Panini Sunday: Breakfast Panini with Challah French Toast

Have you ever thought about the words or phrases you have said most to your spouse or significant other? It’s crossed my mind before and, if I were to guess, I think the top five (in no particular order) would be:

  • How was your day?
  • I love you.
  • Now what did I do wrong?
  • What’s that smell?
  • What do you want for dinner?

I think I’ve asked the last question, on average, about twice each week. After nearly 12 1/2 years of marriage, and about seven years of dating before that, I figure I have asked that question about 2,000 times, the last of which was on Sunday.

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As it often is, her answer was, “I want breakfast.” 

Breakfast for dinner was something we did sparingly while growing up. As an adult, my primary goal in life is to keep The Wife happy. If she wants breakfast for dinner, she gets breakfast for dinner. Now, anyone can make eggs for dinner. Hell, she does that on nights I have work events. I figured that if I was going to make breakfast, we would try something different.

The combination of ingredients hit me at Trader Joe’s on Sunday after seeing the loaf of challah on the shelf. You can’t find fresh challah regularly around these parts, so baked-and-bagged will have to do. When making French toast ingredient, I’m not sure that there is a better bread than challah.

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WHAT WORKED: Bacon. Bacon is always the answer. It’s the alpha and the omega. 

WHAT DIDN’T: I think some hash browns would have gone nicely here.

EASE OF PREPARATION: Easy, but time consuming. 

BEST FOR: A different take on a weekend breakfast, or that occasion when your significant other/child wants breakfast for dinner.

SERVE WITH: Orange juice, a screwdriver, or a sweet stout.

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Breakfast Panini with Challah French Toast
By Jared Paventi

  • 7 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • pancake syrup
  • milk
  • 4 thick slices of challah bread
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 slices thick-cut uncured bacon, cooked
  • 4 slices mild, creamy cheese (NOTE: I used havarti)

Preheat your panini press per the manufacturer’s directions.

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Crack three eggs in a bowl. Add the nutmeg and cinnamon, followed by a dash of syrup and a splash of milk. Whisk together until the spices are well combined and you have a thin, yellow mixture.

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Heat large nonstick skillet over high heat. Dredge the challah slices in the egg wash and add as many to the skillet as you can without crowding (I used a 12-inch pan and could fit two.). Cook 3 to 4 minutes each side, or until the slices of bread have a nice brown crust on either side. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

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In the meantime, crack the rest of the eggs in a different clean bowl. Add a dash of milk, plus some salt and pepper. Whisk together until well combined. In a separate large skillet over high heat, add the eggs and heat until cooked through, using a flat whisk continue scrambling. Once the eggs are solid, transfer to a bowl.

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Lay a piece of French toast on a clean working surface. Add half of the eggs, top with bacon and two slices of cheese. Add the top layer of French toast and repeat. Cook on the panini grill 8 to 10 minutes, adding weight to the press to flatten the sandwiches.

Remove from the grill, slice in half and serve.

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