French toast is a great way to use up bread that’s past its prime – it makes a regular appearance in your breakfast nook. When I want to fancy it up a bit, I stuff it – with cream cheese and jam, or ham and brie. Last week I made peanut butter and jam sandwiches – the boys’ favourite – keeping the bottom crust intact, then dipped the stuffed crusty bread in beaten egg and milk and cooked it like I would any other French toast. It was a hit.
Think beyond regular white bread when you’re making French toast – sourdough, multigrain, challah, and raisin bread are all delicious. Whichever bread you choose, it should be at least a day old – fresh bread tends to turn mushy.
Slice it into sandwiches, without cutting through the bottom crust – this will keep your sandwiches from sliding around and falling apart as they cook in the skillet. Experiment with fillings beyond PB & J – cream cheese or soft goat cheese and fruit preserves or jam is pretty divine, too.
PB & J Stuffed French Toast
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
a day old loaf
jam or jelly (your choice)
nonstick spray, oil or butter, for cooking
In a shallow bowl, stir the eggs and milk together with a fork. Slice the bread all the way through, then 1/4″-1/2″ further, slice almost all the way through (keep the bottom crust intact), then make another slice all the way through – you should have a pocket, like a sandwich that’s still joined at the bottom.
Spread peanut butter and jam inside each pocket. Set a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add a small amount of butter or oil and swirl the pan to coat it, or spray it with nonstick spray. Dip each sandwich in the egg mixture, coating both sides well and letting it soak in. Pick up the slices, let the excess egg drip off, and place them in the hot pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon if you like.
Cook the French toast until it’s golden on both sides, about 2 minutes on the first side and 1 minute on the second, flipping them as necessary. Serve immediately, or keep them warm in a 200° F oven while you cook the rest.