It’s tradition for my family to go to my aunt’s house for Thanksgiving. We all bring a dish and celebrate. Whenever I go to my aunt’s house, I think about this amazing bagel shop that is close by called East Coast Bagels. It is the breakfast I ate on my wedding day. I even made my husband stop to pick up some bagels for the honeymoon. I’m always a little sad that Thanksgiving is the only time we don’t eat bagels at her house. I’m hoping to change all that with this bagel French toast recipe. Even though French toast is seen as a breakfast item, I say eat this any time you want. You want a snack? Bagel French toast. You need a pick-me-up? Bagel French toast. Can’t think of a dessert? Bagel French toast. It fits every occasion.
Ingredients: Averie Cooks
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk or cream
1/4 cup maple syrup (I used heavy cream, no healthy version on my table)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
5 plain bagels, diced in 1-inch pieces (I used Glendora Bakery, which makes their bagels from scratch daily)
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
about 1/4 cup + maple syrup (lite or sugar-free okay), adding additional as necessary for desired consistency
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a medium-large oval baker with cooking spray or grease and flour the baking dish. My baking dish measures about 11-inches by 7-inches. Alternatively, use a 9-inch square pan or a 9×13-inch pan, noting that baking time will be reduced; set aside.
2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, add the butter and heat on high power to melt, about 1 minute. Wait momentarily so you don’t scramble the eggs.
3. Add the eggs, milk, maple syrup, sugars, vanilla, cinnamon and salt and whisk to combine.
- Once you mix the butter and egg, you will have a bright yellow batter. If you have a lumpy batter, that means your batter is part scrambled eggs. Best thing if that happens is to try again. To make sure my liquid is not too hot, I always stick my finger in the middle. If it burns me, it’s too hot. If it’s simply warm, then you are good. My boss says that using one’s finger is not the correct way to check the temperature of food, which is true. A thermometer would be the correct thing to do, but sometimes you don’t have a thermometer on hand, so your fingers will have to do.
4. Add the bagels and toss lightly to coat. Allow mixture to stand for about 5 to 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, giving bagels time to soak up the coating.
- I noticed my bagels weren’t getting fully coated. This was due to the fact that they were thicker than most store-bought bagels. To fix that, I added 1/4 cup extra syrup and 1/4 cup extra cream. You don’t want it to dry or it will get crispy. If you decide to add more liquid, do it a little at a time or it will become soggy when you bake it.
- I stand by using your favorite type of bagel (unless it is jalapeño flavored). Make sure whatever type of bagel you use pairs well with your ingredients. Mostly it has to go well with cinnamon – that is the hardest item to pair. Plain, raisin and blueberry would all work well, I think.
5. Turn mixture out into prepared baking dish, loosely laying it in. Drizzle any unabsorbed coating mixture over the bagels.
- Don’t over-pile it. You want the mixture to hit about halfway up your dish. If it is just a single layer, it will all just get hard and crunchy. On the other hand, if it’s in too small a dish and it’s all stacked on top of itself, it will be mush (You especially don’t want that since there is egg in it. No one wants to eat raw egg).
- You want the perfect in between – about 3 or 4 layers. This way the top can get crisp while the inside is still soft.
6. Bake for about 35 minutes (start watching more closely at 30 minutes), or until center is set and has dried out some. Take care not to over-bake, as you want the French toast soft and moist. The coating does not have to be bone-dry on all pieces. If you’re having difficulty judging doneness, try a small bite. If it seems too wet, moist or underdone for your liking, bake longer. French toast will firm up more as it cools. Baking times may vary widely based upon bagels used, baking dish used, climate and oven variance. While the French toast bakes, make the glaze.
- To be double sure, you can always pull it out and check it with a thermometer. It needs to read between 160 and 165F. The reason for this temperature is because there are eggs in the mixture.
1. Maple Glaze – In a medium bowl, add both ingredients and whisk until smooth. You may need to play with the sugar or maple syrup amounts slightly to achieve desired consistency.
- Sifting powdered sugar is the best way to ensure the glaze is not clumpy with the least amount of work.
2. Remove French toast from oven, evenly drizzle with glaze and serve immediately. French toast is best fresh, but leftovers will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 4 days and can be reheated gently in the microwave before serving.
Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Most of us have our specific traditions for the holidays, even down to the food on our table. Unlike Christmas, where the celebration lasts all day, Thanksgiving is mostly celebrated around dinner time. This recipe will break that tradition. Bagel French toast not only is easy to make, but starts your holiday right. This recipe is a great way to use up the extra bagels you have, or a new way to eat bagels all together.