What is French Toast and where did it get its name? I’m sure just about everyone has had French Toast sometime or other, it is after all a popular breakfast food and is featured on many restaurants’ breakfast menus. But I everyone knows its origins or how it got its name.
Some version of this popular breakfast fare has been around for centuries. Yes I said centuries. And why not? All French Toast is bread that’s been soaked in a milk and egg mixture and then fried. We know that milk and eggs have been a food staple through out most of civilization.
According to Apicius a collection of recipes from the 5th. Century AD the dish we know as French Toast was around during the Roman Empire. Their version called Pan Dulcis, was bread soaked in a milk mixture then fried in oil or butter. In the court English of Henry V during the 15th. Century “Pain Perdu” was all the rage. The name which was in French literally means “lost bread” because it calls for soaking hard or stale bread in a milk and egg mixture then frying it. The French still call it Pain Perdu to this day.
So how did it come to be called French Toast in America when clearly it didn’t originate in France? Well legend has it that a New York innkeeper named Joseph French created the dish in 1724 and sold it as French Toast. It’s believed he meant to call it French’s Toast but he was grammatically inept and forgot the apostrophe.
Whatever you call it and whatever its origins French Toast is delicious and actually very simple to make. Of course there are now different versions of this simple dish including IHOP’s Stuffed French Toast and Denny’s Fabulous French Toast. I actually make Creme Brulee French toast on Christmas mornings!
I look at French Toast as a blank canvas. You can have it just with syrup and butter, and that’s delicious! Or you can embellish it with fruit, whipped cream, jam, nutella, or whatever else you can think of. But before you can embellish you’ll need the basic recipe. I prefer to use day old french bread, but really you can use whatever bread you have on hand. But do try to avoid using freshly baked bread as it tends to be too soft and will fall apart when soaked in the liquid mixture. Once you’ve got the basics you can add toppings or even add ingredients to the batter. So here’s the basic recipe!
Basic French Toast
6-8 slices of day old French Bread or whatever bread you have on hand
1/2 Cup Milk
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 Tsp. Vanilla
Butter for frying and for topping
Fruits, jams, whipped cream, etc. for toppings (optional)
Beat Eggs, Milk, and Sugar together until well combined.
Stir in vanilla.
Melt a pat of batter in a skillet.
Dip both sides of bread slice in egg mixture until soaked.
Lift bread out of liquid and let excess liquid drain off.
Place soaked bread in skillet and cook until first side starts to brown.
Flip over and cook other side until brown.
Place in serving dish and serve immediately.
Serve with butter and syrup or whatever topping you like.
Waking up to the aroma of freshly baked Cinnamon Rolls is one of life’s simple pleasures. It’s a sure way to get everyone out of bed and onto the breakfast table.
But who has the time to wake up at the crack of dawn to start a batch of dough? Not me that’s for sure! But I do love my cinnamon rolls so I found a way to make them fresh without all the work. Really! These cinnamon rolls are super easy to make, it uses frozen bread dough! Now how cool is that?
You can take them out the night before and let them rise in the fridge. In the morning you just have to put them in a pan, brush them with cinnamon butter (I use the Chef Shamy spread you can buy at Costco) and pop them in the oven. In a very short time your house will smell like cinnamon!
I like to either glaze each roll with a thin glaze or if I have the ingredients make a cream cheese icing for them.
Here’s the recipe!
24 frozen bread roll dough
Chef Shamy Honey Butter Cinnamon & Brown Sugar Flavor
1 Stick butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed), 1 Tbs. Ground Cinnamon – mixed together to make a paste
1 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
2 Tbs. Milk
1 Tsp. Vanilla
Place frozen dough rolls on a parchment covered tray, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in the refrigerator overnight.
Roll 2 rolls together to form a ball and cut 4 slits from top to bottom, but don’t cut all the way thru.
Place this into a greased muffin tin. Repeat with the rest of the dough. You will have 12 rolls.
Spread the Butter Paste on top of the rolls and also in between the slits. It’s best to do this with clean hands so you can get the paste deep into the slits.
Cover with plastic wrap that has been lightly sprayed with baking oil.
Let the dough rise until it’s double in size.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Remove plastic wrap and place risen rolls in the oven and bake about 15 minutes.
Gently remove from muffin tins and brush the tops with glaze or icing.
Mix glaze ingredients together until sugar is dissolved. Glaze will be slightly thicker but not icing consistency. Spread this on warm rolls before serving.
If you prefer ice with your favorite cream cheese icing.
Serve warm and don’t forget to brew some coffee!
You’re probably wondering what in the world Dalgona Coffee is. Basically it’s whipped coffee which you can serve hot or cold. I prefer it cold topped with whipped cream!
I know topping whipped coffee with whipped cream seems, well, over the top. But I love my iced coffee sweet and the whipped cream adds that extra sweetness my sweet tooth craves.
Aside from feeding my caffeine and sugar addiction Dalgona Coffee gives me a good reason to put my handheld immersion blender to good use. I’d gotten one for Christmas a few years ago and seldom get to use it, that’s probably because I forgot I had one.
Anyway if you don’t have an immersion blender you can use a hand mixer or whip it the gold old fashioned way with a whisk. Just be prepared to whisk for about 20 minutes or so to get a really good consistency. Or you could order your immersion blender from amazon by simply clicking here!
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In case you’re wondering Dalgona Coffee is a Korean Beverage which is named after a Korean sugar sweet. Most Dalgona Coffee doesn’t contain dalgona its name is derived from.
Dalgona Coffee became an internet sensation due to the Coronavirus Pandemic this year. People worldwide who are locked down (that’s like most of the world) posted videos and pictures of themselves on Social Media making this frothy concoction by hand. It probably also gave them their caffeine fix when running out to the neighborhood Starbucks or cafe isn’t an option due to strict lock down rules.
Anyway here’s the recipe:
3 Tbs. Instant Coffee Powder
3 Tbs. Sugar
2 Tbs. Water
Place coffee powder and sugar together in a small bowl.
Add water and mix vigorously with a whisk or if you prefer an immersion blender or handheld mixer.
Mix until fluffy .
Add ice cubes to your glass and pour enough milk until the glass is 3/4 full.
Top with the whipped coffee. And if you want sprinkle with cocoa powder, cinnamon, or top with whipped cream.
Serve chilled. Before you drink it mix the whipped coffee into the milk. This is super yummy!