I call my French toast Pan Purdue when it’s as delicious as the Pan Purdue at Lucille’s. Especially when I am also drinking the hickory coffee that my loving father sent me from Cafe du Monde. It was all very Creole. Dave doesn’t like chicory coffee, so this all obviously took place when Dave and Luke were in Crested Butte for Fat Bike Worlds. Jack and I treated ourselves (I treated Jack) to a couple yummy breakfasts.
I made this bread the night before from the new cookbook that my sister in law got me for my birthday: Flour Water Salt Yeast. (Thanks Suzanne!). Then I haphazardly threw together eggs, milk, vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. As I was making the egg mixture I was imagining teaching my grandkids how to make French toast, (can’t get my kids interested so I am biding my time) and I imagined myself saying, “Just a hint of nutmeg, it’s the secret ingredient.” But I was paying more attention to my imaginary, loving and attentive grandchildren then to what I was doing and I put more than a hint of nutmeg in. I opened the wrong side of the spice jar, and let’s just go ahead and call it a teaspoon. Maybe two. Regardless, the French toast was delicious.
We had the Pan Purdue on Saturday, and not just because Friday’s breakfast was less than photo perfect. Friday, I made oatmeal blueberry pancakes.
I made a full recipe, and Jack ate everything except these two burnt pancakes. That’s all that was left for me. I need to perfect the recipe before I share, but it’s basically oats, whole wheat flour, and then the usual. I’m so glad I made it when it was just Jack and I because… it doesn’t make that many. They are very hearty, but Jack still said they tasted like an oatmeal cookie. They would probably be good leftover too, but I may never know.
I’m trying to take it easy this holiday season. I am not sending out cards, and I am bought cinnamon bread at Trader Joe’s last week. I thought the Trader Joe’s bread would make delicious French Toast, and I took the easy route with that too. I thought it was amazing. Luke liked it, Jack thought it was bland and too hard to cut. In his defense, I maybe overcooked it, but I like a sturdy toast. We did have another slight problem – we ran out of syrup. The boys all love Log Cabin Syrup, but I keep a secret supply of real maple syrup in case a recipe calls for it, or as a decoy in case someone comes over that may judge me for having Log Cabin instead of the real deal. This came in handy when the Log Cabin well ran dry. Still. This wasn’t one of Jack’s faves.
Baked French Cinnamon Toast
8 slices Trader Joes Cinnamon bread.
1 cup milk
1 T brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 450
Put sheet pan in oven for 5 minutes to preheat.
Mix all the ingredients except for the eggs
Once pan in preheated, spray with non stick spray. Dip bread in the egg mixture and place on sheet. Bake 5-7 minutes per side. Serve with a sprinkle of sugar and syrup and with a side of bacon, fruit, and maybe some yogurt.
I recommend this for a cold morning when you want to spend more time with the crossword puzzle than baking in the kitchen.
My food photography isn’t quite there, but I can’t go wrong with nature photography in my neighborhood. Enjoy this mountain view and use your other senses to imagine french toast casserole. This was a multi-day multi-recipe effort that turned out “OK”. I had read a recipe for Granola Bread in The Breakfast Book that sounded amazing. Day one was to make the unsweetened granola for the bread. This recipe made the world’s saltiest granola. It was unbelievable. Dave said if we added worsteshire it would taste like chex mix “in a good way”. I put the granola away because even though it was salty and weird, “people” were eating it out of the pan. Step two was to make the granola bread. It turned out OK. Nothing to write a cookbook about. It never browned, so I may have over cooked it. It was sort of a beigey gray. The first loaf was eaten quicly, with butter, as toast, and as grilled cheese. But there was the problem of the second loaf. I had planned to make it into french toast casserole from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, but it seemed a little risky to use so-so bread in fancy recipe. But then what to do with the bread? Well, I think french toast was invented to use up old bread so I went with it.
This recipe was one that I should have read and started the night before, but I didn’t. First you toast the bread in the oven with butter and cinnamon and sugar. That was amazing. Then you arrange the bread beautifully in the pan and pour the custard over it and let it sit for some long period of time. I skipped that because I didn’t have time. I did try to arrange it beautifully, but the bread refused. And, I have to say, I halved the custard. I wasn’t emotionally and intellectually committed to this recipe enough to use 6 eggs in it. Long story short, reviews ranged from “yum” to “it was OK.” But it was a big step forward for me because I found myself starting to make another loaf of bread for the French toast so it would be perfect and then I thought, “No, that’s crazy.” I’m sane now, people.
Ok, here is a picture.