A while back, C and I were watching ‘Throw-down’ with host Bobby Flay and the challenge was stuffed french toast. His challenger made a delectable strawberry-guava stuffed french toast, encrusted with corn flakes and almond slivers… looked mouth-watering delicious… I wanted it, well, we both did. That recipe can be found here.
After months of deliberation, finally attempted to make stuffed french toast, but a simpler version w/o all the bells and whistles.
Starting off with the bread. Decided to go with Challah bread, aka ‘egg bread’, because you want to use a rich and fluffy bread to help absorb the egg/ flavors. I only made one loaf this time, just to try the recipe.
- 3/4 cup and 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 2 eggs (1 for egg-wash)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1-1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- Optional: 1/2 cup raisins (soak for about 10 minutes in warm water before adding to bread)
1) In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over barely warm water and let proof for 10 minutes. Beat in honey, oil, 1 egg, and salt. Add the flour one cup at a time, beating after each addition, graduating to kneading with hands as dough thickens and then add raisins. Knead until smooth and elastic and no longer sticky, adding flour as needed. Cover with a damp clean cloth and let rise for 1 1/2 hours or until dough has doubled in bulk.
2) Punch down risen dough and turn out onto floured board. Knead for about five minutes, adding flour as needed to keep from getting sticky… I didn’t want to add anymore flour at this point, b/c I thought it might dry it out. Divide each half into thirds and roll into long snake about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Pinch the ends of the three snakes together firmly and braid from middle. (Either leave as straight braid or form into a round braided loaf by bringing ends together, curving braid into a circle, pinch ends together) Grease baking tray or line tray with parchment paper and place finished braid or round on it. Cover with damp towel and let rise about one hour.
3) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Beat remaining egg and brush a generous amount over braid. Don’t worry if the loaf looks small before baking, it’ll puff up quite a bit in the oven. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Bread should sound hollow when thumped on the bottom. Cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing.
Lovin’ this bread… almost reminds me of those raisin bread loafs that you can buy from asian bakeries. Really soft/fluffy, flavor isn’t too rich, and it’s perfect for French toast (or to eat alone!).
Strawberry-Guava Stuffed French Toast
1) Cut bread into about 1 inch slices. With a paring knife, make an incision in the slice, creating a pocket. I found it easiest to make the incision on the top of the slice, rather than the bottom.
2) Next up, cream cheese filling: beat 3 tbsp jam of your choice with 1/4 cup cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. I used strawberry-guava jam that we brought back from Hawaii.
3) Alright, now open your bread pocket and scoop about 2 tbsp filling inside (or as much as you want), making sure to spread evenly. Careful not to overfill! Set aside.
4) Lastly, the egg mixture. Beat together: 2 eggs, 1/2 cup milk, and 1/4 tsp cinnamon. At this point, you can preheat your pan. I like to add a little dab of margarine on the pan to help the bread brown up. Dunk the stuffed bread into the egg mixture and let it soak for about 5 seconds on each side. Transfer soaked bread to pan and cook until brown on both sides. (Give the egg mixture a swirl before dunking each piece of bread to redistribute the cinnamon)
5) Top with icing sugar and you’re ready to eat!
All I can say is yummmmmm… you can never go wrong with warm, oozing, flavored cream cheese!
One piece doesn’t look like much, but trust me, it’s actually really filling… Must be the combo of egg and cheese. The only thing I thought it was missing was some fruit purée drizzled over top… Shall do that next time… Maybe try another flavored jam too or even fresh fruit.