Chunky French Toast with Caramel Syrup
Yesterday I told you a little about my recent trip to Utah and how I’ve officially dubbed this week “My Favorite Utah Foods Week!” (seriously, don’t miss yesterday’s Pralines & Cream Fudge recipe!)
This Chunky French Toast may very well be my favorite recipe to come out of Utah EVER. Kneaders Bakery and Cafe will always be firmly rooted in my heart as a special eating place during my time in Utah. I frequented their tables often with roommates, visiting family and friends, and eventually my husband and daughter over the 7 years I lived there.
And the ONLY thing I ever ordered was their Chunky French Toast.
I mean, I’ve picked off of other people’s plates and tasted some of the other food on the menu (and actually made my first non-french-toast order last weekend since the breakfast menu isn’t an option at 7pm). But nothing holds a candle to Kneaders french toast. Nothing! Ask anyone.
The chunky cinnamon bread and the caramel syrup give this breakfast dish it’s signature and much-loved taste. And, aside from a little (optional) bread making, the recipe could not be simpler!
This recipe comes directly from the source– Kneaders! I love it when restaurants are willing to give up their recipes so we can make them at home (especially when home is 2,000 miles away).
One thing to note about this recipe: the bread. Kneaders says to use their own Chunky Cinnamon Bread for the french toast. The problem is, I don’t have a Kneaders near by, and I bet a lot of you don’t either. So I’ll be providing my own recipe below for the bread.
Since the french toast is a let-sit-overnight-bake-in-the-morning kind of recipe, I suggest baking the bread earlier in the day so it’s firm enough for slicing by night. Or you can simply use your favorite thick-sliced, cinnamon-y, bakery-bought bread instead (which makes this recipe ridiculously easy).
We use this recipe for special occasions in our house, and it’s a great way to celebrate a big day or to simply say “I love you!” I hope you enjoy it as much as we have :)
Chunky French Toast with Caramel Syrup
Overnight French Toast:
- 1 loaf (8 slices) thick-sliced cinnamon bread (recipe below),
- 8 eggs
- 3 c. milk
- 1 T. brown sugar
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1 T. vanilla
- 2 T. butter
- 1 c. brown sugar
- 1 c. heavy whipping cream
- 1 c. Light corn syrup
Making the French Toast:
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Grease a 9x13 baking dish. Place the bread slices flat in the baking dish.
- Mix all remaining ingredients, reserving the butter and pour over the bread.
- Cut butter into pieces and dot over the top. Refrigerate over night or at least 1 hour.
- Bake 45 - 50 minutes.
Making the Caramel Syrup:
- Whisk together all ingredients over medium heat in a 2 quart saucepan until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warmed through. Some separation is normal during cooling-- simply stir before pouring if necessary.
- 1 tbsp active or instant dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water (think warm bath water)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup cinnamon sugar (1 cup sugar + 1 tbsp cinnamon) for coating
- Preheat oven to 365ºF. Prepare 9x5x3 loaf pan by lining it with parchment paper or foil and greasing with non-stick cooking spray.
- Pour the warm water into a 2-cup bowl or measuring cup.
- Sprinkle the yeast over top. Then sprinkle the sugar over the yeast, and drizzle the oil over as well. This should cause the yeast to sink in the water and then begin to foam. Let rest for 5-10 minutes until very foamy (this is proofing the yeast).
- Add the flour and salt to a large bowl (I use a stand mixer and dough hook for this, but feel free to do it by hand). Pour the liquid into the bowl and stir the until the dough forms. Continue to knead for about 5 minutes until dough is elastic.
- Cover and let rise until doubled in size (I place my bowl on a heating pad to speed up rise time).
- Punch the dough down and start pinching off golf-ball sized pieces of dough. Roll the dough balls in the cinnamon sugar and place each one in the loaf pan until pan is 3/4 full*.
- Bake for 30 minutes. The top should be golden brown and the center should be somewhat firm when gently pressed (shouldn't feel doughy).
- Let cool in pan for 15 minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
*DO NOT FILL THE DISH TO THE TOP WITH DOUGH! It will burn on the outside and be doughy on the inside. Only fill the dish 3/4 full. You may have a little dough left over.
Don’t miss a bite!
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Be sure to pin some of my other favorite breakfasts!
Red Velvet Banana Bread
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
Homemade Krispy Kreme Donuts
More delicious breakfast ideas from my friends: