Pan Dulce French Toast: I’m officially that gal that uses every little scrap of food in the house. I’ve learned a few tricks during this pandemic of how to preserve and make things stretch for longer than usual. My grandfather was raised during the depression and was seriously the master of conserving food. Thankfully I remembered a few of the things he taught me that I used to take for granted, and didn’t pay much mind to. He would freeze bread or tortillas if we had too much in the house. Or toast bread that was a few days old and then dunk it in his coffee. He was so crafty that way.
Like every time I make a trip to Northgate Market I go a little crazy in the panaderia section. How can I not? If you’ve been, then you know their pan dulce collection is to live for. All the fanciful colors and varieties… It’s my kid in a candy store moment. The last time I was there I loaded up a bit more than we could eat on day one. It got me thinking of my abuelito and what he would do if he had any pan dulce left over. Instead of freezing it for a later date, which I think he would have done, I thought of re-purposing it into an Overnight Pan Dulce French Toast to enjoy the next day as a breakfast treat! Drizzle some maple syrup over the top, seasonal berries, and a little bit of ice cream and it’s as good as new.
6 to 8 servings
Ingredients for Pan Dulce French Toast:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 10 cups of Northgate Pan Dulce (Two days old is preferable- I used a variety)
- 8 eggs
- 2 cups half and half
- 1/3 cup brown sugar (packed)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Strawberries and blueberries
- Maple syrup
- Vanilla Ice Cream (optional)
- Grease a 9×13 baking dish with butter. Set to the side.
- Cut half of the pan dulce into 1 inch cubes, and cut the rest of it into larger pieces i.e. halves, strips, and tops.
- Reserve any crumbs from the pan dulce topping for a later use.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk eggs, half and half, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt together.
- Pour two cups of egg mixture into the bottom of the baking dish. Then spread 5 cups of pan dulce cubes into egg mixture.
- Layer the larger pieces of pan dulce on top of the cubes, making sure they are snug. Think of it as a tile mosaic.
- Pour the remaining egg batter over the top very carefully. Then push the top of the pan dulce down ever so slightly to ensure all the bread pieces are being soaked in egg mixture.
- Loosely cover the dish with aluminum foil and place in the fridge overnight.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place pan dulce french toast in oven and reduce heat to 350. Bake for 30 minutes with aluminum foil on, then remove and bake for an additional 25 minutes uncovered.
- Sprinkle pan dulce crumb topping over french toast. Then add berries and a drizzle of maple syrup.
- (Optional) Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to the top while still warm and allow it to melt a little.
- Serve and enjoy!
For more breakfast ideas try my berry poppyseed pancakes: