Revamp Your Breakfast Sandwich With A French Toast Twist

French toast is one of those simple breakfasts that's easy enough to make with whatever you've got lying around in your kitchen. Most French toast is made from brioche or sourdough bread, but anything sturdy from challah to Hawaiian rolls work for French toast. The results go with almost any breakfast food — so what if you used French toast for a breakfast sandwich?


In fact, making a breakfast sandwich with French toast isn't too different from a Monte Cristo. A basic Monte Cristo recipe is just ham, turkey, and cheese with bread fried in egg batter. That said, it's also completely fine to use French toast in a breakfast sandwich with bacon, or with scrambled eggs (any style of eggs should work). If that food could go next to your French toast on a big breakfast plate, there's no reason the flavors couldn't go together stacked in a sandwich. It's all mostly sweet and savory — those two flavors mix together well, and the French toast buns makes it extra sweet.

Swapping regular toast for French toast

Regardless of what's going inside the sandwich, you want to first prepare the French toast separately. You can make them the way you normally do: Typical French toast involves adding milk, eggs, cinnamon, and plenty of sugar (or cinnamon sugar). There are also plenty of delicious twists on French toast that you can use instead, like parmesan and garlic for a more savory flavor that'll match with the savory filling.


That balance of sweet and savory is something you'll want to consider. Since normal French toast buns are full of sweet flavors, it helps to use savory flavors for the middle to strike that balance, unless you specifically want an extremely sugary breakfast. If you choose more savory Monte Cristo ingredients, the sandwich will be more balanced, and you can still serve it with sweeter sides like maple syrup and jam. If you choose lots of fruits and cream instead for the filling, you'll end up with a very different result, which is still tasty but sweet enough to be a dessert sandwich.

The breakfast Monte Cristo

That's why the Monte Cristo comparison comes up: That sandwich is usually more savory, with deli meats and salty, nutty gruyere cheese, but it's still sprinkled with sweet sugar or honey at the end. The Monte Cristo is considered to be an American version of a French sandwich called the Croque Madame (grilled cheese with ham and gruyere topped with a fried egg resembling a lady's hat). This itself a variant of a Croque Monsieur, which is a similar sandwich with no egg on top.


It's speculated that the Monte Cristo first appeared in Southern California around the 1960s, but its origins are oddly murky. From the 1960s onward, it became common in Hollywood diners, and famous author John Cheever wrote about his love for Monte Cristos while he lived in Los Angeles. In any case, the sandwich's connection to Croque Monsieurs makes it more French than French toast, which actually dates back to Ancient Rome. The name "French toast" is sometimes attributed to French immigrants in the United States who enjoyed the dish, and sometimes attributed to an innkeeper in the 1700s named Joseph French. Regardless, it's lasted so long because it goes with nearly anything.