French Bread …the possibilities


Disclaimer: I have a new phone so pictures should be better from now on!

I am in love with French bread for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There are so many possibilities for the use of a French Bread Loaf from the Bakery. Last month we made two things specifically; Apricot-stuffed French Toast, and Pepperoni Pizza.

I have never had baked French toast before, and to be honest I do not know if I can ever go back! It is amazing and does not loose any of the breads height. This recipe can be made ahead as much as 24 hours in advance but no longer! This recipe is very simple to make, and is very therapeutic to me. It was relaxing to mix, slice bread pockets, and whisk the egg mixture.

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Another thing should be noted this recipe came from the new Betty Crocker Cook Book. This comes in a five ring binder with tabbed sections, colorful pictures, and great how to’s.

Apricot-stuffed French Toast

Prep 15 min Total 1 hr. 10 min – six servings

1 loaf day old French bread

1 package cream cheese softened

3 T apricot preserves

1/4 grated lemon peel

3 eggs

3/4 cup half and half or milk

2 T Granulated sugar

1 t vanilla

1/8 t salt

1/8 t ground nutmeg, optional

2 T butter, melted powder sugar optional or you can just sprinkle the powder sugar

1. Spray 13X9 inch pan with cooking spray (do not forget this step, I did the second time I made this and it was not pretty!). Cut bread crosswise into 12 one inch slices. Cut a horizontal slit in the side of each bread slice, cutting to but not through the other edge.

2. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, preserves and lemon peel with electric mixer on medium speed about 1 minute or until well mixed. Spread about 2 t of cream cheese mixture inside the slit in each bread slice. Place stuffed bread slices in pan.

3. In medium bowl, beat eggs, half and half, granulated sugar, vanilla, salt and nutmeg with fork or wire whisk until well mixed. Pour egg mixture over bread slices in pan and turn slices carefully to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes but no longer than 24 hours.

4. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Uncover French toast; drizzle with butter. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with powdered Sugar.

Now that I have you salivating for breakfast we should turn our attention to a great lunch, dinner, or midnight snack after working hard at retail. I came home after a hard day of work with the following;

Loaf of french bread

Tomato paste tiny can

Tomato sauce medium can

Various Italian herbs

4 Italian cheese blend Sargento

olive oil

pepperoni

1st Pre heat the oven to 450 degrees and prepare a baking sheet or pan with aluminum foil and non stick spray. 2nd prepare the loaf buy splitting it horizontally.  3rd Brush the loaf with olive oil and your favorite herb. 4th prepare the sauce in a pot by mixing the paste, sauce, favorite herbs together until a boil, and then simmer until the mixture is thick. 5th Spread sauce on bread, sprinkle with cheese and then top with pepperoni. Bake until cheese is melted and bread is slightly golden brown.  Enjoy!

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