One of the first things I remember my Mom teaching me how to do for myself involving the stove was a bona fide French toast breakfast. Other than scrambled eggs (which I was never fond of, unless packed with cheese and black pepper), the preparation of the eggy pan-fried bread was least likely to suffer with my exuberant stirring of batter or if I got too happy with the spatula playing "chef". French toast was always - always - on thick-cut cinnamon raisin bread from the grocery store, which for a storebought, mass processed loaf was (and is) surprisingly unlike typical "Wonder Bread". For one thing, the bread was not just "white with a hint of spice and occasional raisin" - no. This bread (which I would have linked to if it existed on the website!) was packed with raisins and the cinnamon was stong enough to be present without causing second-degree burns. Left out overnight, or the end crusts remaining in the freezer after the middle slices were gone, it was prime for soaking up egg and milk goodness.
These days we do still buy cinnamon raisin bread on occasion, but my sister (the #1 consumer) prefers whole wheat loaves so we pick a different brand. But the true favourite now is homemade. When I make raisin bread for Teaghan, French toast consumption in the mornings increases exponentially, and I've seen my mom grabbing a slice to two on the fly for a morning snack. Over time I've customized the bread recipe even more to pack in as much raisiny goodness as possible and maintain a "toaster friendly" crumb (and yes, a recipe is forthcoming), and is delicious enough on it's own with a dab of butter or peanut butter. Since my recipe is still more moist and tender than the packaged loaves, even after being frozen (we freeze all our bread), we found that we could achieve prime French toast-age by lightly toasting it first.
As for the buttermilk inclusion, the last time I made buttermilk biscuits, I added leftover buttermilk to the eggs instead of our standard 1% and was blown away by how well it worked. The tangy flavour was there, but not overpowering, and added a richness to the vanilla and cinnamon custard both soaked into the toast and as the "chef's treat" bits made from left overs (see the recipe below for more on that). It's important to mix the vanilla, cinnamon and brown sugar together first before adding the milk and eggs, since the alcohol in the vanilla keeps the fine particles of spice in suspension instead of floating up to the surface. In terms of the sugar, sis likes just plain old dark brown best, but if you love maple or the rich molasses flavour of Demerara, use that. Of course, for calorie / sugar hawks out there, you could use stevia, but this is so far removed from "diet food" I don't know why you'd bother. I just wouldn't suggest anything too coarse, since then it won't dissolve.
Even though it's not a breakfast for the calorie, carb and fat watchers, it's still a wholesome concoction. Firstly, it uses whole eggs - the lecithin in the yolk keeps the cholesterol from solidifying in your bloodstream and provides carotenoids, essential fatty acids, the vitamins A, E, D, K, thiamin, B6, folate, panthothenic acid and B12, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and zinc (amongst other things). The bread is both homemade and 100% wholegrain, without preservatives or "weird stuff", and the buttermilk has probiotics as well as that great flavour profile. For families with kids, it's a great way to celebrate #SundaySupper by getting the Kids in the Kitchen and teaching them a basic life skill. Who knows, the next Iron Chef might be right at your elbow!
Here are the rest of the delicious, kid-friendly #SundaySupper offerings from around the web (hosted this week by Brenda of Meal Planning Magic):
Start your day:
- Panko Encrusted French Toast Sticks ~Doggie At the Dinner Table
- Pineapple Not-Upside Down Muffins ~In the Kitchen with Audrey
- Bacon, Egg & Sausage Breakfast Cups ~Daily Dish Recipes
- Buttermilk French Toast with Homemade Cinnamon – Raisin Bread ~What Smells So Good
- Snack Attack: 3 Healthy Choices for Little Nibblers ~Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Fruit Salad in an Orange Cup ~Mama’s Blissful Bites
- Whole-wheat Pretzel Dogs ~Family Spice
- Poblano Mac ‘N Cheese ~Juanita’s Cocina
- Coconut Chicken and Shrimp ~Super for a Steal
- Lunie and Mini-me’s Grilled Pizza ~Cravings of a Lunatic
- Hedgehog Meatballs and Chili Dog Pie ~Cooking by the Seat of our Pants
- Walking Tostada ~Shockingly Delicious
- Mini Sausage Rolls ~Small Wallet Big Appetite
- Mini Corn Dog Muffins ~In The Kitchen With KP
- Mexican Black Bean & Quinoa Burgers with Homemade Guacamole ~Cupcakes and Kale Chips
- Threaded Spaghetti Hot Dog Bites ~Damn Delicious
- Golden Potato Patties ~My Trials in the Kitchen
- Grilled Chicken Wings in Sesame Flavors ~The Queen’s Notebook
- Spaghetti Tacos ~Girlichef
- Parmesan Corn on the Cob ~Home Cooking Memories
- Yum Yum Salmon ~Family Foodie
- Pad Thai ~Meal Planning Magic
- Chicken Tortilla Bake ~Mrs. Mama Hen
- Chocolate Slab ~Happy Baking Days
- Chocolate Chip Cut-Out Cookies ~Chocolate Moosey
- Self-Crust Coconut Pie ~Magnolia Days
- Fresh Cherry Clafoutis ~The Meltaways
- Wolf’s Wonderful Peanut Butter-Brownie Fudge Sundaes ~The Weekend Gourmet
- Cookies and Cream Ice Cream ~The Messy Baker Blog
- Healthy Creamy Caramel Apple Parfaits with Greek Yogurt ~Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
- Chocolate and Salted Caramel Pudding Pops ~Hezzi-D’s Cooks and Books
- Chocolate Cheese Turnover ~Basic and Delicious
- Chocotorta Vintage Kitchen Notes
- Oatmeal and M&M Cookies ~That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Purple Blueberry Cake ~Tora’s Real Food
- Tropical Popsicles ~Pippi’s in the Kitchen Again
- Carrot Cupcakes ~Diabetic Foodie
I'm also sending this to next week's edition of YeastSpotting at Wild Yeast and BYOB - Bake Your Own Bread (July '12).
Buttermilk French Toast with Homemade Cinnamon - Raisin Bread
Serves two (kiddo and parent, perhaps?)
4 thick slices whole grain cinnamon raisin bread (something like Sister's Sweet Cinnamon - Swirl Bread or my 12 - Grain Raisin Bread with Double - Cinnamon Swirl is ideal)
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 - 1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk (or 2 tbsp low-fat plain yogurt + 3 tbsp 1% milk)
2 tbsp salted butter, for cooking
- On the lowest setting of your toaster, toast the slices of bread until just slightly "blonde" in colour and dry on the surface. Set aside.
- In a shallow dish, whisk together the vanilla, cinnamon and brown sugar to evenly distribute the cinnamon.
- Add the buttermilk and eggs and whisk to combine.
- Place a large frying pan (we use non-stick but cast iron would be awesome) over medium heat and add 1 tbsp of the butter.
- Two slices at a time, dip the toasted bread into the egg mixture and allow them to soak about 30 seconds on each side.
- When the pan is hot, add the soaked slices and cook for 5 minutes per side.
- Repeat with remaining bread, egg mixture and butter.
- For a chef's treat (which was my favourite part growing up) pour the leftover egg mixture into the pan and cook until crispy on the bottom and set on the top like an omelette. Serve alongside the French toast (with Blueberry Butter or maple syrup, of course!).
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 639.3Total Fat: 35.8 g
Cholesterol: 455.4 mg
Sodium: 292.7 mg
Total Carbs: 62.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.4 gProtein: 22.7 g