I am a huge fan of the cracker barrel French toast and for a very long time, it has been a tradition of mine to always have my breakfast of the French toast at the cracker barrels before I go to work or do anything else.
Sometimes when I am less busy I often take my wife and kids there for breakfast and of course the cracker barrel French toast is our preferred breakfast, but I soon began to discover how greatly it was adding to my expenses. Moreover, I eventually got tired of always eating out and I was also interested in making my very own version of the cracker barrel French toast or something similar to it.
So, I took the time to study and analyze their recipe, and from there I was able to prepare my own version which of course I am going to show you guys. But before that let’s look at some interesting facts about the cracker barrel French toast.
From numerous research the French toast although very commonly associated with France was first discovered in Rome. It was gathered at that time that the cooks needed to feed their family members, so they put together of the food items they could find and this included eggs, milk, and stale white bread which was later soaked in the mixture of egg and milk so as to increase moisture. The soaked bread was then fried.
Most of the French toast we have these days is usually made with fresh bread like wheat bread, sourdough bread etc. but the preparation still remains the same.
Cracker Barrel History
The French toast recipe is one of the cracker barrel recipe that the company has perfected over time it is also one of the various dishes of the cracker barrel restaurant a restaurant found by David Evins a sales representative for shell oil in 1969. His initial concept was to develop a restaurant and gift store to improve the sales of gasoline by attracting highway travelers.
The very first restaurant he built was close to interstate 40, in Lebanon, Tennessee which he opened in September 1969 serving mostly southern cuisine cracker barrel dishes like country ham, grits, and turnip greens.
Evins later went on to incorporate the cracker barrel company in February 1970 and also built more restaurant. However in the early 1970s land on gasoline station sites close to the interstate highways were leased to the firm to build even more restaurant, these restaurants all had gas pumps on site.
In the late 1970s the firm started to build restaurants without pumps as a result of gasoline shortage during that time, the number of gas pumps on site still reduced in the early 1980s and were eventually phased out altogether as it focused mainly on its restaurant and gift sales revenues.
In 1981 cracker barrel became a publicly traded company to raise enough funds for further expansion. Unfortunately for the cracker barrel company the founder David Evins died of bladder cancer on 17 of January 2012 leaving behind chains of restaurant that produces tasty and delicious cracker barrel dishes (their famous French toast included) that we enjoy today.
How to make cracker barrel French toast
One amazing thing I discovered when I initially decided to make my very own version (which you otherwise refer to as a copycat cracker barrel French toast recipe) of the famous cracker barrel French toast recipe is that you can get something pretty close to the flavors you really love without necessarily going out to eat all the time. But the main questions still remain.
Will it be the same as your intended flavor? Maybe or maybe not!
But one thing I know for sure is if you take out time to learn how to make the homemade cracker barrel French toast, you will be surprised at how much you will enjoy it and also discovered the amount of money you will most likely save from not eating out.
Normally when I make the French toast I basically use any available bread I have in the house and then I add some quantity of cinnamon to the mixture of both my egg and milk which I later apply on the bread and fry, on most occasion it turns fine but there’s always this feeling deep down in my heart like I forgot something more like there’s something missing.
Although it took some time to figure this out but I discovered what was missing and it was the bread, while I use any form of bread for my French toast the cracker barrel specifically makes French toast made with sourdough bread and that is what basically makes it stand out amongst other French toast recipes except for some other additions I probably might not know of.
The thing is sometimes people overlook the importance of the usage of sourdough bread for French toast due to reasons that I don’t know yet but I think it’s because they feel that the slightly tangy taste of the sourdough bread wouldn’t blend well with the toast but the truth is if you eventually try it you will notice that the same slight tangy taste of the bread is what actually offsets the sweetness of the maple syrup.
More so you will also discover that the hearty crumb of the bread basically means that it is not soggy in any way.
Another amazing fact about the copycat recipe is that it is very easy for anyone to alter it a bit and it also a pretty easy recipe. Pair it with some scrambled eggs and turkey bacon and watch yourself eagerly craving for more.
Ingredients required for a tasteful french toast
Ingredients required for making the French toast recipe are usually not difficult to find as you can get them in almost any grocery store. They include the following;
- 8 slices of sourdough bread
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup of milk
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 4 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 2 pinches of salt
- 1 tablespoon of butter for greasing the pan or griddle
Making the cracker barrel French toast is quite easy, it usually doesn’t take a lot of time, 10-15 minutes and you are done.
- First thing first is to thoroughly whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, salt, and sugar all in their required quantity in a large bowl.
- Heat your griddle or skillet on medium high heat and grease with butter or any non-stick cooking spray.
- Dip each slice of sourdough bread in the mixture of egg and milk, making sure both sides of the bread are properly coated. Place gently into the pan and fry for about a minute thirty seconds then flip and fry the other side until golden brown.
- Serve hot or warm depending on whichever one you like and add your favorite toppings which could be a part of the butter, maple syrup, whipped cream etc.
Note: there’s also the southern style French toast recipe which is almost similar in ingredient and preparation except for the fact that a mixture of flour and baking powder is added to the mixture of eggs and milk to form a smooth paste-like mixture which is later used to coat the slice of sourdough bread.
You can also make your French toast crunchy by pressing gently the already soaked bread to crushed corn flakes and this means you will need to add crushed corn flakes to the list of ingredients required.
How Nutritious is the Cracker Barrel French toast?
The nutrient content of the popular cracker barrel French toast is one that needs to be desired although it does have some number of negative ones the positive ones do outrightly outweigh the negatives.
The rate of total fat consumption for a day should range between 25-35 percent of total calorie. Saturated fat which is the basically the type of fat that increases the levels of cholesterol should be maintained at 7 percent of the total calories per day.
One slice of the cracker barrel French toast contains at least five grams of total fat and one gram of saturated fat. These two amounts to six percent of the values of the daily fat based on a 2000-calorie diet. This fat actually emanates from the egg and milk mixture made during the preparation of the French toast.
When making yours you can use egg whites, egg substitute and low-fat milk as alternatives to keep the fat levels down. Adding butter while cooking on also on top of the toast when it is ready for consumption also increases its fat content to an extra eleven grams of the total fat seven of which are completely saturated.
The daily recommended intake of carbs usually ranges from 125-130 grams, men above nineteen should consume at least fifty-six grams of protein per day while women should consume at least 46 grams. Bread are usually high-carb food making French toast high in carbs but the protein content is very moderate due to the addition of the egg and milk mixture.
One slice of the cracker barrel French toast contains at least 20grams of carbs and most likely 4 grams of protein. The addition of syrup also adds to the carb content of the French toast as one tablespoon of maple syrup is equivalent to 13 grams of carb. But not to worry the cracker barrel uses sourdough bread which is one of the healthiest types of bread you can consume.
More so, bread, milk and egg combination contain an average amount of sodium and this makes the French toast moderate amount. A slice of the French toast contains 290 milligrams and for healthy persons, the recommended daily intake of sodium is 2,300 milligrams while it is 1500 for persons with high blood pressure.
Eggs and milk are known to have very high levels of B vitamins which plays major roles in the breakdown of protein, carbs, and fat to produce energy, fortunately for us, the sourdough bread of the cracker barrel toast is fully enriched with them.
The cracker barrel French toast recipe has always been my favorite type of recipe for making the French toast and it more like a family tradition for me and my family.