I’m teaching a pressure cooking class in a few weeks and we are doing a brunch theme on a Saturday morning. Life doesn’t get much better, does it? I am now facing the challenge of fine tuning my recipes and having them ready to share with the class. So here we are, talking about French toast in the pressure cooker.
This French toast is a cross with bread pudding, since in order to make it work in the pressure cooker, you will cube your bread instead of leaving it in slices. The quantity of this recipe leaves me wanting, it serves four nicely. If you have a larger group to serve, you may need to plan to make two or use a larger pressure cooker that can fit a larger cake pan – your cooking time should not change. I will note that it cooked pretty quickly, very little warm up time, and the 5-minute quick release is helpful, also. So, if you cook two in a row, I can see it working out okay for serving them together.
But on to the recipe. In order to make a great French toast, you need to know a couple of things:
- Use brioche or a lighter, sweet bread. I found a nice loaf of fluffy, slightly crusty French bread at Costco and it worked well. This is not the time to break out the multigrain, sourdough breads. They will just end up being so heavy and dense that you won’t be happy with the end results.
- Since I bought my bread at Costco, I had a lot of it. I sliced it all up and then froze it cubed. It is ready to go when I want to make the next batch of French toast. Alternatively, it can be made into croutons sometime down the line.
- There is no long soak needed of the bread in the egg and milk mixture, like you would with traditional French toast or bread pudding. The pressure cooker magically does the work of getting the liquid into the bread.
- My little cheesecake pan that fits the Instant Pot manages to leak. I put tin foil around the outside, but it only helped to collect the liquid that escaped the pan. Next time, I plan to line the inside of the pan with a bit of parchment paper to keep that eggy goodness where it belongs.
- Speaking of cheesecake pans, if you don’t have one for your pressure cooker, don’t stress. Find a Pyrex or other oven safe pan that fits and go for it. Some people find they need a few extra minutes when they use a Pyrex, but I have never found that to be the case.
- When I pulled my French toast out of the InstantPot, the top looked like it needed a little crisping, so I poured a little melted butter over the top and toasted it under the broiler in the oven. This is an optional extra step. Totally optional, but worth it, if you have the time. You can add a little cinnamon and sugar to the top also, but be sure to watch it carefully under the broiler.
- You can also add fruit to the French toast while it cooks. I’m planning to try adding frozen blueberries in my next batch. Of course, fruit as a final topping is an excellent option, also.
With no further ado, here is the recipe. I hope you enjoy!
- 4 - 5 cups of cubed bread, use a brioche or other sweet, sturdy bread, see recipe for instruction on amount of bread
- 1 cup of milk, use whole if you have it but anything will work
- 2 eggs
- 2 T brown sugar
- 2 t vanilla
- 1 t cinnamon
- ½ cup of raisins, blueberries or chocolate chips (optional)
- 1 T butter melted (optional)
- Toppings - syrup, fruit, whipped cream, powdered sugar (optional)
- Pour bread cubes into the cake pan that you'll be using for this recipe. Fill the pan slightly over the top - the bread will shrink slightly during cooking. I use a 7-inch cheesecake pan, but a Pyrex bowl works also.
- Prepare your pressure cooker by adding 1 cup of water and placing a steamer rack in the insert. Prepare a tin foil sling for your cake pan, if you can't easily remove the pan from the pressure cooker. To prepare a foil sling, roll two long pieces of tin foil into 1 inch wide strips, cross the strips in an x on the bottom of the cake pan to lift it easily.
- Combine milk, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and any optional ingredients into a large bowl.
- Toss bread cubes with the milk and egg mixture.
- Oil or butter the cake pan. Line the cake pan if you think it will leak or wrap it in tin foil.
- Pour the bread and egg mixture into the oiled cake pan.
- Cover the top of the cake pan with tin foil or a couple paper towels to keep the top of the French toast dry.
- Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Turn off the keep warm setting.
- Once the cooking time is complete, allow to rest 5 minutes before manually releasing the remaining pressure.
- If you'd like a crispier top, drizzle the melted butter over the top and put under the broiler for 3-4 minutes until you see it bubbling.
- Serve with syrup, fruit, whipped cream, or powdered sugar and enjoy!