Instant breakfast: three ways to stay out of the kitchen Christmas morning.

Ah, Christmas! The day so many of us have been preparing for lo, these many weeks. Now, believe it or not, it’s just 7 days away.

Do YOU have your Christmas breakfast strategy planned yet?

I mean, we’re talking a Big Issue here: how to enjoy Christmas with your family – the tree, the music, the kids’ explosive excitement – and still ensure everyone gets something yummy in the tummy before happy turns to cranky (as it’s wont to do, when breakfast is late).

Cornflakes? Too commonplace. An elaborate sitdown? Itchy kids can’t sit.

The solution? Make ahead, bake in the morning.

OK, time out. Before I go any further here, I want to tell you that for the moment, I’m separating the religious holiday from the secular celebration. I know that there are some of you feeling the need to challenge me for A) mentioning Christmas, thereby being too religious; or B) not focusing on the religious aspects of the Christmas celebration.

Personally, I’m a Catholic and I celebrate Christmas at church. Also with Santa Claus and his elves. And family and friends. I celebrate Christmas on many levels, all of them important.

Here’s my take on it: religion is personal. I’d no more try to influence how you celebrate (or not celebrate) Christmas than I’d tell you whom to marry, or give you advice on raising your kids. To each his own.

That said, I WOULD advise you on this: breakfast. I can tell you what’s tasty, warm, upscale enough for a celebration, and EASY.

Praline French Toast.

Sausage Cheese Biscuits.

Cinnamon-Streusel Coffeecake.

Want my advice? Read on…

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What’s your favorite flavor? We have 21 of these Lorann extra-strong flavors online, ranging from apple to vanilla-butternut, with plenty of interesting choices in between. (Let’s hear it for blackberry, and peach, and pistachio, and creamy hazelnut, and… root beer?)

If you don’t have a particular favorite for French toast – ours are shown above – just use vanilla instead.

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REAL Vermont maple syrup lends wonderful flavor. Especially extra-strong Grade B, great for baking.

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Now, pick what bread you’d like to use. Leftover/stale bread works well here; kids may prefer softer, sandwich-type bread, which will make softer, smoother French toast. Adults seem to prefer denser bread, bread with more body. Like the loaf above: No-Knead Crusty White Bread.

You’ll want to slice the bread 1/2” thick. It helps if all the pieces are the same thickness, so slice carefully. Cut enough slices to snugly line the bottom of a 9” x 13” pan. Set them aside while you make the syrup and custard.

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OK, let’s dive in. Hopefully NOT into this hot syrup. As always, when working with hot sugar, please do so without kids, cats, dogs, or anything else underfoot.

Melt 1/2 cup butter in a saucepan, and stir in 1 cup brown sugar and 2 tablespoons honey, maple syrup, or corn syrup. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, cooking until the sugar melts.

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Pour the glaze into your lightly greased 9” x 13” pan, spreading it to the corners. I’m using stoneware here; it makes a nicer presentation at the breakfast table.

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Lay the slices of bread in the pan, atop the glaze.

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Use a fat loaf of Italian bread for larger servings…

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…or baguettes for smaller servings.

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See how these slices are all the same height? “Measure twice, cut once,” right?

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To make the custard, whisk together 1 1/2 cups whipping cream, half and half, or milk; and 5 large eggs.

Add 1/2 teaspoon flavor: pralines & cream, eggnog, vanilla-butternut, Amaretto, or your choice; OR 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.

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Whisk thoroughly.

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Pour it over the bread in the pan…

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…pressing the bread down into the custard.

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Within minutes, the bread will start to absorb the custard.

Cover the pan with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

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Next morning, the bread will be soaked, and the custard level way down; that’s fine.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F.

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Make the topping by stirring together 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Sprinkle it evenly over the bread.

This makes a very sweet French toast. Cut the amount of topping in half, if you like. Or sprinkle with simple cinnamon-sugar. Or even just cinnamon; leaving the bread naked is kind of gloomy looking, so DO sprinkle it with something, OK?

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Like this.

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Bake the French toast for 40 to 45 minutes.

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The filling will be bubbly, and the top very lightly browned.

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See that syrup underneath?

Let it rest for about 15 minutes before serving, to give the syrup a chance to thicken a bit.

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If you’re totally on the ball, you will have made your bacon as the French toast was baking. I like to lay bacon on parchment on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake it right along with the French toast, in the oven. Bacon bakes beautifully: flat, golden brown, and straight. And the parchment makes cleanup a snap.

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Baked French toast, bacon… easy, tasty, FAST.

The slice above wasn’t flipped over, but simply had some of the syrup in the pan spooned over the top.

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And here’s what it looks like in a different incarnation: with the bread diced, instead of sliced (as though you were making bread pudding) and served right side up, without flipping to reveal the syrup.

Now, if French toast doesn’t float your boat…

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…how about taking a break from sweets, and enjoying something savory? Our Sausage Cheese Biscuits are easily made ahead…

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…and frozen.

When you’re ready for breakfast, remove the biscuits from the freezer, put them on a pan…

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…brush with cream…

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…and bake, fresh and hot for your early-morning Christmas breakfast. Being frozen, the biscuits will need several additional minutes of baking time beyond what the recipe indicates.

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The siren song of melting cheeeeeese… who can resist?

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And finally, for you coffeecake fans – our Guaranteed Cinnamon Streusel Coffeecake translates very nicely to “make now, bake later.”

Prepare it for baking the night before, cover with plastic, and refrigerate. I’ve baked it in two 9” round pans, rather than a 9” x 13”, because I wanted to serve it in a bit fancier form than the usual slab o’ cake.

So, take your biscuit cutter, cut a round…

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…and lift it out. It’ll probably come with the cutter, though you should support the bottom with your fingers so it doesn’t fall onto the counter in an explosion of crumbs.

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Leftover crumbs? Baker’s treat!

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Awwww, isn’t that cute?

Merry Christmas to all. And to all…

…a good bite!

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. Anne

    I have tried to bake bacon in the past, but it has never turned out as beautifully as yours! What is your secret? How long do you cook it, and does your oven end up a greasy mess?

    I will definitely be trying your bake ahead french toast. I usually get up at around 5 am Christmas morning to have breakfast made because we don’t let our kids open presents until they eat (something we discovered the hard way!!). I hope that this will solve my problems!

    Thanks for yet another wonderful idea!

    Hi Anne – I lay it flat on a parchment-covered half-sheet pan, and bake it at 350°F for about 30 minutes. Don’t overlap the pieces; for a pound of thin-sliced bacon, you’d need two pans. For thick-sliced, one pan will do. Hope your French toast turns out just the way you like it – and bacon, too! PJH

    Reply
  2. Monica H

    That coffee cake round is so cute! Of course I’m drooling over that french toast and biscuits. Can’t I have them all?!

    Merry Christmas to you all at KAF!

    Sure, Monica, go for it – a Christmas breakfast buffet. Hope you have lots of hungry guests! Or Santa makes his last stop at your house… PJH

    Reply
  3. Barb

    Great news about the bacon-I have used a broiler pan lined with tinfoil, still a mess on the grate, even tried lining it with tinfoil and making slits in it. Parchment paper, pan, got it. Thanks. Appreciated your comments about the many ways we celebrate Christmas, good thing we practice multi-tasking all year! Merry Christmas-

    Reply
  4. Angela

    Your french toast recipe is very similar to one I have in a Gourmet cookbook only without the topping (may have to try that variation!), it is my family’s favorite Christmas morning breakfast, it looks fancier than traditional french toast, is easy to throw in the oven that morning (who wants to get up early on Christmas?), and is oh so good! I will have to try your sausage biscuits though, they look very comforting on snowy mornings!

    I also wanted to thank you for your wonderful blog. I was new to it this time last year and now I have to visit it at least 2-3 times a week to see what you guys have been baking. You have been the source of inspiration for countless baking weekends and evenings, thank you so much, keep up the great work!

    Thanks so much for joining in the fun here, Angela. And for taking the time to post your comments. Bake on! PJH

    Reply
  5. Lish

    If I didn’t already have breakfast planned, these would surely be on the menu. I think the make ahead french toast will be New Year’s breakfast, with the eggnog flavoring. Yummy! I have already made and frozen a French Pork Pie, which will be served with eggs, toast made from homemade pain de mie, and that awesome cranberry cake you blogged about for Thanksgiving, my Dad’s new favorite cake. Easy quick and all made ahead, except the eggs, but I make my husband cook those. Can’t wait to spend the holidays with family friends and good food. Happy Holidays to all KAF , you guys rock!

    What a great time of the year, eh, Lish? Family, friends, food. Are we lucky, or what? Enjoy- PJH

    Reply
  6. SoupAddict Karen

    Now that is some french toast. I’m going to order the Pralines & Cream flavoring, mm mmm. I wonder if that would work with Challah, or if it would be too sweet. I do loves me some Challah. This would be a lovely Christmas breakfast, but I think I’ll save it for New Year’s morning, with a side of baked savory bacon and some mimosas!

    Now there’s a thought, Karen – the New Year’s breakfast. Wait’ll you see my New Year’s Eve pizza – mmmm-MMMM! And New Year’s Day – well, I’ll keep you in suspense for now… HA! As for the pralines & cream flavor, never fear – it’s not sweet in and of itself. It’s just a flavor (and a yummy one at that…) PJH

    Reply
  7. Amy

    Just when I thought I knew what I was making for Christmas breakfast (Almond Puff Loaf), you go and put more ideas in my head. The Praline French Toast looks great alongside the bacon. Too few guests to make both recipes. Decisions, decisions.

    So many recipes, so little time… :) PJH

    Reply
  8. Sue

    These all look just great and I’m keeping these in mind for the future.
    I logged on just now to let you know that I made the Cinnamon Egg Nog Scones you blogged about in November and they are FANTASTIC, even though I soaked my Cinnamon Flav-R-Bits a bit too long. Mine aren’t as pretty as yours because of that, but they taste great. I only baked a couple of them and the rest are nestled in the freezer ready to bake on Christmas morning!!

    Good show, Sue – Christmas morning breakfast ready to roll! Er, already rolled, ready to bake! :) PJH

    Reply
  9. k8

    I’m super-tempted by the french toast recipe, but it’s going to need to be a day other than Christmas. Our Christmas morning breakfast tradition is to eat Christmas cookies. That won’t be changing any time soon. But I’ll definitely need to try all of these. And making the french toast with challah sounds wonderful!

    Likin’ your style… :) PJH

    Reply
  10. Sharryn

    PJ, would the Fiori di Sicilia be a good option for either the french toast or the coffeecake? I do not have any of the other flavors yet. Thanks, and Merry Christmas to everyone at KA!

    Yes, absolutely, Sharryn – Fiori has that lovely citrus-vanilla taste, very nice in breakfast-type dishes. Happy holidays! PJH

    Reply
  11. Marianna

    French toast bread pudding style and baked bacon for Christmas morning-I have found my blliss!! This looks absolutely delicious and I won’t have a big kitchen clean up before I have to get Christmas dinner in the oven. Thank you PJ!!! I always bake my bacon. I find it comes out much better than on the stove top and it makes for a much easier clean up afterwards. I tend to put it on a foil lined tray but i am definitely going to try parchment this time. Between all the great recipes I have gotten here and ALL the great products I have purchase through your catalogue, I am expecting to hear a commercial voice over that morning saying “Christmas, brought to you by the folks at King Arthur…” LOL

    Reply
  12. cindy leigh

    PJ, I’m coming to YOUR house for Christmas breakfast! I think I need a second oven. I’ve been making egg strata, baked stuffed french toast, posh potatoes, and sausage ring (all make-ahead) for so many years, that when I tried to do something else, my kids had a fit. BUT I could MAYBE squeeze one more pan in the oven for that amazing looking french toast!
    I have an oven that also has a refrigerator mode, so I make all those things the night before, load the stove, and program it to refrigerate overnight and then shift into bake mode in the early morning. We wake up to that terrific aroma, and I don’t have to get up earlier than everyone else to make it happen.
    I hope you have a wonderful holiday. Many thanks to everyone at KAF for great products, great service, and this terrific blog.
    Merry Chritmas!

    Reply
  13. Erin in PA

    I shared a similar recipe for the French Toast earlier in the year and I wanted to comment to Sharryn and SoupAddict Karen – when I make this I almost always use Challah bread (usually the No-Knead version from the Artisan Bread in Five book) and I LOVE using Fiori di Scillia in this recipe – usually a 1/2 tsp and a splash of orange juice or Grand Marnier as well.

    Happy Holidays to everyone at King Arthur Flour – I cannot say enough good things about the company and the products!! I found this blog about a year ago, and I can definitely say that my baking has improved by reading this blog. My husband says he is spoiled by homemade bread (thanks Pain de Mie pan!) and goodies (thanks PJ and gals for great recipes!)
    Have a great holiday Erin! Trust us, you all who read the blog definitely make our days bright. THANK YOU! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  14. Kimberly D

    Merry Christmas to everyone at KAF and a Happy New Year! You all have made this year a sweet year and what a great end to it with all three of these recipes. Oh I think I will take my order now and say I will have some of all 3…lol! I love the bacon baked in the oven, for I never tried it and will. Also the sausage, cheese biscuits made and froze is wonderful idea for just two people, can grab a few and bake them any time, eat them on the go or with a side of eggs. How could you make it a bacon, cheese biscuit? Any difference with the time in baking them?
    Hi Kimberly,
    Sure, you can exchange the sausage for bacon. No changes in the recipe needed. And YES, they are perfect with a side of eggs, and cheesy grits. Oh yeah! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  15. megan

    I’m new to your blog here, but I’ve made many KAF recipes in the past! I have a whole bread category on my blog, most of which came from you guys. All have been a success! :)

    These look amazing.I really want to make the sausage cheese biscuit, but I am at the mercy of my mother-in-law’s traditions :) , so maybe I’ll do it for new year’s instead!
    Hi Megan,
    I’ve checked out your blog in the past, it’s a lot of fun. Thanks for stoppin’ by and sharing. You can definitely make the sausage biscuits any time. I’m thinking they might make a great breakfast for tomorrow when it’s well below zero here. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  16. Jean

    Echoing Angela’s comment — this blog rocks! You’re responsible for the renewal of my passion for baking (and for my need to get out of the kitchen to exercise some of these incredible treats off my derriere). These treats look wonderful! Finally, worthy alternates to our traditional bagels and smoked salmon… heck, maybe we’ll make them additions instead of alternatives. Happy holidays to you all!
    Thanks Jean. Your breakfast spread sounds sooo very good. Have a wonderful holiday! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  17. Joni M

    Ohhhh, I’m going to use my sourdough bread for the french toast–gives me an excellent reason to get the starter out again and start up another batch of the extra tangy bread! That french toast looks absolutely wonderful and I can hardly wait to try it! Merry Christmas to you all, and thank you again for such a fun blog to visit, with such great information and tips along the way!

    Reply
  18. diana

    OK, PJ, now you’ve prompted a question:
    If I make this wonderful looking french toast for my family, could I substitute the Baker’s Cinnamon Filling for the topping before I bake, and if so, how much should I use.
    This looks too good to pass up! Plus the night-before aspect is extremely appealing!
    Thanks!

    I’m betting you could substitute, Diana – never tried anything like that, but I’d think you could just sprinkle on a thin coating. Not sure how much that would be. 1/4 cup, maybe? let us know how it comes out- PJH

    Reply
  19. Billie

    Praline French Toast! My mouth is literally watering at the thought. Maybe this weekend or next week I will tackle it, while the kiddos are on break. (“break”? not for me …. )
    Regular school mornings are nuts though and the closest thing I can do to baking is Batter Blaster pancakes. THey’re not bad though and the kids are fine w/ them. Organic too so it’s not so bad. Can you tell I’m trying to reassure myself that shortcuts are ok? ;)
    Wonderful post though. Thanks for the yummy ideas!
    Happy Holidays all

    Reply
  20. Royce Robertson

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to the KAF staff. Thank you for your input on holiday religion and traditions,. I get soooo tired of people complaining about “Christmas and Religion”. That said, I can’t wait to try your suggestions for Christmas morning. Per usual, EVERYTHING looks wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing your creativity with me and everyone who visits your site. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas, and blessings for 2010.

    Thanks for joining us here, Royce – and best (baking) wishes for 2010! PJH

    Reply
  21. AJ

    OK, the Praline French Toast has gone to my son’s recipe collection…he loves to cook french toast and pancakes and bacon weekend breakfasts.
    I think I’m going to break down and try the Pizza Dough flavoring.
    I’ve even seen blogs where people have asked about it….my question is
    about how much is in a package. I know it 4oz, but how many batches of
    baked goods will it do for assuming most recipes will call for 3 tsps to 4 tbs? By the way, the french toast custard part would be awesome using
    eggnog of which we just “happen” to have a carton of! All because of a certain earlier post. God, we love you guys…as the kids say, YOU ROCK!

    AJ, there’s just under 19 tablespoons (57 teaspoons) in the 4-ounce size of Pizza Dough Flavor. I usually use a heaping 1 teaspoon per cup of flour in a recipe – about 4 teaspoons for a typical 3-cup-flour pizza crust. So that would be about 14 pizzas’ worth. As for French toast – totally go for eggnog in the custard!!! YUM. PJH

    Reply
  22. Anne M

    Well, we are apparently fixing to get a real New England style snow right here in the Mid Atlantic, and my baking supplies are lined up on the counter ready to go. While we usually do a breakfast strata for Christmas morning, I can tell you that the Butter Buns will be on the menu for dinner! Instant family classic! And I have the makings for the Chocolate Mint Squares. Too good to pass up. I enjoy this blog enormously, and I’ve been recommending it to friends. I hope all of you at King Arthur will have a very merry Christmas, a great holiday season, and a happy and prosperous 2010!

    And the same to you, Anne. Snuggle up tomorrow – stay out of the weather! PJH

    Reply
  23. Kimberly

    You. Are. AWESOME. I’m doing everything in this post, including the bacon. Seriously, you’ve saved me a lot of time from searching through recipes, trying to figure out what to make. So, thanks for doing all the decision-making and planning for my Christmas breakfast… that’s so nice of you! ;)

    Not a problem, Kimberly. Tell me where you live, I’ll drop by for breakfast! :) (Hockey? I played 4 years in college…) PJH

    Reply
  24. Doreen Warren Doucet

    Well, like others I’m definitely making the French Toast tomorrow for our Sunday church group – will let you know how it turns out – just so happens my husband sliced up two baguettes tonight to freeze although I’ll have to make do with the vanilla this time. I plan to order other flavors from KAF in the New year. Have a wonderful holiday with your families and keep warm – it,s freezing here also in Montreal. ;0))

    Greetings from your southern neighbor, Vermont- where it’s a balmy 1°F! Hope the French toast goes ver well with the church group – PJH

    Reply
  25. Marjie

    I have been a long time user of your products and absolutely love them.
    Here’s a tip for making bacon in the oven, especially the thick sliced kind.
    Flour the bacon before putting on parchment sheets or easy release tinfoil, you’ll have a crunchy delightfully unique taste and texture. People who come to my Brunches always ask, are you making that “special Bacon?”
    Try the Maple flavored kind. After baking can be frozen and reheated in the microwave,

    Love your recipes. Happy Holidays to all. keep warm, will try to send you some warm weather from sunny Florida.

    Marjie, I am absolutely going to try that – makes sense. It develops its own crunchy crust. OH BOY… And I’ll take your warm weather from Florida, it’s below zero here right now- BRRRRRRRR – PJH

    Reply
  26. Ricardo Goonzalez - Petrópolis, R.J. - BRAZIL

    Here in Brazil the first recipe sounds strange, because it´s not common for us, Brazilians to mix sweet ingredients with salty. The combination of sweetened breads with sliced bacon, sounds really strange to me!! Here we taste lots of fruits ´in nature `with it´s respective juices, but separated from any slices of bread!

    The other ones are ok, nice and pretty good. I´ll test them. But for me those Cheese treats reminds those Angel biscuits with cheese and sausage you posted months ago. I´d tried the recipe and it was great!!!

    Here in Brazil we have a nice and loved bread, all the Brazilians love´em! I´m talking about Cheese Bread ( Pão de Queijo ) a nice soft delicious balls made of cheese and manioc starch. I promise to send recipe of this delicate bread to you PJ, but i think will not be easy to find manioc starch ( we call it here POLVILHO ) in USA markets. It´s the same that occur here in Brazil with Maple Syrup, difficult to find here. Anyway, these cheese soft ball breads, are common here freezed and sold in plastic bags. All of Brazilians and tourists who come visit Brazil loves a lot, Pão de Queijo!!!
    Hope you could visit Brazil and taste one of them in future!

    Ricardo, we’re in luck – I believe manioc and tapioca starch are the same thing, and we actually sell tapioca flour, which I believe is the same as tapioca starch, so… send the recipe, I’ll look forward to seeing it and trying it. I’m going to make your strudel recipe with the challah dough soon, too – boy, that looks good. Happy holidays- be glad you’re not here today, the temperature is -1°F! PJH

    Reply
  27. Rhonwyn

    Oh yes, my daughters and I will be trying out these recipes, despite the fact that we are baking for fourteen with a toaster oven! (Okay, its a “large” toaster oven, but still not what we were used to – two large double ovens:-) Especially looking forward to the French toast, which looks like a much tastier version than my current recipe! We normally brown sausage and sprinkle over the top of our French toast before baking, and I think we will still do that to yours, adding it before the final topping. We do not have room in our oven to bake bacon at the same time, or enough hours in our morning to bake it all one at a time!!

    Thank you so much for this blog. We recently discovered it, and have benn enjoying many of your recipes already. Merry Christmas AND Happy Hanukkah!

    And happy holidays to you, too, Rhonwyn. Good luck with your toaster oven baking! PJH

    Reply
  28. linda

    just came in from food shopping as our area braces for a blizzard…but, who cares…i have such fab recipes to try & i am HAPPY!!!

    thanks so much pj!

    i love the cin streusel coffeecake biscuit cutter style (think i will try my hand @ these babies tonite!) & the praline french toast (be still my heart!!)…so thank you for these great recipes & just ring my bell…the coffee is on…& the oven will be working over time!!

    btw: shout out to april & frank (of kaf) – a big thank you- i can see ALL comments now so great…so great!!

    I will indeed let Frank and April know they helped – we were having problems with the comments for awhile there, with only about half of them showing. Stay warm, Linda – glad that oven is working overtime! PJH

    Reply
  29. AnnieM

    Thank you SO MUCH for this absolutely wonderful blog…one I read (check) daily. I just said to my husband that we have to plan ahead for our Christmas breakfast since we have several overnight guests and I HATE being in the kitchen cooking when I just want to relax on the couch with a cup of coffee and watch the glow :)
    AND I love love love your vanilla biscotti recipe so very much that I am giving all the relatives batches of biscotti for Christmas. I had never made biscotti before you posted an article last Christmas and I was inspired. It was incredibly delicious and way easier than I imagined. I also made some different combo’s…dried cherry and pistachio, walnut and maple, chocolate and cranberry, pine nut and almond. Yum.
    Thank you..and Merry Christmas to all the folks at KA and all the bloggers especially!

    And Merry Christmas to you, Annie – glad you’re a biscotti convert. It’s my goal to get as many bakers as possible to make biscotti – just so they can discover how simple (and delicious) they relaly are. Guess what I made today? Vanilla biscotti; and cranberry-pistachio biscotti. ‘Tis the season… PJH

    Reply
  30. Susan

    Oh! Oh! Oh! What shall I make for Christmas morning? You don’t make it easier by posting a recipe for Praline French Toast AND a recipe for Cinnamon-Streusel Coffeecake …
    My husband doesn’t eat sweet breakfasts, but I do. Well, I have 4 more days to decide …
    Merry Christmas to all of you at King Arthur Flour Company!

    And a very Merry Christmas to you, too, Susan – from all of us here at KA – PJH

    Reply
  31. Great-grandma B.

    Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays to all! (Trying not to play favorites.) My husband always wanted bacon with his eggs for breakfast while I just had the eggs (less calories). Being lazy, I baked a pound of thick sliced bacon (350 about 30 minutes) at a time placing the slices on the broiler pan top. The grease drained down through the holes into the broiler pan so the bacon did not “deep fry” in its grease. The bacon slices were put in an aluminum pan (the throw-away type) to prevent breakage, into a baggie, and into the frige’s meat keeper. For breakfast, two slices pre-baked bacon on a folded sheet of paper towel placed on a plate, into the microwave, 15 seconds or so on high. Voila! Hot bacon on a warmed plate ready for the cloudy-side up eggs. Wha-a-a? A dollup of butter melted in a hot, small, cast iron skillet, drop in the cracked eggs, and cook till the bottom of the whites set but the top of the yolks are still raw looking. Toss in a scant tablespoon of water and QUICKLY cover with a pot lid. In about a minute, the hot steam cooks the egg white atop the yolk, and the yolk’s still runny . . . just the way Ed liked them. (No broken egg yolks from a botched flip-over.) Steam longer if you prefer a more solid yolk. Place a cake pan on the skillet if you do not have a pot lid that fits. Hot grease and water are an explosive mix so be QUICK to contain the sizzle/splatter. Oh, and the bacon grease I saved for: flavor substitute for butter, wilted salad dressing, corn bread, etc.

    GG, you’re just a font of great ideas! I never heard of a “cloudy” egg- but that owuld suit my husband just fine. He can’t stand even a touch of brown on his fried egg, and it’s hard to cook it all the way through and keep it white – the things we do for our partners, eh? Thanks for connecting here – :) PJH

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  32. TidyMom

    WOW – I’m loving that french toast recipe!! We are going to try it for Christmas morning! I have a question – it says to sit over night – how long? we go to my daughter’s on Christmas eve (late afternoon) and I know I wont feel like fixing this when I get home, could I fix it in the afternoon, and put in the fridge for morning?

    Happy Holidays!!

    absolutely – it could probably sit in the fridge for a couple of days, actually. Enjoy – PJH

    Reply
  33. BakingSpiritsBright

    I made this in the snow storm the other day. WOW! I stashed one of the 9″ pans (already baked) in the freezer for Christmas. They one we ate was gone in no time, every last crumb! This redipe is a keeper.

    Reply
  34. Jeri

    I’ll be the odd one out and say the French toast sounds grit-your-teeth sweet to me (different strokes…), but I’m definitely intrigued by the cheese/sausage biscuits. We usually have Dutch Babies for breakfast Xmas morning, but I just baked that last week for a special breakfast treat when a relative visited. So I want to try something special, but different! Sounds like it will fill the bill.

    Happy holidays to everyone at KAF, and thanks for all you do!

    Jeri, interestingly, I made several versions of the French toast with less sugar (and less rich), and ALL the taste testers preferred the full-sugar, full-fat version. But, as you say – to each his own. I think you’ll like the biscuits… PJH

    Reply
  35. Kathy

    I am going to make the french toast for Christmas morning! My 3 1/2 year old loves to bake and look at your website with me; he was especially excited about the brown sugar sprinkled on top of the french toast. Thanks for the tip about baking the bacon along with it!

    Reply
  36. Madame Samm

    Merry Christmas P.J. and all at KAF, ohhhh I can taste it already, it is Christmas eve day and my ingredients are all ready. Morning no doubt will fill the air with this delightful breakfast. Oh, I am serving at 5:00 am if you are in our neighborhood. I will be adding some Green Mountain coffee, chocolate glazed flavoured coffee to my custard, about 1/2 cup on the strong brew. Thought this might add a bit of caffeine to waken us all up. I have made similar french toast before, so this recipe no doubt will be the added gooey and tasty surprise this Christmas with a twist. Thank you so much for the visual. Love your colourful pics. From our kitchen to yours, may your days be sweeter than the last. blessings from another Catholic family. xx

    5 a.m. – that’s a little bit early, so I think I’ll stick with my own breakfast. Or my mother-in-law’s, where I’ll be – egg and cheese casserole. Have a great day, M – PJH

    Reply
  37. Ann Crosbie

    Betty, Thought you would enjoy reading these since you often have a
    crowd for breakfast. I looked at the recipes and thought you could
    cut the sugar down and also the fat by using evaporated milk instead of half & half and just use a small amt. of butter instead to grease the pan
    well. Love Ann

    Reply
  38. Trisha

    We’ll be having the bacon and french toast tomorrow. Thank you for the great idea. And PJ, let’s play hockey! Maybe we could a field a team of bakers at a tournament. Merry Christmas!

    You got it, Trisha – I’ll be the goalie Doughboy (whoops, bad word!) filling up the net, if I keep eating Christmas cookies at this rate… PJH

    Reply
  39. Rhonda

    I’ve been working on the Praline French Toast for a few days now… made the European-Style Hearth Bread a couple of days ago, so that it will be day-old. Getting ready to put the French Toast together so that it will sit overnight, and be ready to bake in the morning, for my husband and I. We’re having a nice, quiet Christmas Day celebration, since the girls are grown and on their own, with their own families, in MN and Canada. Harder for them to come visit us here in TN… maybe not so, next year, Lord willing!

    Anyways, Merry Christmas to everyone at KAF and readers here! Thanks for the inspirations from all, and great suggestions!

    Rhonda, hope your Christmas breakfast is delicious, and the day is relaxing. Cheers! PJH

    Reply
  40. Margaret

    I saved this recipe recently but had never visit the blog before tonight. I’m making the french toast and bacon for breakfast tomorrow! I just told my husband to make sure I don’t forget to get the toast done and in the fridge before bed tonight.

    I’ve always used foil when I bake bacon. I will definitely be trying the parchment tomorrow. I imagine it soaks up some of the grease as well. YAY!

    Reply
  41. Todd

    Wow, this is fantastic. I made this for my family last night and baked it this morning. The convenience is incredible and it’s soooo tasty. Thank you for the recipe…P.S. How in the world does one land a job doing what you do :)

    I’m the luckiest perso in the world, Todd – I was in the right place at the right time, just happened along when KA started to grow beyond New England in 1990… Happy New Year! PJH

    Reply
  42. Meg

    I made the praline french toast for our whole family this morning.
    Everyone loved it.
    I used a loaf & half of Italian bread cut into small pieces. So it came out as a bread pudding.
    We served it with sausages, bacon & cheesy eggs.
    Turned out great. Thanks for the recipe, it will become a yearly tradiiton from now on.
    Can’t wait to try the bacon on parchment paper.
    I am new to the website but I just love everything you have & your recipes.
    Good Job guys!!!

    Thanks, Meg – glad it turned out for you. Have a great day – PJH

    Reply
  43. jennie

    What a wonderful recipe! I put two batches together last night while I was waiting for little ones to fall asleep… the house smelled wonderful (I know this because I was not trapped in the kitchen!) as it baked this morning and it was a delicious breakfast. It is sure to be a tradition in our house as well!
    Thank you!

    Reply
  44. diana

    Well I wanted to report back in on using the baker’s cinnamon to top this unbelievably wonderful French toast.
    I used baguettes; with 15 coming for breakfast buffet, this seemed appropriate. I followed the recipe, except I did use 1 1/2 tsps. of vanilla bean crush and placed into the fridge Christmas Eve. The next morning I mixed a topping consisting of 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup baker’s cinnamon filling and 1/2 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg.
    The results were FANTASTIC! All ages–from 20 months to 86 years–loved it! I was very happy; I cannot thank you enough.
    And I must’ve been good; Santa brought me the measuring cup I see in your blog frequently that I will also use to watch the dough rise AND the cinnamon mill, too!
    Thanks again, P.J., to you and everyone at King Arthur. Happy New Year!

    What a great idea for a substitution, Diane – thanks for sharing the results. I’m definitely trying that next time. Happy 2010! PJH

    Reply
  45. JoAnn

    I made the Baked French Toast for Christmas Eve Morning – when we had my grandchildren over for an early Christmas morning. I loved it, but they all (son and two boys 8 & 12) thought it too sweet. I will make it again and leave off the topping and see if they like that better. I had some ground mixed nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds and pistachios) sitting on my counter when I put the topping on in the morning. I was tempted to add them to the topping. I think I should have followed my instinct. It would have cut the sweetness. I am thinking out loud here.

    There were a few slices left over. I heated them in the oven for myself Christmas morning – What a great reprise!

    Overall, I loved it!

    Thanks for a great recipe.

    Reply
  46. Kevin

    I made the french toast and the sausage/cheese biscuits for Christmas morning. I’ve made the sausage/cheese biscuits before, so they’re already on the hit parade at this house. I did them slightly different in that I use hot breakfast sausage. I just cooked it in patties and cut them into large chunks. Yep…they were a hit again.

    I also made the french toast…..it was absolutely decadent!!! Outstanding recipe!!!! You could use that for a dessert!! I substituted Texas toast for the bread. I just like the thickness of Texas toast, it made it a little bit easier to put together.

    Reply
  47. Fran

    I noticed that in a lot of your pictures, you show your flour being stored in the freezer. Is it best to do that? Also should yeast be stored in the freezer too? I have enjoyed all the the wonderful products that I have brought during the year and the blog is wonderful – - great recipes. Keep them coming!! Best wishes to all in 2010!
    Thank you for your kind comments! We keep both our yeast and our whole grain flours in the freezer to keep them fresh. Molly @ KAF

    Reply
  48. Moira

    I have been making strata for Christmas morning for years. It is very similar to the french toast above, but savory rather than sweet. I figure we have cookies and other sweet things around at Christmas, so it’s good to get a more filling meal in. The way to do the Christmas morning unwrapping without tears is pretty simple. I would get up before the little kids (we would keep them up a bit the night before, decorating the tree — we always save the decorating for Christmas Eve and leave the tree up until Epiphany. Before the gang wakes up, I would steal into the kitchen and take the strata (bread soaking in egg custard with onion, green peppers, sausage and cheese) out of the fridge. Put it in an already greased pan. While the oven warms, I would decorate the top. A Christmas tree is very easy with slices of green pepper and some diced red pepper ornaments. Santa puts a tangerine, or clementine in the bottom of each stocking. In the morning I get the strata in the oven before anyone starts on their stocking. The strata bakes as everyone is emptying the stocking and playing with the games, etc.. that are in there. When everyone has gotten to the the fruit at the bottom the strata is usually done. Everyone takes their fruit to the table, and we have breakfast before opening the presents under the tree! Christmas morning with no tears, no low blood sugar problems.
    Moira: it sounds like your Christmas was just like the ones at our house! We were allowed to go through our stockings while Mom got things going in the kitchen, and we always had an orange or a clementine at the bottom of ours, too. I had to explain the tradition of the citrus as a Christmas treat to one of my nieces; the idea of not having fresh fruit available in the winter except on very special occasions had never occurred to her! Thanks for sharing your memories and invoking a few of my own. Susan Reid

    Reply
  49. Diana

    Oh, WOW! I’ve just discovered this blog, and am so glad I did !
    The Holidays are over, but our Anniversary is coming up. Since my husband is diabetic, I cannot make your yummy-sounding french toast—but WILL give the sausage cheese biscuits a try.
    Do you think I can bake turkey bacon in the oven, since it is so lean?
    Coating bacon with flour sounds fabulous!!

    Happiest of New Year to all of you lovely folks at KAF

    And happy new year to you too, Diana – welcome! Yes, I don’t see why you couldn’t cook turkey bacon in the oven. And you’re right, I want to try the “coating with flour” technique – extra crunch! PJH

    Reply
  50. Marty Daniels

    This sounds incredible!!! I don’t want to wait until Christmas 2010 to try it! My wives birthday is in August … I think this can be her breakfast … and then we’ll enjoy it again for Christmas.

    Reply
  51. charlottelynn321

    I made the french toast for breakfast, and it’s simply delicious! I used vanilla for the flavoring, and maple syrup — it tasted SO maple-y with just those 2 Tablespoons. We all loved it, and think it’s far better and easier than regular french toast!

    Glad to hear your this easy French toast was successful for you, Charlotte – a tasty new recipe for your breakfast files! Cheers- PJH

    Reply
  52. LOU!

    This was absolutely delicious and so easy when it’s prepared the night before. I’m excited about using eggnog come holiday time! I did make some changes: I cut down the amount of brown sugar in the glaze to 3/4 cup – maybe a bit more next time? Also I used Fiori di Silicia for the custard flavoring (YUM!). The volume of custard seemed like a lot, so I may cut that amount down a bit next time, too? In the morning, about an hour before baking, I flipped each slice over. This made gave sides the yummy carmel-ness without adding any more sugar! I used about week-old sourdough bread, sliced and totally dried out, and the French toast baked up beautifully. (I keep sliced “old” sourdough in the freezer for uses just like this! Thanks for ANOTHER wonderful KAF recipe!

    Reply
  53. jettavwdrvr

    I usually make fresh toast for breakfast on Christmas morning. After reading this blog, I am going to make this version. I plan on using delicious pain de mie (thank you Pullman pan!) and real maple syrup. My question is…can I use real Amaretto for the flavoring? If so, how much? (Thank you to King Arthur Flour for all the year-round tips and tricks. I use your products exclusively and always have fantastic results!)
    Amaretto would be fine, what a way to start the day. Try about 2 tablespoons and then adjust to taste. Enjoy! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  54. Michele Russomanno

    Do you think I could line a tin foil pan with parchment and it would work for these recipes? Just don’t want to forget my pans at a friends house. Much easier if I could use a throw away pan especially for the bacon. I was thinking of a sterno pan or the foil cookie sheet.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Michele, I don’t see why that wouldn’t work. How nice of you to bake bacon for frineds – most of us seem to want to bake at home and keep it ALL FOR OURSELVES. :) PJH

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      It is best to allow the bread to rest overnight. Otherwise, it will not have the creamy texture that we attained with an overnight soaking. Jon@KAF

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