of the flavors are particularly strong, they all work to make this breakfast treat taste balanced and delicious.

Baguette French ToastA word on mixing. There is nothing I dislike more than finding unadulterated bits of egg yolk or white on my French toast. To keep this from happening, I like to mix the cinnamon, sugar, salt, and vanilla into the eggs before adding the milk. This ensures a smooth, homogeneous custard.

Baguette French ToastBaguette French ToastI soak the baguette slices in the custard for about two minutes per side before frying them in a combination of butter and oil. Yes, butter and oil. Why? Because I want the flavor of butter and the smoke point of canola oil. If I used only butter, I’d run the very real risk that it would burn, and if I used only oil, I’d miss out on flavor. By using a combination, I get plenty of flavor and crispy edges.

Baguette French ToastBaguette French ToastBaguette French ToastAs far as service goes, it’s up to you. I like the usual maple syrup, but I also heartily endorse sifting confectioners sugar over the top. Dot it all with fresh fruit, if you feel so inclined. However you choose to serve Baguette French Toast, know that you and your guests are in for a treat.Baguette French Toast

Baguette French Toast
makes 4-5 servings

1 day-old baguette* (about 11-13 ounces)
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup whole milk
1-2 tablespoons butter, for cooking
1-2 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil, for cooking (I like canola)

For Serving:
seasonal fruit
pure maple syrup
confectioner’s sugar

Use a serrated knife to remove the very ends of the baguette. Slice into 1-1.5 inch slices (about 20 slices). Set aside.

Make the custard. In a small-medium mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and cinnamon until smooth. Whisk in sugar, salt, and vanilla, followed by whole milk. Pour mixture into a shallow dish.

Soak about 8-10 baguette slices in the custard for 2 minutes per side.

Heat 1 tablespoon each of butter and oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Place baguette slices in the skillet. Let cook until a golden brown crust forms, about 2-3 minutes. Flip baguette slices and cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove French toast to a plate.

Repeat soaking and cooking processes until all slices of baguette have been used. Add more butter and oil to the pan, as necessary.

Divide French toast over 4-5 plates. Top with seasonal fruit, maple syrup, and confectioner’s sugar, as desired. Serve immediately.

Note:

Don’t have a baguette? Use 8 slices of thick-cut challah, brioche, or soft Italian bread instead.

Baguette French Toast

Overnight Raspberry Cheesecake-Stuffed French Toast Bake

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who love leftovers, and those who hate them.

I am the former, though I haven’t always been. I was raised by someone who will eat cold anything out of a Tupperware while checking phone messages, and that grosses me out completely. I am wary of leftover spaghetti to this day. But I love leftovers that can be repurposed: roast chicken or vegetables, a spare slice of cooked bacon, some extra marinara. I can use those to make soup or quiche or lasagna! It’s like hitting the kitchen lottery.

Imagine my surprise when I was gifted two artisan loaves of bread last week, one challah, one a rustic country bread. They were given to me at a ritual Friday night dinner by my friend, Phil, who, ironically, doesn’t eat gluten. He had stopped at a nearby bakery and coffee shop to get a little pick-me-up on the way to dinner. They were about to close for the night and were trying to get rid of any loaves they hadn’t sold that day. Being the great friend he is, he grabbed two and gave them to me 😊

By the time I got home from dinner Friday night, I had already decided to make some baked french toast. It’s a simple, sweet brunch dish that’s absolutely perfect for a crowd. Instead of flipping individual pieces, all the bread is placed in a baking dish and soaked with custard for several hours. All that’s left to do is bake it up, slice, and serve with maple syrup. And while that is great by itself, why not turn up the flavor a little by stuffing it all with a cheesecake filling and raspberries?!

If you’ve ever made baked french toast, you know that day-old bread is the way to go. Since it’s all dried out, it soaks up a ton of custard, and after a good half-day or so, bakes up to be absolutely divine.

This recipe requires one whole loaf of day-old challah. Italian or French bread would work, too; use something that has a tight structure and isn’t too crusty. Don’t go for regular sliced bread though–it will get too soft and goopy from soaking. Slice the bread in 3/4″ slices, and lay half of them in a buttered baking dish. Fill in any gaps by cutting other slices into smaller pieces and squishing them into the empty spaces. The bottom of the dish doesn’t have to be completely covered, but you shouldn’t have any large gaps. Cover that layer of bread with a simple custard mixture of eggs, whole milk, vanilla, granulated and brown sugars, cinnamon, and salt.

 Then comes the best part: the cheesecake filling and raspberries! To make the cheesecake mixture, cream an 8-ounce brick of softened cream cheese with an egg yolk. Mix in a little confectioner’s sugar and vanilla, and you’re ready to spread! Spoon the filling over the top of the soaking bread, and use a silicone spatula or offset knife to spread it all the way to the edges of the dish. Top that with a cup of raspberries–fresh or frozen work just fine. Then top the filling with another layer of bread slices and the rest of the custard. Wrap the pan tightly with plastic wrap and foil, pressing down to encourage the bread to soak up the custard.

Then just stick the pan in the refrigerator for 8-24 hours. The longer it sits, the better it gets. The french toast pictured was refrigerated for 20 hours, and was super smooth and rich 😊 Assemble it the night before you want to serve it, and it’ll be ready to go by morning!

 
 When it’s time to bake, take the pan out of the fridge to warm up a bit. While the oven is preheating, make a quick streusel. Mix together some flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt, and then use a pastry blender or two forks to cut in four tablespoons of cold butter. Sprinkle the streusel over the top of the bread, and put it all in the oven for 30-35 minutes, until it starts to puff and is golden brown. Let it sit ten minutes before serving with maple syrup, a dusting of confectioner’s sugar, and more raspberries!

This Overnight Raspberry Cheesecake-Stuffed French Toast Bake is a divine sweet brunch. The streusel gets golden and crunchy, the french toast itself is super rich and soft, and the center is bursting with raspberries and cheesecake! The tang of the cream cheese and the tartness of the berries contrasts beautifully with the creamy, cinnamon-scented layers of french toast. And best of all, it’s easy! Make this baked french toast for your next big weekend brunch!

 Overnight Raspberry Cheesecake-Stuffed French Toast Bake
makes one 9×9″ pan, 9-12 servings

Cheesecake Filling:
8-ounces full-fat brick-style cream cheese
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

French Toast:
butter, for greasing the pan
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 loaf day-old challah, French, or Italian bread, sliced in 3/4″-1″ slices
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

Streusel:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup light or dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold

For Serving:
maple syrup
confectioner’s sugar
raspberries

Make the cheesecake filling. In a medium mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat cream cheese until fluffy, about one minute. Beat in egg yolk, followed by confectioner’s sugar and vanilla. Set aside.

Grease a 9×9″ inch pan with butter. Set aside.

Make the custard. In a small mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until combined and a bit frothy. Whisk in milk, followed by vanilla. Stir in sugars until well-distributed. Whisk in cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

Place slices of bread in the bottom of the prepared pan. Fill in any gaps by using small pieces. Pour half the custard mixture over the slices, coaxing it with a spoon so there aren’t any large dry spots. Drop spoonfuls of the cheesecake filling over the soaking bread. Spread it to the edges of the pan, covering the bread completely. Scatter raspberries over the cheesecake layer. Top with the rest of the sliced bread, and fill in the gaps accordingly. Pour the remainder of the custard mixture over the top layer of bread, using a spoon to make sure everything is saturated. Press plastic wrap onto the top layer of bread, followed by a layer of aluminum foil. Set an empty pan of the same size (or slightly smaller) on top of the foil. Press down lightly. Place filled, covered pan (with the second pan on top), in the refrigerator for 8-24 hours to chill.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Remove the pan from the refrigerator, and uncover it.

Make the streusel. Stir together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Use a pastry blender, two forks, or clean, cool fingertips to cut the cold butter into the flour mixture, until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. Scatter the streusel over the top of the French toast. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden and starting to puff up.

Let cool for ten minutes before slicing and serving with maple syrup, confectioner’s sugar, and additional raspberries, if desired.

Overnight Cheesecake-Stuffed Raspberry French Toast Bake