Pumpkin french toast with buttermilk syrup tastes so good it is to die for, and if you eat it to often you might just do that. I love it when I make something and my picky 9 year old daughter (who is harder to feed than my autistic son at times) thinks it is the best thing she ever ate. I know it’s not healthy but hey, I got the major thumbs up from the little twerp and sometimes that is worth it.
You all know I am a PUMPKIN FREAK and this recipe makes a great addition to my pumpkin recipes but one thing that makes this recipe even better is using Italian bread (or even french bread) instead of loaf bread. You do not want an Italian bread with a very hard crust, you want one with a softer crust.
Italian bread just makes the flavor and texture over the top. I get a pre-sliced Italian Round bread from Fred Meyer. The other great thing about this bread is the slices are super wide so it makes a french toast slab that looks awesome and is big enough that my little ones only need one slice to fill them up. If you don’t want to be super cool well then just use plain old loaf bread blah blah blah. Why would you want a just a slice of french toast when you can have a slab of it?
You can use regular syrup with Pumpkin French Toast but buttermilk syrup (see recipe below) is going to make this dish OVER-THE-TOP, seriously SO GOOD!!!
OK, now stop reading my BLAH BLAH BLAH and start making this amazing french toast…
Pumpkin French Toast Recipe
Ingredients: 11-15 slices of bread 3 eggs
2/3 cup Pumpkin Puree
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp Vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup milk
Add eggs, pumpkin puree, sugar, and cinnamon to a mixing bowl and whip together.
Add milk and vanilla and whip thoroughly.
Pre-heat pancake griddle to 350 degrees (or heat pan on medium heat for stove top).
Dip each side of the bread in the mixture letting it soak in a bit.
Cook on griddle for 4 minutes each side.
Repeat and eat.
Optionally garnish it with a sprinkle of powdered sugar or some whip cream if desired.
Buttermilk Syrup Recipe
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
In a large sauce pan on medium heat and add sugar, butter, buttermilk, and baking soda.
Continuously stir mixture until it starts to boil and foam up to 3 times its volume (hence the larger sauce pan).
Bring it to a boil for 2 minutes, continuously stirring the whole time.
Remove from heat and add vanilla and stir it in.
Ready to serve.
If eat gluten free you can still do pumpkin french toast. In fact it is one of the best ways to enjoy those blah tasting rice breads you buy at the stores, coat them with pumpkin french toast goodness and you will forget it’s gluten free.
Reheating French Toast
One great thing about french toast is that they make great leftover snacks for other days. Just put them in a toaster and the out side will come out nicely toasted and the inside will be warm and tender, way better than left over waffles and pancakes.
Have you ever bought rolled oats from the store and they had very little taste or a bitter taste? They lack taste because they have either been over processed or sat on the shelf for way to long. They may also become slightly rancid when they have been sitting way to long. These store bought rolled oats or flaked grains are also often void of most of their nutrition.
I love fresh rolled oats and other grains. They are full of wonderful flavor and packed with whole grain nutrition, say goodbye to the blah store bought rolled oats and flaked grains by making them fresh in your kitchen.
I have been rolling my own oats and flaking grains for about 8 years now and have learned that TWO simple things that make it MUCH BETTER.
Tip #1 Prep The Grains
When I first started I just poured the grains in the grain flaker mill and got brittle flaked oats. This worked alright but it was not what I really wanted, I wanted nice whole flaked grains that held together for use in breakfast cereals, deserts, breads, and so on… I did not want crumbs of flaked grains that easily fell apart.
To overcome this I found you need to pre-soak the grains with a little bit of water first, then the result will be real flaked grains and not flaked crumbs (see photo below to see the difference). The pre-soak with very little water makes the grain just soft enough for an effective flattening process that holds together.
Here is the Steps for Prepping Your Grains:
Put 2 cups of grains or oat groats (or mixture of grains) in a seal-able container.
Add 2-3 teaspoons of cold water (I use 3).
Seal the container and shake vigorously for 15 seconds to spread the water around to all the grains.
Let sit for 1 minute or so and shake again.
Let the sealed container sit overnight, at least 8 hours or more.
Now the grains are ready to be flaked.
This is probably the most important part of flaking your own grains. Not many people think to do it but it makes all the difference in grain flaking. Most commercial companies steam their oats before rolling them flat for best results.
Tip #2 The Right Grain Flaker Mill
The FGM Grain Flaker (by Family Grain Mill)
I have tried many grain flakers, expensive and cheap, and have settled on the FGM (Family Grain Mill) Grain Flaker (made in Germany). What I like most about this unit is it uses a rough roller to pull the grains through but the other side is a curved shaped flat surface (see photo to the right) that helps keep the grain from getting crushed to much so your end product is better. All of the other grain flakers use two rough rollers and do not provide as good of an end product as the FGM Grain Flaker.
Another thing I like about the FGM Grain Flaker mill is that it can be used as a kitchen mixer attachment for many brands of kitchen mixers (some require an additional attachment part) or it can be used as a hand cranked stand alone unit. I use it both ways. It fits directly on to my WonderMix Revolution Kitchen Mixer so I can roll oats and grains with no effort or when I want to be quiet I put it on the hand crank base which turns effortless to produced flaked grains (my kids like to do it this way). This hand crank base for the Family Grain Mill products is also great for preppers / off grid minded people and they have several other attachments.
(Family Grain Mill attachments can fit many different brands of mixers and even a hand base)
How it works
Just pour the grains (preferably prepped as mentioned above) into the grain flaker’s hopper and start cranking the handle and the grains come out flatted, it is as simple as that.
Storing Freshly Flaked Grains
I have found that freshly flaked grains keep most of their flavor (and probably their nutrition) for at least a month in a sealed container at room temperature. I would not store them for more than 3 months, if used with-in 3 months you will always get a better tasting product and more nutrition than any of the store bought brands or bulk bins.
You can also put the sealed container of flaked grains in the freezer to keep them fresh and preserved for even longer.
The nice thing about whole grains is that they stay good for years and years. I buy grains in bulk and flake them or grind them into flour when I need them. I also pressure cooker the whole grains to add to recipes for a healthy filling accent to some foods. There are many grains that are gluten-free that you can flake, grind or use whole if that is needed in your diet like my wife does.
Grains I Flake
Oat Groats (whole oats), KAMUT, and Quinoa are the main grains I flake for cereals, deserts, and for adding to breads. You can also flake wheat, spelt, buckwheat, and many other grains. Some grains are too brittle such as einkorn for flaking at home.
Mix It Up
Most people just flake one kid of grain at a time, I find it best to flake a mixture of grains together. Each grain has its own certain health benefits that are sometimes more abundant in some grains than in others, for this reason I like to mix about 3 grains together to get the health benefits from all three grains in one meal.
My favorite grain mixture is 1 cup oat groats, 1/2 cup quiona, and 1/2 cup Kamut. you simply mix all the grains together before doing your pre-soak and running them through the grain flaker mill.
What Do You Do With Flaked Grains?
You can do many things with flaked grains, here are a few ideas:
Add to breads
Add to deserts and cookies
Granola mix or bars
Use in meatloaf
Breakfast bars or power bars
Add to muffins
Add to casseroles
Add to soups
Overnight Oats My Favorite
My favorite thing to do with flaked grains and oats is overnight oats. There are hundreds of different recipes out there for overnight oats, which is great because if you do it the same all the time it get a bit blah so try lots of them and decide on a handful you like best. There are many reasons to do it, here is a few great articles:
The WonderMix kitchen mixer is the new kid in the market and ever since we received them in our store we have given our demo WonderMix mixer quite the workout. I have made several loaves of bread, batches of cookies, shredding meat, mashed potatoes, and plenty of other stuff. Throughout all testing, the WonderMix has proven to be a great mixer, especially for making bread.
The WonderMix seemed to mix 2-6 small loaves of bread dough very very well in the testing process, much of which was 100% whole wheat dough since I love to use whole grain flour made in my grain mill. My KitchenAid Pro 600 mixer struggles with larger batches of 100% whole wheat, so the WonderMix far outdoes the KitchenAid Pro 600 at that. My Bosch Universal Plus mixer can do a little bigger batch of bread dough than the WonderMix because of it’s bowl capacity but do you really need to do more than 6 loaves of bread, probably not ever unless you are baking for the whole neighborhood.
My Bosch mixer also seems to struggle with getting small batches of dough to start mixing, like 1-2 loaves of dough. The WonderMix did very well with 2 small loaves of bread dough (see video below). The WonderMix did struggle a little with a single small loaf of bread dough but with a little help at the start it finishes off very well. From my experience of working with people starting to bake bread, they tend to commonly do 2-4 loaves at a time, and this is the range where the WonderMix shines best.
The WonderMix has a Dough Divider which stays stationary while the dough hook spins around. This dough divider keeps small batches of dough from just spinning around with the dough hook and really gets things mixing fast. You can really see how well this system works in the “2 loaf” video above, it only takes it 5 minutes to fully develop the gluten. For larger batches of dough (3-7 loaves) the Dough Divider is not needed, just use the dough hook. See the video below for a demonstration of the dough hook.
The WonderMix bowl comes with a lid that keeps things from flying out while mixing and the middle opens for pouring in ingredients while mixing. This is a great feature of the WonderMix and the Bosch mixer as well but the KitchenAid mixers lack this feature and can make quite a mess with certain kitchen projects. This lid allows you to use the whole capacity of the mixing bowl without worry of making a mess.
For large batches of bread dough the WonderMix mixer seems to do better with just the dough hook and no Dough Divider. The WonderMix develops dough quite quickly with 2-4 loaves of dough but when you are making 5 or more loaves of bread dough at a time, the WonderMix can take a few minutes longer because the dough has to cycle in and out of the dough hook in the tall bowl (as shown in the extra large batch in the video below). The good thing is that the WonderMix does not seem to have a problem mixing for a longer period if needed, unlike the KitchenAid Mixer who recommends turning their mixer off to cool every 6 minutes or so.
As you can see in the video above of the WonderMix mixer mixing at full capacity with bread dough, this mixer has plenty of power to get the job done again and again. It is rated at 900 watts and it acts like it as well.
The bowl of the WonderMix mixer is not so wide as the Bosch bowl and I think that is an advantage when it comes to doing smaller batches of dough in the WonderMix. The WonderMix bowl is deep to make up for its smaller width. The KitchenAid’s bowl is large but can get messy if you try and use more than half capacity full, whereas the WonderMix and Bosch bowls have lids that allow you to use the bowls full capacity.
The Bowl also has a great handle for holding when pouring out batter or dumping your dough out. The handle is not quite as nice as the Bosch Universal Plus mixer’s bowl handle that goes all the way around the bowl but it is still a nice handle that works well. You never know how nice it is to have a good handle on your mixer bowl until you have used one with out a good handle, trust me it is a nice feature to have.
The WonderMix’s bowl also locks into place with ease and won’t release until you push the release lever, not even if you pick up the mixer by the bowl. Bosch has a quick & easy lock & release bowl that works very well. The KitchenAid bowl’s lock and release functionality always makes me want to cuss, hopefully the kids aren’t around when it finally does.
With the WonderMix and Bosch mixers it doesn’t matter if you put dry ingredients in first or last, they will still mix the dough completely. With the KitchenAid Pro 600, the dough hook does not come as close to the bottom of the bowl and it becomes important to put the wet ingredients in first for bread dough or you will probably have dry ingredients still on the bottom of the bowl when your are done mixing.
Weight wise, the WonderMix kitchen mixer is by far the lightest, and because it has a locking bowl you can carry it by the bowl handle with ease. The WonderMix weighs 10.5 lbs and the Bosch Universal Plus weighs 12.6 lbs, not a huge difference but noticeable when carrying from counter to pantry storage. The KitchenAid Pro 600 weighs a whopping 25 POUNDS, there is a reason people leave it on their counter because it is a workout to put it away.
The FOOT PRINT of the WonderMix mixer is smaller than both the KitchenAid Pro 600 and the Bosch Universal Plus mixer. The KitchenAid is really tall, though it fits under your counter still, and is quite deep. The Bosch is slightly shorter than the WonderMix but it is wider and much deeper than the WonderMix. The WonderMix will save you a lot of room when stored away compared to most bread mixers.
The WonderMix and Bosch mixers both have a no walking base design, if you have ever seen a Kitchenaid rock and wobble under a heavy load, then you know why this is a great feature. The Bosch even has suction cup feet to hold it in place, although I have never felt that it needed them.
The WonderMix mixer has a few attachments available for it such as a slicer shredder, meat grinder & processor, grain & seed mill, and grain flaker. I use the slicer shredder quite often and have not used the other attachments that much. From my conversation with the company, they have plans for more in the future and I would like to see a pasta attachment option like the KitchenAid has.
The WonderMix & the Bosch mixers have a blender option as well, this is something that KitchenAid mixers lack the option to do. The blender is better performing than many of the low price blenders we commonly find in stores but I would never compare it to the high-end performance of a Blendtec or Vitamix blender.
I would highly recommend the WonderMix kitchen mixer to anyone, it does a great job and is a great value. I also really like my Bosch mixer but since the WonderMix mixer is quite comparable for nearly $100 less it is a no brainer to me recommend the WonderMix over it.
As for the KitchenAid, I just have a hard time getting excited about using it. I know it is the most popular mixer with its elegant looks and celebrity approval but it just doesn’t do it for me. I do feel like they have fixed some of their major problems they used to have years ago when they sounded like a jet plane and broke gears all the time, so don’t let those old reviews discourage you from it. If you do buy the KitchenAid Pro 600, I would get it from Amazon.com to get the free shipping on this 25 lbs mixer.
I am a whole grain guy but there are some breads that just have to have the white bread taste, for example a whole wheat french bread is really a baguette bread not french bread. For breads like these I use a KAMUT mixed in with a quality white flour, such as King Arthur, that is un-bleached and un-abominated.
I usually only use 1/3 KAMUT flour and the rest white four for recipes that I want to taste like white flour, this ratio with KAMUT leaves it tasting like white bread. For some reason KAMUT does not have that whole grainy taste like most whole grain flours do. So it is white bread but it still has that whole grain goodness hidden in there, no one ever knows that there is whole grain in it unless I tell them. I highly recommend using KAMUT in your white breads.
Now on to the KAMUT french bread, it is so easy (as you can see in the video below). French bread is an oily dough but the WonderMix mixer did great with mixing it.
My wife’s family shared this recipe with me and I just love them. Bananas, oatmeal, sugar, and chocolate chips! Whats not to love.
My wife has always been afraid of using a kitchen mixer, like it is complicated or something, so she always does it with a mixing spoon or hand mixer. I watched her make these last well week in her way and it looked like too much work for me. So I made them this week with my mixer and video taped it to show just how easy it is with the right kitchen tool.
4 cups flour (I use 2 cups white flour 1 cup pearled barley flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1½ pkgs chocolate chips
Cream butter and sugar together in a mixer bowl.
Add oatmeal, crushed bananas, milk and eggs into mixer bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine remaining dry ingredients and whisk together.
Add dry ingredients to mixer bowl and mix together.
Add chocolate chips and mix until evenly distributed.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 13 minutes.
Using a kitchen mixer is so easy and makes your life easier. Don’t be afraid of using one, they are really quite simple once you try one. I also hope you enjoy this cookie recipe and don’t make them the hard way if you can avoid it.
I also ground some pearl barley in my grain mill for this recipe, I love to add whole grains to recipes and this is definitely one you can get away with it.
I use lots of whole grain flours, as you can tell from many of my blog posts, but I still buy white bread from time to time. When I do buy white bread it is usually potato bread, I just love the soft texture and flavor. I found a few recipes on the internet and modified them to a potato bread recipe I like that uses 100% whole wheat flour, and it is now my favorite bread.
This was also a great recipe to break in the new WonderMix kitchen mixer, which I love especially for the price. I recently learned how to make butter from heavy cream in the mixer, which tasted awesome on the home made potato whole wheat bread.
Remember that fresh milled flour (milled within the last week) is the best for flavor, commercial whole wheat flour from the store will have a slightly bitter taste to it and less flavor.
I own a very large, thick, and durable pizza stone made by Pizzacraft. It can be used in the kitchen oven or on your BBQ grill, not that my BBQ grill is large enough for my pizza stone but smaller sizes are available. This makes it very versatile if you need to use it for baking on your BBQ grill if you have to.
I will never buy a cheap or thin pizza stone again, they always end up cracking even under proper use. They just are not worth it. After going through a few cheap stones you would have saved money just getting a thick premium pizza stone.
Instead of using pizza peel and the cornmeal process to place the pizza on the stone, I use parchment paper and a flat edged cookie sheet. I roll out the dough on parchment paper that has been lightly oiled with olive oil, let it rise, top the pizza, slide the cookie sheet under the parchment paper, transfer it to the oven and slide the parchment paper with pizza off the cookie sheet onto the hot pizza stone, bake pizza, and finally slide the cookie sheet under the parchment paper to remove the pizza from the stone. This process works like a dream for me, anyone else use parchment paper for their pizza baking?
I have also seen a few steel pizza stones that look like they could a great option as well. They are said to be virtually indestructible and can double as a stove top grill or be used on the BBQ grill as well. I would love to try one, have any of you had experiences with a Baking Steel?
She bought the barley flour at the store but I decided to make my own. I bought pearled barley at WinCo in the bulk food bins for just 48 cents a pound and milled it into flour in the WonderMill on the pastry setting, it came out super fine and fluffy.
I have to say that the cake came out very tasty, I think I am going to love Barley Flour and I can’t wait to experiment some more with it. I also topped it with my wife’s recipe for chocolate buttercream frosting.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 inch baking pan or 2 round cake pans.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla for 2 minutes until it is creamy.
In a separate large mixing bowl whisk together the remaining dry ingredients.
Add ⅓ of the flour mixture and ⅓ of the water at a time to the sugar mixture and whisk until just combined before adding another ⅓ until all ingredients have been added and combined, don't over whisk mixture.
Pour batter into baking pan and bake for 35-45 minutes, until a tooth pick comes out clean.
Let cake cool in the pans.
Top with your favorite frosting and enjoy your whole grain cake.