Vive la French Toast: 15 Favorite Recipes

Vive la French Toast: 15 Favorite Recipes

There’s nothing quite like a perfectly prepared piece of French toast.  The outside is ever so crisp and the inside is moist and tender.   Ordinary bread suddenly becomes a playground for maple syrup and other toppings. Use extraordinary bread and you’re in for a guaranteed breakfast bonanza.

Here’s 15 of the best French toast recipes on MrBreakfast.com:

Basic French Toast

#1.  Basic French Toast

Everybody needs a good go-to French toast recipe.  This is mine.  The custard that you dip the bread into is a simple combination of milk, beaten eggs, sugar and a hint of salt.  If you’re craving no-frills, classic diner-style French toast, this is a recipe you should try.  Get the recipe here.

Crunchy French Toast

#2. Crunchy French Toast

I can still remember the first time I tried Crunchy French Toast.  It was several years ago at a restaurant in Los Angeles called Fred 62.  I took a bite and was an immediate fan.  A crisp French toast exterior is great.  A crunchy exterior is even greater.  The trick is dragging your bread through crushed corn flakes after you dip it in an egg and milk mixture. Get the recipe here.

Cinnamon Crunch French Toast

#3. Cinnamon Crunch French Toast

Once you try Crunchy French Toast (#2), you might want to explore other ways to achieve a crunchy French Toast exterior.  In this recipe, the crushed corn flakes from the previous recipe are replaced with crushed Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal.  Get the recipe here.

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How to Make A Basic Breakfast Strata

Basic Breakfast Strata

A breakfast strata is just a breakfast casserole with layered ingredients.  It’s best when you assemble it the night before and refrigerate it overnight.  The next morning: pop it in the oven, take a shower, watch a little George Stephanopoulos* and then… wham, bam, thank you ma’am… breakfast is ready.

Think of a simple farmhouse breakfast of sausage, toast and cheesy eggs with onions and peppers.  Now, imagine what it would be like to have all those wonderful flavors mingled together in a single, delicious bite.  That’s a breakfast strata.

This recipe features one of the non-glamorous superstars of breakfast… day-old bread.  You probably already know that day-old bread makes the best French toast.  It’s a little dry so it retains its structure but it’s also thirsty to absorb the egg, milk and other good stuff that make up French toast.  It’s the key to French toast that’s firm but pleasantly moist inside.   The same principal works for a strata.  After we assemble our strata (which includes slices of bread), we drown it in a French toast-like egg and milk mixture.

This dish elicited enthusiastic comments from the people I tested it on.  My Italian friend Pete said, “Dude, this is great. Is it cool if I get some more?”  My fiance Kellie said, “Tell me about this.  What’s in here? I’m gonna have another piece.”

Nobody is 100% sure who coined the the phrase “leave ‘em wanting more.” It was likely either Walt Disney or P.T. Barnum.  Whoever it was, let’s just assume they were talking about a good Breakfast Strata.

Ingredients For Basic Breakfast Strata

Let’s assemble a strata…

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How To Make Excellent French Toast

The best French toast is golden brown on the outside with an inside that’s soft and tender, moist but not wet.  The flavor should enhance the bread you decide to use. Any spices or added flavoring should be subtle yet noticeable.  French toast should be a welcoming platform for syrup or other toppings, as if to say, “Hello maple syrup.  I’ve been waiting for you.  I’m your soul mate.”

Basic French Toast Done Right

The following article should give you everything you need to know to make successful French toast every time.

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How To Make Donuts In The Microwave

How To Make Donuts In The Microwave

If you’ve been on social media in the last year, you’ve probably encountered enticing, single-serving, microwave recipes for brownies, cakes and other desserts. They usually look amazing and always promise to be fast and easy.  I went to baking school, but I still became temporarily obsessed with the idea of making my favorite desserts in minutes in the microwave.  I tried several of the recipes and they we’re mostly satisfactory, if not stellar.

Throughout this quick-fix phase, I pondered how I could make a satisfying donut in the microwave.  I tweaked and tested recipes until I came up with a microwave cake that tasted similar to a chocolate cake donut.  Coming up with the recipe was the easy part.  Making a donut out of it was another matter.

I played with thicker batters piped in the shape of donuts.  That didn’t work.  The batter fused together in what was supposed to be the hole.  Plus, the cake was too dry from having to add extra flour.  I knew I had to find a way to stick to the recipe I liked, yet still create a donut shape.

Having no luck, I decided to drink my troubles away.  I was pouring bourbon into a shot glass to make a Manhattan.  The answer was in my hand.  I took the shot glass and rested it in a glass cereal bowl.   There it was… a donut mold.

I whipped up another batch of the cake batter, greased my makeshift mold and gave it a try.  It worked!  I realized on subsequent attempts that works best if the shot glass is right-side-up in the bowl with the smallest part of the glass touching the bowl.

Holding A Microwave Donut

In a reality, these donuts are just cakes in funny shapes.  But isn’t that what donuts are?  They need icing to make them really feel like donuts.  Without icing, they look kind of like sad, little, porous Bundt cakes.  But once you add icing, you get the donut experience.  At least, you get the best donut experience you can get in a couple of minutes from your microwave.

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Bacon Cheddar Oatmeal?

Bacon Cheddar Steel-Cut Oatmeal With Fried Egg

The idea of savory oatmeal might sound weird to people used to sweetened packets of oatmeal or simple Old Fashioned oats with brown sugar, etc.  If done wrong, savory oatmeal is weird.  If you use the right oats and treat them like rice or other grains associated with savory dishes, the result is pretty cool.

This post started when I tested a recipe submitted to the site called Billbo’s Cheddar Oatmeal.  It received a handful of positive comments and I wanted to try it for myself.

Ingredients For Cheddar Oatmeal

The ingredients were super simple: Old Fashioned oats, milk, cheese and sugar.   It’s a microwave recipe that takes only 2 minutes.

Cheddar Oatmeal

The recipe worked and I understood why some people liked it.  Unfortunately, I personally didn’t like it that much.  My mental association of Old Fashioned oats with sweet ingredients is very strong and it took a few spoonfuls to accept that I was eating something savory.

As I was trying it, my overriding thought was that it would be better with steel-cut oats. Steel-cut oats have a firmer, rice-like texture. That kind of texture makes more sense in a savoy dish than the mushy texture you get from Old Fashioned or quick cooking oats.

From experience, I know that steel-cut oatmeal always benefits from the savory flavors of butter and salt. It seemed totally feasibly that they would get along with cheese.

I also thought… as I always do… that the dish would be better with bacon… which everything always is.

So I set out to experiment with steel-cut oats, hoping to achieve something that would transcend oatmeal as we commonly know it.

Ingredients For Bacon Cheddar Oatmeal

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Bailey’s Irish Coffee Donuts

Bailey's Irish Cream Donuts

This donut was a huge success last St. Patrick’s Day.  All year whenever I told friends I was thinking of making donuts, they’d say, “You should make the ones you made for St. Patrick’s Day again.”

This recipe uses my proven, kitchen-tested, yeast-raised donut base (which you can use for a multitude of different donuts).  The topping is a chocolatey, coffee-infused mocha icing and the filling is a vanilla buttercream that’s been transformed into a taste of the Emerald Isle by a shot of Irish coffee liqueur.

Irish Cofee Donuts

There’s an old Irish proverb that says, “Hunger is a tasty topping.”  That may be true, but I think you’ll prefer this mocha icing.

Bailey's Irish Cream Donuts

To Make The Yeast-Raised Donuts:

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A Week Of Oatmeal And Smoothies

A big part of my job as Mr Breakfast is testing recipes that people have submitted to the site over the years.  I love it, but I often find my diet confined to 4 major food groups: eggs, cheese, pancakes and bacon.

Every now and then, I need to hit the reset button on my nutritional intake.  As a rule, I try to squeeze a healthy breakfast of whole grains and fruit between each indulgent breakfast.  But sometimes you’ll read a post here about donuts. That usually means I had a few consecutive mornings of overindulgence.  Such was the case recently.

To get back on track, I spent last week having a different kind of oatmeal and smoothie every morning.  I chose 14 recipes from the site that I’d hadn’t tested yet.  I tried to create a menu with a wide range of flavors so the week would be exciting and fun (words not always associated with oatmeal).

A Week Of Oatmeal And Smoothies

It was a great week. I was reminded that oatmeal doesn’t need to be boring or routine.   My beliefs about smoothies being amazing… totally reaffirmed.  Who doesn’t love a recipe whose only instructions are to throw everything in a blender.  I feel energized, a little leaner and ready to take on the deliciously difficult task of having to eat omelets and pancakes this week.

Take a look at my menu.  Hopefully, you’ll find a recipe or two you might like to try.

 

Monday

Key Lime Pie Oatmeal

Key Lime Pie Oatmeal – This steel-cut oatmeal dish tastes a lot like key lime pie because it contains many of the same ingredients including fresh lime juice and crumbled graham cracker.

Honey Banana Breakfast Shake

Honey Banana Breakfast Shake – This is a very basic fruit smoothie featuring bananas, strawberries and noticeable notes of honey.

 

Tuesday

Brian's Banana Oatmeal

Banana Honey Flax Oatmeal – This recipe uses Old Fashioned oats and gets its flavor from bananas and honey with a nutrition boost from ground flax seeds.

Choco-Peanut Banana Shake

Choco-Peanut Banana Shake – Three great tastes that taste great together!  This smoothie contains peanut butter and cocoa powder. The flavor might remind you of a shake you’d have for dessert.  Wheat germ adds extra nutrition.

 

Wednesday

Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Oatmeal

Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Oatmeal – A couple of tablespoons of Nutella adds chocolate flavor to these Old Fashioned oats.  A few chocolate chips add even more!

Cinnamon Smoothie

Cinnamon Smoothie – This smoothie has a little of everything: banana, raspberries, blueberries, orange juice, vanilla, etc.  A pinch of cinnamon gives this one an almost candy-like essence.

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Strawberry Valentine’s Day Donuts

Strawberry Valentine's Day Donuts

This year’s featured Valentine’s Day recipe is for heart-shaped, yeast-raised donuts with strawberry buttercream filling and vanilla icing.  The secret ingredient is… as usual… love.  I decorated some with sprinkles and others with a decorative pink icing that I made by simply combining the leftover filling with the leftover icing.

I won’t sugar coat it.  Raised donuts take time.  All together, you’re into it for at least 3 hours, probably 4.  Much of that is just waiting for dough to rise, but you can’t really hurry the process.  Don’t be fooled by TV shows like “Donut Showdown” where gourmet filled donuts are made in under an hour.

If you have the time, these donuts are actually fun to make – especially during the decorating phase.  If you have someone special to make them with, all the better.  For as great as they are to make, they’re 1,000 times more fun to eat.  Let’s get to work…

Strawberry Buttercream Donut

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