I believe in lazy post-holiday mornings, especially when that morning has a scary name like Black Friday. There’s no gadget or gizmo in the world that’s worth stepping out into all that hassle today, imo. And whether you were host or guest last night, I think this Pumpkin French Toast is a fitting way to kick off the next phase of holiday ‘fun’. You’re going to need your strength, people.
Great French toast begins with great bread. Don’t use the pre-sliced stuff, get yourself some good bakery bread. I used whole wheat, but so many types work well. Brioche is a classic. For one thing, you want to be able to slice it nice and thick. It can be fresh, or ‘day old’, it doesn’t matter.
This is the ideal holiday weekend breakfast because you can slice the bread and whisk together the batter the night before. You can then wake up to a pretty luxurious breakfast with hardly any effort. Just soak the bread in the batter, and grill away.
This is the first French toast recipe I’ve posted on the blog, I guess I’m not that big of a fan. When it’s made with white bread it seems pasty to me. It’s either too thin, or it’s overwhelmingly thick. It’s often served showered in powdered sugar which makes it too sweet, and it just doesn’t feel like breakfast to me. My version solves a few of these problems. The whole wheat bread is sliced just right, and the whole grain plus the pumpkin puree gives it a little substance. This French toast feels like real food. It’s wonderful.
French toast is actually a bread pudding that’s cooked on the stove instead of baked in the oven. Ideally it should be a little bit crisp on the outside, and creamy (but hot and cooked through) on the inside. I purposely don’t make the batter very sweet because the maple syrup takes care of that. If you don’t use syrup, consider adding a little more sugar to the recipe.
Soak the bread for a minute on each side so it can absorb the rich batter, and make sure your griddle is buttered and hot so you will get a nice golden color on the outside. I lower the heat after the initial browning so the inside of the toast can cook through.
- I loaf whole wheat (or brioche) bread, thickly sliced
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup half and half
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp molasses
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
- 1/4 tsp each: cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves
- butter for the skillet
- Whisk the eggs, half and half, molasses, pumpkin, and spices together in a wide shallow bowl. A pie plate works well. Make sure the eggs are completely broken up and combined well.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat and melt a pat of butter in the pan.
- Soak the bread, one at a time, in the pumpkin batter. Each side should soak for about 30 seconds to a minute. Let any excess drip off before adding to the hot skillet. You should hear a gentle sizzle when the bread hits the pan.
- Let cook until browned on each side. If your bread is very thick, you may want to lower the heat so the insides can cook without excess browning.
- Serve hot with butter and maple syrup.
So maybe those guys who camped out all night on the sidewalk got a cheap ipad mini, but they sure didn’t get this for breakfast.