french toast crunch!

If you’re ever in North Dallas and have a sense of adventure to try a local cafe, Old West will not disappoint.  It is one of our favorite places to eat breakfast and lunch.  (That’s all they serve)  I think there’s more than 1 location now, but the only other one I know of is in a town called Sanger, which is about 10-15 minutes north of this location. I believe that’s where the first one originated. It is one of those, “Pull up yer’ chair and stay a while” places.

This brings me to the blog I’ve wanted to do forever because I get the same dish almost every time and every time I say, “I need to figure out how they make this.”  The dish I get is called the Trail Boss.  It comes with french toast, scrambled eggs, and bacon.  The french toast is not your typical french toast you get at Lenny’s or UJump.  It’s not smooth & tasteless to where you have to rescue it by slathering it with syrup and butter. This french toast is perfection.  It’s got a crispy outside, with a crunch to it when you bite into it, only it’s not super crisp.  Almost like they battered it in sugar and cinnamon crystals, then smacked it on the piping hot griddle.

I tried.  Then, I tried again.  And again.  And again.  (Seriously….I used 1/2 a loaf) I’m stubborn, what can I say.  First, I tried using the more coarse sugar and cinnamon as my coating.  Although it had beautiful color, the sugar quickly burned in the pan and made a huge mess. That couldn’t be their method. Pretty color, but not the same texture…and a huge mess to clean up.

Then, I crushed up cinnamon toast crunch and corn flakes in a bag, then dredged the bread in my liquid first, then then I pressed the bread into the crunch mixture on each side.  All this did was make a layer of crisp so thick, that the bread didn’t even toast. It made a thick, 1/2 underdone, 1/2 burnt outer coating and soggy bread.

Then, I thought, “Maybe I’m supposed to put it in the oven??” I dipped it in my liquid….and I mean SOAKED it in my liquid, then lightly sprinkled the crunch mixture on the top. I always thought when you make french toast in the oven, it dries it out and all of the liquid would be soaked up and cooked. I didn’t plan on my poor little toast trying to soak up Lake Superior. That one was getting me closer, because I had the outside exactly how I wanted it, but the middle was one, big, soggy mess. Getting closer. 1/2 a loaf down, but getting closer. Hubby is a bread man, so we’re good. Can call for backups if needed.

So…after ALL that, I think I came just about as close as I could to Old West’s Trail Boss.

First, you start off with Texas Toast, or a thick slice of whatever bread you want to cook with with.

For your liquid batter, whisk: 1 egg, 1/2 cup of milk or half and half, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp cinnamon
For your crunch batter, you combine:  1:1/2 ratio of cinnamon toast crunch cereal and corn flakes (1 to 1/2 ratio)
& mash or pulse in food processor  (should be like cornmeal with a few bigger pieces)

Dredge bread in liquid batter quickly and do not soak, then hold bread with one hand while you dust the bread evenly with your other hand, with the crunch mixture on both sides.
Lay on greased/buttered griddle and cook on med to med high heat on both sides approximately for 2-3 minutes on both sides.


My 14 year old gladly volunteered to try this version…and, as you can see… she approved. 🙂