No deep frying necessary, perfect for French Toast…
When my husband (…and long suffering Guinea Pig) hears pots and pans bashing around in the kitchen or gets a whiff of something cooking he’ll suddenly appear behind me, peering over my shoulder with a look of terrified curiosity as he asks, “Oh God, what are you making now..?” He hasn’t trusted me in the kitchen since the Slow Cooker Chilli Chocolate Chicken incident ten years ago – the memory of which still has us crying tears of laughter (…although at the time the tears had a lot more to do with the 200g of bird eye chilli peppers I chucked in – seeds and all). Nowadays when I tell him what I’m up to he’s more likely to hum and ask when it’s going to be ready than reel in horror, but I still get the odd raised eyebrow and the occasional “YOU’RE FILTH” when I come at him with something excessively gluttonous (like Cream Egg-filled Doughnuts for example…).
To be honest, those are the recipes I get really excited about because they either turn out to be absolutely banging or disastrously bonkers (but a blast to mess around with either way) – and as soon as I decided that I fancied creating a Jam Doughnut-flavoured loaf of bread that would be just perfect for French Toast, I knew it was going to be one of those make it or break it days in the kitchen.
Thankfully, it was a make it day; the loaf came out perfectly and – even better – made my house smell of jam doughnuts. The enriched dough turned out a soft, pillowy loaf (a lot like brioche, but not quite as buttery) with that well-loved sugary, cinnamon seaside doughnut flavour, marbled with slightly sour and sticky raspberry jam. Delicious either warm from the oven with a bit of butter, or toasted for a bit of crunch – it was even better a few days later when it was slightly on the stale side and made some pretty epic French Toast. Filthy, but fabulous. 😉
Jam Doughnut Brioche Loaf
150ml warm milk
2 tsp dried active yeast
4 tbsp caster sugar
2 beaten eggs
50g cooled melted butter
pinch of salt
300g plain flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
340g seedless raspberry jam
In a small bowl, stir together the warm milk, caster sugar and yeast – leaving it for ten minutes for the yeast to activate (you’ll know it’s worked if you get either a foamy surface or can see tiny, pinprick bubbles forming – if not, your milk was either too hot or too cold and you’ll need to start again).
Pour your beaten eggs and cool, melted butter into a large bowl – then add the yeast mixture. Sift in the flour, salt and ground cinnamon, then stir to create a sticky, wet dough.
If you’ve got a bread maker, go ahead and use your dough setting to take the hard work of kneading out – if not, pour the dough onto a floured surface and knead for ten minutes until soft and pliable (it’ll be a sticky, messy affair from start to finish – but persevere and you’ll be rewarded in the end! 🙂 ).Pop the kneaded dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and then leave to prove somewhere warm for an hour.
Once the dough has proved, knock it back and then roll it out into about a 2cm thick rectangle. Spread the surface generously with raspberry jam, then tightly roll it along the long edge (like a Swiss Roll).
Line a 1lb loaf tin with baking paper, then roughly twist your roll of dough and pop it in the tin (tucking the ends underneath – bit like a Babka). Leave to prove somewhere warm for another hour.
Glaze the surface of the loaf with a little milk (or a beaten egg for a glossy, golden finish), then bake for 35 minutes at 180°C.
What do you eat for breakfast on Christmas Day? Well, for starters, is there even time? I mean, do you shove down a couple of slices of toast and a cuppa before the kids come stampeding into the bedroom with their stockings? Do you just skip it and starve yourself knowing that you’ll be cradling a turkey-sized food baby in a few hours time? Or, do you put away the Terry’s Chocolate Orange from the bottom of your stocking whilst parked in front of The Life of Brian… (Knowing that I have no children, which one of these scenarios is moi, d’you think? I’m a very naughty boy girl!)
Well, I’ve got the answer; how about whipping up a batch of “Extra” French Toast the night before? Pop it in the fridge on Christmas Eve and then bake it on Christmas morning while you’re busy unwrapping those presents. Is it “Extra” because it’s made of croissants – and so, extra-French? Is it “Extra” because it’s got a shot of cream liqueur in it? Or, is it “Extra” because it’s definitely a breakfast for this side of Christmas (my husband might or might not have called it a heart attack on a plate when I put it in front of him over the weekend…)? Whatever the reason, it makes a perfect (and easy) treat for Christmas Day. 🙂
Extra French Toast (serves 2)
1 slice of bread cut into stars (optional)
50 ml of cream liqueur (I love Penderyn Distillery’s Merlyn ♡)
1 tsp cinnamon
50g fresh raspberries
50g chocolate chips
a dusting of icing sugar
25g gold crunch (optional)
Roughly chop up your croissants (and bread) and arrange them in an oven proof dish with the raspberries and chocolate chips.
In a jug, whisk together the eggs, milk, cinnamon and cream liqueur and then pour over the croissants. Cover with foil. (If you’re making it the night before, you can whack it in the fridge overnight at this stage).
Set the oven to 180 and bake for 20 minutes with the foil, and 10 minutes without.
Dust with icing sugar and sprinkle over the gold crunch.
What do you like to eat for breakfast on Christmas Day? 🙂
Lazy weekend breakfasts and brunches are THE BEST. I think they’re probably my favourite meal of the week and there’s a good chance that my death row meal of choice would be a big-ass brunch with all the bacon. There’s something extra special about getting up after a long lie in, whacking on the kettle and then whipping something you wouldn’t normally have time to scoff on a weekday morning. I know for a fact that I’ve got some leftover buttermilk in my fridge that’s destined to become a big stack of pancakes tomorrow morning and I CANNOT WAIT. But if you’re in the mood to try something a little different this weekend, here are five lazy brunch recipes fresh from the archives. 🙂
I love French Toast. If you’ve got some stale bread (brioche, even better), milk and a couple of eggs then you’re golden. But, let’s take it up a notch – and this is genius – once you’ve dunked your french toast into the milk and egg mix, try adding a crunchy coating by dunking it into a bowl full of crushed cereal before you fry it! And, bada-bing bada-boom, you’ve got yourself some Battered French Toast. I like to use Frosties, but you could literally use any cereal you fancy. The possibilities are endless.
This is one of my favourites things to have for Brinner (…breakfast for dinner – am I the only one who calls it that?) and I probably cook it at least once every couple of weeks. Obviously the halloumi, potatoes and fried egg are non-negotiable, but as for everything else? Add whatever you fancy or whatever you’ve got hanging about in the back of the fridge. Cherries tomatoes on the turn? Throw them in. Half a red pepper? Be rude not to. Leftover salad? Go for it.
Oh baby. If you’ve ever wondered what might happen if you baked pancake batter instead of frying it, then wonder no more. The result is basically one big, sweet yorkshire pudding. The edges rise and crisp up to create a kind of bowl shape that you can fill with whatever you like.
I call this Hair of the Dog Shakshuka due to the generous glug of vodka stirred into the herby tomato passata that makes up the foundation of this cosy breakfast. There are literally hundreds of ways to make shakshuka, but all of them end with a very runny, very dunk-able egg (or eggs!) swimming in the middle. It’s an easy one pot breakfast to share. Yum!
If you’re not a fan of heavy brunches or putting in some time in the kitchen on the weekend, then this one’s for you. Yoghurt Parfait Pots are basically sweet yoghurt pots topped with fruit and granola. You can whip them up the night before and then just add the toppings before you’re ready to eat them. The perfect breakfast to take back to bed with a massive mug and a magazine. 🙂
I’m a sucker for a bit of French Toast on a Saturday Morning. Simple and satisfying, it’s something I tend to whip up when I fancy eating something a bit special on the weekend, but can’t be bothered to put in the arm work. I like to use brioche bread when I make mine, whisk some cinnamon into the mix and egg mix before I dunk, and then sprinkle with plenty of powdered sugar. Buuuuuut, the classic cinnamon and powdered sugar combo can get a boring after a while. So, if you fancy trying something a bit different, here are four ways to mix things up and make your French Toast a lil’ bit extra.
1. Go Savoury
French Toast doesn’t HAVE to be a sweet thang. Instead of the cinnamon and powdered sugar, mix it up with some paprika, chopped chives and hot sauce instead. There are plenty of toppings you could try with this one; add some bacon, mushrooms, cheese, roasted tomatos… the possibilities are endless.
2. Stuff it/Sandwich it
Instead of just dunking one slice of bread or brioche, why not dunk two at a time with something tasty sandwiched between? Again, the possibilities are endless with this one; I like making a bit of Bakewell Tart flavoured one by sandwiching jam and almond butter together and topping it off with some flaked almonds and dried cherries. You could sandwich them with peanut butter, nutella, or you could even go savoury with cheese. Yum!
3. Batter it
This is genius. Once you’ve dunked your french toast into the milk and egg mix, add a crunchy coating by dunking it in a bowl full of crushed cereal. The result is essentially battered French Toast – how awesome is that? I like to use Frosties, but you could literally use any cereal you fancy. Coco Pops? Go for it. Cheerios? Why the hell not?!
4. Top it
Another really easy way to play around with your French Toast is to top it off with something special. You could use strawberries, or smashed avocado on savoury ones, but personally I love me some grilled peaches, praline and a hefty blob of whipped cream.
What’s your favourite French Toast recipe? Let me know in the comments! Have a fab weekend you guys! 🙂
I like French Toast. Okay, I love French Toast – but I can never be bothered with the frying part. 1, because it’s an extra pan to wash up. 2, because the first batch are cold by the time you’ve fried all the others up. 3, because I’m damned lazy. So I baked it instead, and it came out kind of like French Toast and Bread and Butter Pudding had a baby. 🙂
I used this recipe – but added some chopped walnuts and maple syrup to the mix. I threw it in the oven at 180° for around 20-25 minutes and then drizzled some melted chocolate over the top and a little bit of icing sugar. C’est bon!