Saturday, October 1, 2011

Baked Bacon and Eggs French Toast




Saturday and Sunday mornings are just about my favorite times of the week.  They're the only days that I get to sleep in past 5am, that I don't have to get in my car and drive for an hour to get to work, and when I get to eat something more creative for breakfast than oatmeal and protein powder, my weekly breakfast fare.






When I was a kid, we didn't often eat cooked breakfasts during the week, but once in a while my mom would wake up early to make us pancakes or oatmeal loaded with raisins and brown sugar, and we'd all eat together before school.  The house I grew up in in South Carolina didn't have a heating system - just a wood-burning stove for heat - so it was pretty chilly in the bedrooms in the morning.  The scent of what she was cooking wafting down the hallway was a great way to wake us up, propel us out of bed onto the cold floor and get motivated to get dressed for school.

There's something so peaceful about weekend mornings, especially in the fall, where the world seems to slow down a little and take a deep, relaxing breath.  The smell of coffee brewing and the background noise of the Food Network channel, especially if "Brunch with Bobby" is on, is all I need to get motivated to start thinking up something for breakfast.






We had some leftover bread from dinner the night before, so I cut that into cubes and soaked it in a little beaten egg, skim milk, vanilla and cinnamon, then pressed it into ramekins.  A whole cracked egg went on top of the bread and some turkey bacon onto a baking sheet.  Everything can bake together at the same temperature, and then breakfast is served!  A little drizzle of honey took the place of butter and syrup for a healthy alternative.

Cooking eggs whole, whether poached, sunny-side up, or baked in ramekins is one of my favorite ways to eat eggs on the weekends.  Their runny center is as rich as butter, and tastes so good dripping over bread or potatoes.





Baked Bacon and Eggs French Toast 
(serves 2)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons skim milk or low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 2 cups day-old bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • honey for drizzling
  • pinch salt and pepper
  • 4 slices turkey bacon
 Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Spray two ramekins with non-stick baking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 eggs, the milk, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Add the bread and toss until the bread is soaked.  Divide between the two ramekins.  Crack the other two eggs on top of the bread, without breaking the yolks.

Line a baking sheet with foil and lay the bacon on the foil.  Bake the french toast and the bacon for 20 minutes.

Remove the ramekins from the oven, turn the oven to broil, and finish the bacon under the broiler until it's crispy, about 2 minutes.

Sprinkle the eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper, and drizzle the bread with honey (or syrup, if preferred).