Sunday, February 17, 2013

French Toast For Breakfast... or Dinner

I really love breakfast foods.  However, sometimes it's too early in the morning for me to want heavy or savory things, and of course most mornings I don't have time to prepare breakfast meals.  It's most likely that I eat yogurt and granola, a bowl of fruit or oatmeal, or an english muffin with a fried egg.  So I love breakfast for dinner! I have more time to prepare and I am more in the state of mind for a heartier meal.

The only problem is that my husband is reluctant about the concept of breakfast for dinner, or at least he once was.  When we would discuss what we should have for dinner I would throw out ideas, and we would go back and forth talking through our options. Then when I would suggest breakfast for dinner he would say, "oh...really? breakfast for dinner?"  I saw this becoming a trend and so I asked him what his hang up was with breakfast for dinner.  Direct communication is always the best. (Just a little free therapeutic advice I thought I'd throw in).  He said, "I guess it's just hard to think of breakfast...for DINNER".  This didn't dissuade me.  Finally we uncovered that it was the meat category.  His favorite part of breakfast for dinner was meat: bacon, sausage, country ham, etc. and yet sometimes we would have a meatless breakfast for dinner.  So I made him a promise that I would try to always serve meat when we have breakfast for dinner. And he committed to being open to breakfast for dinner.  It was win-win.

For our Breakfast for Dinner Menu we usually have:
something bready: biscuits, muffins, toast, waffles, scones, pancakes or french toast;
and something eggy: poached eggs, scrambled or fried eggs, a strata or such;
some fruit...cause we love fruit;
coffee and juice (sometimes icy orange juice if the kids get their wish);
and MEAT: bacon usually, but sometimes sausage, country ham, or sometimes we'll put some deli turkey that we have for sandwiches on the griddle and warm it up.

One of my favorite breakfast foods is french toast.  The best french toast from a restaurant, in my book, is at the Pancake Pantry.  We went there for my birthday last week.  It is incredible...though it should be since they charge $9 for a plate of it. (I could serve my entire family french toast for less than that)!

I was trying to decide what makes it so super great and I really think there are a few keys, starting with thick Italian bread slices. The cinnamon and powdered sugar on top and the whipped salted butter are definitely part of what makes it special.  (Oh and that amazing cinnamon cream syrup with the pancake syrup poured together on top are an amazing aspect as well).

My favorite recipe that I have found is in The Best Recipe. (I talked about this cookbook HERE). They give a scientific explanation for the egg-to-milk ratio needed to create the perfect french toast depending on the type of bread being used.  It is a great recipe and has been my go-to for years.

French Toast (adapted from The Best Recipe)
1 large egg
1 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
8-12 slices firm, day-old European-style bread, such as French or Italian, 3/4 inch thick
Butter to grease skillet

Heat 10 to 12-inch skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile beat egg lightly in shallow pan or pie plate; whisk in milk and vanilla, and then sugar, flour, and salt, continuing to whisk until smooth.


Soak bread without over-saturating, about 30 seconds per side. Pick up bread and allow excess batter to drip off; repeat with remaining slices.

Swirl 1 Tbsp of butter in hot skillet. Transfer prepared bread to skillet.

Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes on first side and about 1 minute on the other side.

(Continue adding 1 tablespoon of butter to skillet for each new batch.)

Sprinkle with cinnamon and powdered sugar.

Serve immediately with butter and syrup. 

So whether for breakfast or dinner, or lunch for that matter, I recommend you try this french toast recipe, pronto!


  1. happy birthday! I went to the pancake pantry once on a road trip through nashville. I think i had the sweet potato pancakes if I remember correctly. French toast isn't my favorite (give my pancakes anyday!) except if I'm on Amtrak. :) My first trip on Amtrak was my first time to ever have it. I think I was ten. So it's a nostalgic thing for me.

  2. Yum! My dad is an amazing cook but breakfast is his specialty. Frankie's Breakfast Wagon only comes around when the whole family is together for holidays but that makes the meals so much tastier! Last Christmas he did a french toast assortment using croissants, crusty French bread, challah bread, and Italian bread. Happy times at the Lofaro home in the mornings.

  3. Hi Julie,

    I doubt you will remember me, but I went to Belmont with you and happened across your blog and recognized you. I'm Mary Kelso now, Mary Jo Troyer back then and we were in an English class together.

    What a treat to see your smile again and as this is a blog and it is about French Toast, not Belmont or me, I will comment for real and say...I LOVE breakfast for dinner and our family had French Toast for dinner just last week. I also love to bake bread and I baked a loaf with cinnamon and nutmeg in the batter specifically to make French Toast with. I so enjoy playing in the kitchen. Good to see you!