I had another sandwich photographed and prepped to write about this week, but sometimes sandwich news hits fast and sandwich-focused content creators gotta stay nimble. The change in my schedule from one sandwich to another happened rapidly during the last part of this past week.
I just so happened to have had bulk pork sausage, eggs, milk, cheddar cheese, fresh-ish baked sourdough bread, and all the other things required to make an inspired version of this product, so I did. A few hours later and I had my first attempt.
With a name like French Toastwiches, how can I avoid making and writing about this one? Let’s do it.
What is a French Toastwich?
Betty Crocker seems to have invented this stuffed “sandwich” and the company sold versions of it in the freezer aisle back in the mid-1970s. There’s not a ton of information about French toastwiches online, but they appear to be a slice of bread that has been stuffed with “Real Sausage” and then dipped in an egg and milk mixture and turned into sausage-stuffed French toast.
From what I can gather just by looking at the product box and photos, I feel like the sausage is turned into what is probably a paste in a Betty Crocker factory somewhere. They were using some special industrial tricks to get the meat pureed and inserted into the middle of the bread the way it appears that they did.
Are we making a copycat of Betty Crocker’s French Toastwich?
No. I would say the Betty Crocker version inspires my version.
I wasn’t particularly enthused about the idea of pureeing the sausage into something that was squirtable or spreadable. To combat the issue of the loose sausage crumbles sliding out from between two slices of bread, I also added cheddar cheese. So, this version of a French Toastwich is similar but different.
To make French toastwiches we’ll first need some bread.
The sourdough sandwich loaf
I was already planning to write a bunch more about sourdough in next week’s sandwich post, so if you’re interested, that’s coming soon. But for this sandwich, I used my newest bread recipe for a simple, soft, sourdough sandwich loaf.
Semi-nerdy bread stuff:
If you don’t know what a sourdough starter is, it’s a combination of flour and water that has taken on some wild yeast from the air around us. The goal is to cultivate that wild yeast and encourage it to be stronger and better at eating flour and turning the flour into co2. When you have a starter, you basically have another living thing in your house that you’re now responsible for feeding. Good luck.
If you do not have a sourdough starter in your house and you want to make this sandwich fully from scratch and you would like a bread recipe suggestion, you can use my soft potato bread loaf recipe. The ingredients in these two loaves are similar but not quite the same. There’s also more of a chance that you’ll need to let the sourdough loaf rise a bit longer due to there being less instant yeast in the recipe.
Here’s my new sourdough sandwich loaf recipe that makes one small 4×8-inch loaf, which is typically enough for about 6 sandwiches in my experience. You can double the recipe if you have two pans, but if you’re doubling, make sure you have enough sourdough starter fed and ready to use.
This is a soft sandwich loaf with extra flavor from the sourdough starter. You must have a starter prior to starting this recipe and all of the measurements are in grams. There are resources and links about sourdough starters in the notes section at the bottom of this recipe.Get Recipe
Sausage and maple syrup combo
I’m assuming that almost everyone reading this has “accidentally” gotten some maple syrup on their bacon or sausage while eating pancakes or waffles. That savory meat added to the sweet syrup is a miraculous addition that this sandwich recreates well. You cook the sausage and get it broken up into fine crumbles. Then you add a tiny bit of flour and milk to help things thicken up. Maple syrup is added at the end of the cooking process so the flavor will be strong in the final sandwich.
Frenching the toast with the custard
If you’ve never made French toast before, it’s easy. You dunk the bread into what a chef might call an uncooked custard. But it’s basically just milk, eggs, and some seasonings like cinnamon and maybe vanilla extract.
Let the toastwich rest
You might be tempted to dive straight in and eat your French toastwich fresh out of the pan, but it will be better if it gets a short time to rest. French toast is obviously HOT when it comes out of the hot pan and if you slap it directly on a plate or another flat surface, the bottom side of the bread will simply start steaming itself and get soggy.
The best thing you can do is to get a cooling rack on a sheet pan and put that into a 200-degree F oven (95 C). Once the sandwich is done cooking in a pan, you can move it to the cooling rack in the oven and let it rest and de-soggify for 5 minutes at 200 degrees. You can use this extra resting time to make yourself a drink or wash up some of the dirty dishes. Take care of yourself.
Note: this 200-degree oven tip works well for grilled cheese sandwiches, regular French toast, pancakes, and waffles as well.
French Toastwich sandwich recipe
Say "good morning," to a savory and sweet flavor bomb of a sandwich. This breakfast sandwich is ready for your brunch, lunch, or even dinner table.
Ingredients:Maple pork sausage
- 4 to 5 ounces pork sausage
- 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1⁄4 cup milk
- 1 whole egg
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar (or granulated sugar)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 2 slices of sandwich bread
- 1 or 2 cheddar cheese slices
- maple pork sausage (from above)
- French toast custard (from above)
- 1 tablespoon butter
Brown the sausage: in a skillet over medium-high heat, add ground pork sausage and cook until the sausage is browned. With a spatula, break the meat up while cooking. I like to use a potato masher to break up the meat into even smaller pieces, but if you choose to do this make sure your masher doesn't scratch or hurt your pan. Cooking the meat fully will take 5 to 10 minutes. You're cooking until there's no obvious pink color.
When the meat is fully cooked and broken into small pieces, add 1 teaspoon of flour, stir to mix it in with the meat, and cook for 1 minute.
After a minute of cooking time, add milk, stirring until everything is combined, and allow it to cook until the milk has been absorbed or cooked off; approximately 2 minutes.
Turn the heat off on the stove and add the maple syrup on top of the cooked pork sausage. Stir to combine. Move the sausage out of the pan into a bowl until you're ready for sandwich assembly. Wipe out the pan for use later.
Make the custard: add all French toast custard ingredients to a large bowl. Whisk well to combine everything. Pour the custard into a shallow bowl, flat sheet pan, or pie plate so you can easily dunk a slice of bread into it.
Build the sandwich: on top of one slice of bread add one slice of cheese. Top the cheese with the browned, crumbled, maple pork sausage. Top that with the second slice of cheese (if using). Close off the sandwich with the second slice of bread.
Carefully add the built sandwich to the custard and allow the bottom slice of bread to soak in for at least 30 or 45 seconds.
Add a tablespoon of butter to your wiped-out skillet and turn the heat back on to medium.
Carefully flip the sandwich in the custard and let the second side soak for an additional 30 or 45 seconds.
At this point or sometime very soon, the butter in the pan should be melted and starting to bubble up. Carefully remove the sandwich from the custard and add it on top of the butter in the pan. Cook this first side of the sandwich for 2 minutes, covering the pan with the pan lid or a metal sheet pan.
After 2 minutes, carefully flip the sandwich and cook the second side for another 1.5 minutes, covered. If the top is not brown enough, you can keep flipping the sandwich until both sides get the color you desire.
At this point, the sandwich is done and ready to serve. For best results, the sandwich does benefit from resting on a cooling rack for 2 to 5 minutes to allow the bottom side a chance to dry out and crisp up. This can be done in a very low-preheated oven as well.
French some toastwiches!
Check back next week when we dive deep on sourdough and work on another leftover-focused sandwich.