When Alan and I first met, we lived in Newport Beach, CA – a place filled with great breakfast joints. Our favorite was Side Street Cafe, a tiny and adorable little pancake house where all the food was big on flavor. This is where my love affair with stuffed french toast began, and ever since I’ve been on a quest to find somewhere that it’s even half as tasty.
The only place that’s come close to a delicious pancake house on this coast is my own kitchen (and sadly, I’ve yet to duplicate it, but I think I’m getting there)! This is a fun version that uses sausage instead of cream cheese and fresh fruit, just for something different! It’s easy, different and delicious – and very filling! Just one of these babies is enough for me, and I can really pack it in! ;-) I used Nature’s Pride bread, which works extremely well in this recipe. Nature’s Pride is sponsoring a recipe contest; the winners receive tickets and accommodations to the Foodbuzz Festival in November. I would absolutely love to recreate this fun recipe for the crowd!
I’ve made stuffed french toast using many different methods – cutting a slit in the side of a very thick slice of bread, stuffing then grilling it is the most common – but this version is the most unique, not to mention the easiest! It works well with all types of fillings, so experiment with what you like best and take it from there. I like to set out several filling options then let my family and guests choose their own. It makes it a fun and easy breakfast that pleases everyone!
Stuffed French Toast Waffle Panini
- your favorite loaf of Nature’s Pride bread (I used Hearty Country White)
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 T. melted butter
- sausage, cheese, and/or anything else you’d like to “stuff” your french toast with (sweetened cream cheese and fresh berries would be delicious)
Preheat your waffle iron. If using sausage, pat into VERY thin patties, about a half inch smaller than your bread and roughly the same shape. Cook thoroughly.
Mix together eggs, milk and melted butter and a shallow dish. (If your filling is sweet, add a small amount of vanilla and cinnamon). Soak two slices of bread in egg mixture as you would for french toast, letting excess drip off. Add one slice to hot waffle iron, add toppings and place second slice on top. Complete until iron is full, close iron and press down to “close” your panini. If using cream cheese or similar “gooey” fillings, you can scoop out a small amount of the bread on the inside very carefully so it gives more room and doesn’t ooze out the sides.
Cook until nice and brown, and serve hot with maple syrup or other accompaniments.
Try doing this without any filling, too – it’s yummy!