Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Breakfast for Dinner - Best Ever French Toast

Ah, breakfast for dinner. It's always been a favorite. We don't do it too often around the Obi house because it usually entails a lot of carbs, but, hey, if you're going to do it, you may as well do it right.

In the tiny hamlet of Ellinger, Texas, there's a rural store/bakery called Hruska's where you can get some of the best kolaches and pigs in a blanket in Texas.
If you're scratching your head, wondering what a kolache is, it's a type of pastry that originated in central Europe. It holds a dollop of fruit, rimmed by a puffy pillow of supple dough.
To see one, click on the word kolache and it will take you to a picture.

But because Hruska's is a bakery, they also have everything from cookies to fresh-baked bread. And on a recent stop, I happened to spy a loaf of cinnamon-raisin bread. It was thick sliced with just the right amount of cinnamon and raisins.
And all I could think of was French toast.

When making French toast, this is your starting point. The bread.
I've made French toast with a variety of different breads, everything from plain old thin slice white bread (not the best candidate) to Texas toast (better) to wheat bread (not a fan) to Brioche (good, because it's a little more dense). And that was one of the things I liked about this cinnamon-raisin bread, it leaned toward the dense side.

After the bread, you will need eggs, half-and-half or milk, then vanilla or salt, depending on what type of bread you are using. Since this was a sweet bread, I added just a pinch of salt, but no vanilla. If I'm using a white bread, I would add a splash or two of vanilla, maybe even some cinnamon. And how many eggs you use depends on how many slices you'll be cooking.
I held off on mixing this right away because I needed to get my skillet ready. I used cast iron, but you use whatever you like and add a tablespoon or two (or three) of REAL butter and melt over medium to medium high heat. Yes, real butter makes a difference. Margarine can leave the outside soggy instead of crisp.
Now I mix up my custard.
And dip/soak my bread.
If you're using a thinner bread, you dip. But when I'm using something that's more dense, I will set it in there for a minute or so, flip it over and leave the other side in a minute or two to give the custard a chance to soak in some. Which I why I started with four eggs for five slices of bread.

Then the dipped/soaked bread goes into the skillet with the melted butter.
Let that cook until the bottom is golden brown, then flip.
If your heat is too high, it will brown the outside too quickly. You don't want the heat so high that the butter turns brown before you add the bread.
When both sides are brown, remove from pan.
And I highly recommend serving immediately so it's not only hot, but nice and crisp. You can sprinkle the tops with powdered sugar or drizzle it with syrup. I prefer syrup, but I put it on the side so my toast keeps that little bit of crunch.
Now that is one yummy dinner.

Funny thing about that cinnamon-raisin bread. It was perfect for French toast, but when I toasted a slice and spread it with a little bit of butter, I wasn't so impressed. I think it was because it was so thick, because I love the thinner cinnamon-raisin breads toasted.
Go figure.

Now it's your turn.
What's your favorite breakfast for dinner meal?

Mindy Obenhaus lives in Texas with her husband and kids. She's passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her grandchildren. Learn more at www.MindyObenhaus.com.


  1. I love French toast! I'm pretty sure I've done this before with cinnamon raisin bread. But mine was not bakery bread. This would be heavenly!

    1. It was heavenly, Missy. I'm ready to have it again.

  2. Those kolaches look like Sister Shubert's rolls with the centers pulled out. LOL

    1. They're quite a bit larger than Sister Schubert's (love those), though. And they have so many different flavors. Makes it difficult to decide what to get.

  3. I love French Toast.... I make it often for the kids, and a nice, thick cinnamon bread is perfect. They tend to like theirs lighter so I use baking spray on my big griddle and heat it up. It grills it nicely but not crispy.... and some of my littles like to "roll" their French Toast around butter and powdered sugar.... and then just eat it.

    I love French Toast, Mindy! And I love this reminder to use the thick, denser bread. Perfect.

    And one day we made French toast using split Hawaiian rolls because I was out of bread... They were AMAZING. Honestly so delicious, and it was a fun and enjoyable experiment that we've repeated often!

    1. Ruthy, your little people know a good thing when they see it. I mean, how could you possibly go wrong with butter and powdered sugar?
      You know, I never even thought of the Hawaiian rolls. I bet that was good. Ooo...could you just imagine those in a bread pudding? Oh my.

  4. Now I'm hungry for French Toast!!!

    That cinnamon-raisin bread looks delicious. :) Is Erlinger in the Texas Hill Country? That area is my favorite part of Texas, and that's saying a lot!

    My favorite bread for French Toast is Challah. Dense, sweet, flavorful...yum!

    1. Jan, whenever I look at these pictures, I want to make this all over again. And you know what? I have never had Challah bread. Heard of it, never had it. Something I must amend.

      Ellinger is south east of Austin, so no, not the hill country. It's not far from the ranch, though, so that's a bonus.

  5. Mindy, I've bought a loaf of cinnamon bread from the store to make French toast with...it's SO yummy!!! I add a splash of vanilla extract (the real stuff) and a sprinkle of cinnamon to my egg mixture to give it a boost of extra flavor.

    My favorite breakfast for dinner meal is making my homemade pancakes, sausage patties or bacon, and eggs. For my guys (son & husband), that would be eggs over-easy and scrambled for me. Barring pancakes, I LOVE roast beef hash too!

    Now you've made me seriously hungry!! :-)

    1. Trixi, some of my fondest memories as a kid was breakfast for dinner on a Saturday night. Mom made pancakes and sausage, then served it with this chili sauce our neighbor canned every year. I sure wish I had that recipe. There was something about the chili sauce with the sausage that made it extra special. Hmm... time to go check my mom's recipe file.

  6. I LOVE breakfast for dinner (my fav) and I've always wanted to try cinnamon raisin bread French Toast.

    So this is WIN-WIN.

    Thanks, Mindy!