Thanks to English muffins, make-ahead French toast simplifies what could be a complicated breakfast.
I’m not a morning person. I don’t usually get out of bed until I’ve hit the snooze buttononce or twice, which makes preparing a complicated breakfast (anything that takes more than one or two steps to put together) a bit of a challenge.
Still, I do believe in the importance of the morning meal as it sets the tone for the rest of the day. Since my boys have never been cold-cereal eaters (the standard go-to breakfast when I was a kid), over the years I’ve been forced to be creative in getting something hot and hearty on the table in the morning.
Not surprising, the “trick” is doing as much as possible the night or even the weekend before. I cut up big batches of fruit on the weekend. I start hot cereal the night before in the slow cooker. I double or triple the amount of Sunday pancakes I make (OK, my husband actually makes them) and keep them in the freezer to have on hand for a quick reheating in the microwave.
Recently, I’ve been experimenting with one of my favorite weekend breakfasts, French toast, to see how well it holds up to the freezing/reheating process. Although you can certainly freeze any standard French toast, it tends to get soggy in the reheating process. In an effort to find a sturdier option, I swapped out the regular bread for one of my favorite breakfast items, an English muffin. The results were better than expected. Not only did I get an easy-to-make French toast that I could freeze and then reheat successfully in the toaster (which gives a nicer texture than the microwave), but I got something I could use as the foundation for a multitude of other breakfast options. Here are a few of my favorites:
Nutella and banana sandwiches: Just smear a thin layer of Nutella on one side of two pieces of French toast, layer slices of banana on one piece and top with the remaining slice.
Broken yolk egg and ham sandwich: Fry an egg in a non-stick skillet, breaking the yolk so it sets completely and won’t be too drippy when eaten. Once the egg is fried, heat a slice of ham in the hot skillet and sandwich both egg and ham in two pieces of the French toast. This one reminds me of a popular fast-food chain’s griddled egg sandwich, only it’s much better.
Yogurt strawberry shortcakes: Just heat two pieces of French toast, top with heaps of sliced strawberries and drizzle with vanilla yogurt.
Eaten plain, or transformed into something more elaborate, this fancy version of a family favorite will give your loved ones a great start to their busy day, and give you the chance to hit the snooze button one more time.
Meredith Deeds of Edina is the author of “Everyday to Entertaining” and “The Big Book of Appetizers.” Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @meredithdeeds.