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Chocolate French Toast with Panera Bread


I'm back (already?!) with another post for Panera Bread!  I know, two posts in one day - try not to faint.  It's a rare occurrence, but my schedule has been a little crazy lately and it just worked out as such.

Whenever I'm out and about I like to stop by Panera Bread for a couple of artisan loaves; usually the Asiago Cheese and Three Seed Sour Dough.  One variety that I had not tried before was Country White French Miche (a Panera employee kindly corrected me).   I knew if it was comparable to the quality of the other breads they bake, it would be fantastic.  And it is!  Even a small slice seems enormous, which makes it perfect for hearty sandwiches. It is also perfect for the recipe I have to share with you today.


What could be better than Chocolate French Toast?  I really love this recipe.  It's easy, indulgent, and makes breakfast feel like a special occasion.  I will certainly be making this next time we have overnight guests.


Before I close, I'd like to take a moment to point you in the direction of some great resources.  Panera bread has a fabulous instructional baking video at The Baker's Table for Asiago Strata (mmm, delish!).  While there, you may want to check out another video that talks about the fresh ingredients they use. I've been noticing certain changes to their menu that seems more accommodating to health conscious consumers.  That makes me really proud of the direction Panera Bread is headed. It's nice to know there's something for everyone.

Me?  I'll be at the pastry case.

Find more about Panera Bread on Facebook and Twitter.


Chocolate French Toast

Serves 4-6                                                                                                                 [click to print]

10 slices Panera Bread Country Miche

1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup hot water
5 large eggs
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
12 oz. semisweet chocolate chopped, or semisweet chocolate chips
 Prepared butter flavored pancake syrup

In a small bowl, dissolve cocoa powder in hot water. Whisk until blended; set aside.

In shallow pan (such as a 1 1/4 quart baking dish) whisk together eggs, cream, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt.  Add chocolate cocoa mixture; whisk again until incorporated.

Melt a small piece of butter in a 12" non-stick pan over medium high heat.  Dip 2 bread pieces in egg mixture (turning if necessary) and place in pan.  Turn pieces after about 2-3 minutes and cover one piece with chopped chocolate or chips.  Place the other piece of bread on top of the chocolate covered piece, creating a sandwich.  Heat until chocolate has melted.  Repeat process with remaining pieces.  Serve with butter flavored pancake syrup.


DISCLOSURE: The writing and recipe in this post is for Panera Bread's blog project.  They have compensated me for my time and expenses; my opinions are my own.
link Chocolate French Toast with Panera Bread By Published: Chocolate French Toast with Panera Bread Recipe



85 comments :

  1. Heather- what is the tip that you used for the whipped cream? Thanks! Also thanks so much for checking out my blog! :)

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  2. I manage a Panera Bread in Dallas, and it's so fun to see how many food bloggers blog about us! This looks delicious, by the way! I will definitely be grabbing some bread from work and trying it.

    PS: Our cinnamon raisin bread makes a freaking awesome bread pudding. :o)

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  3. Oh my! I need to treat myself to this next Friday!! Thanks for the recipe and delicious photos!

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  4. Nice recipe :) ...are you getting paid by them? Because there's nothing special about their chemical-filled products, that's for sure...

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  5. This could definitely breakfast 2mrw morning.

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  6. Oh my. Amazing french toast. I'm thinking I should make a 'lazy' version... with Nutella. ;)

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  7. Yummy, these french toats looks perfect to me!

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  8. whoa girl, you just took delicious looking photos to a whole new level!

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  9. oh my gosh!!! how many Weight Watchers points is that!!!! looks incredible!!! LOVE...PATTI B.

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  10. Thanks all - Audra, the tip comes from Bake it Pretty... It is the giant french tip - you can find it here.

    http://www.bakeitpretty.com/item_306/French-Giant-Pastry-Tip.htm

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  11. This is unbelievable! just brilliant!
    Leila

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  12. OMG that is beautiful.

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  13. This looks ah-mazing! I might just make it my 2nd breakfast this morning. :)

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  14. This is beautiful...straight up beautiful. That's what I call breakfast for champions!

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  15. my gosh. heather- youre an all star :)
    -meg
    @ http://www.clutzycooking.blogspot.com

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  16. I would never mind you posting everyday! ha, what a drop dead gorgeous dish..and so decadent for a special occasion breakfast...or dinner!

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  17. Oh my, you know, I don't think I've actually ever had chocolate french toast. This is a must try!

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  18. OMGoodness I've never seen a more delectable recipe for french toast. I would love to sink my fork into all those layers of chocolatey yum! xo ~Lili

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  19. Hi, I work for Panera and would like for your readers to known that it's called "Country Miche". All bread of this particular shape is called miche, the "flavour" being that of a rustic white bread. (In our store, the 3 diagonally-cut bread tops indicate French Miche, virtually identical to Country.) If they go into the cafe and ask for "country white", they may be inundated with questions to isolate which bread they want. (Loaf or miche? Slice? Think or thick? Etc.) So they want a country miche thin sliced. :)

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  20. Thank you not.drew!

    I asked for country white and was handed this loaf. Thank you for the clarification!! This is certainly helpful to both me and my readers.

    -Heather

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  21. Your desserts are truly works of art. I can only hope to have such a beautiful blog and amazing talent one day. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Sarah G from Springfield, MO

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  22. I've had a grilled chocolate sandwich before, but never as French toast...even better! A must try!

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  23. This looks so wonderfully decadent. I'm sure it tastes great

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  24. That looks insanely delicious. Insane in the most wonderful way!

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  25. I don't know what to say except - you are amazing! I agree with Kristina - this looks insanely delicious. I imagine if I started my day with this I would be in a sugar, cocoa induced stupor the rest of the day...but oh, what a stupor that would be! Completely worth it!

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  26. Wow this looks absolutely amazing! Great Photos as well! Thanks for sharing!

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  27. Since I am in my fat pants already, I don't think my waistline can handle this post! It looks so delectable....I will be making this for a special someone soon. YUM!

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  28. Usually your beautiful photos are what inspire me to try a recipe but this time I was sold by the title alone! amazing!

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  29. I have never been so in awe of french toast in all my days. seriously, how do you do this to me?

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  30. Now this looks like one delicious breakfast! Packed full of tasty goodness!

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  31. Bookmarked! If those pictures don't entice someone, who knows what would!

    How did you get involved with Panera, btw?

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  32. Wow, this chocolate French toast looks incredible! I love Panera's bread.

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  33. Delightful as usual! I almost never got to Panera as the only one in San Francisco is not very convenient to me and I tend to go to local artisan bakeries here in SF (perhaps that's why they haven't gotten a foothold here in SF yet, as their are wonderful artisan bakeries around the city already).

    That said, I do have a soft spot for them as they originated out of St. Louis (where they are still known there as "St. Louis Bread Company"). I have fond memories of going there for bread or a sandwich.

    And your chocolate french toast sounds perfect with their Country Miche!

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  34. Oh my, that looks simply divine. Pass me a fork?

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  35. Oh my word! this is going to have to be made soon!

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  36. AB FAB!! This looks so yummy. I'm ready for a breakfast party. The French also like pain de chocolate. I may have goofed up the spelling but it's basically chocolate bread. I'm thinking about trying to make some, especially after your post on chocolate French toast.Do you have any good recipes for chocolate bread or croissants?

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  37. What could be better than chocolate french toast? Nutella french toast... yum!

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  38. This looks amazing! I used to go to Panera all the time when I was in undergrad. Too bad there aren't any by me here in NYC. They could give Europan and Hot and Crusty a run for their money.

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  39. I love that you stacked this high like cake! Chocolate inbetween-someone pick up, so I can make this-STAT!

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  40. Dang it girl!! This is amazing to gaze upon. Think I am gonna challenge myself to make a light version. Not sure it would add up though ;)

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  41. wow heather, now this is something fabulous! i want to be inside your head one day and just feel how you come up with these great treats! I am going to show this to my kids and then I am going to have to create this!

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  42. I am new here, and I don't really know what to say except for wow, this looks absolutely divine, and I wish I could the eat the picture. Stunning photos too.

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  43. Oh this is just beautiful. Never have I ever seen Panera bread used to such a maximal potential.

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  44. The photos make me drool! Absolutely amazing!

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  45. nice nice:)!

    watch this!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JMS41zWOnk

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  46. Holy Amazing!!! Beautiful photos!

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  47. Oh man...why do I keep stumbling onto food pages with such good looking food.

    Stop teasing me StumbleUpon!

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  48. Sadly, I must comment that your bread pictured here is actually Panera's french miche, rather than country. They are very similar (enough that customers NEVER notice when the bread is switched on sandwiches). Aside from being scored differently, the only difference is that the French bread has a slightly higher sodium content.

    Being a Panera employee for several years has me way too knowledgeable on these things :)

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  49. You are a gem!

    So glad to have all the correct info now. I've corrected the text. Thank you for being so helpful!

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  50. This is just plain sinful. I want some now!

    www.strictlyfoodie.com

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  51. Um, yes please! We're featuring breakfast tomorrow on the M&T Spotlight and I'd love for you to submit this - http://www.makeandtakes.com/spotlight

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  52. Made this recipe this weekend and it was a favourite with my family. Thanks so much!

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  53. *Eats computer screen*
    I'm all hungry now. :( *Sigh*

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  54. Never dreamed that French Toast could look so delicious with chocolate!!!

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  55. This has been a hit around our house since I first came across your blog a few months ago.

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  56. Wow, this looks incredible, it is a must try for my family who loves chocolate.

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  57. i absolutely love chocolates and this is a wonderful recipe. i definitely want to try this out and serve it for breakfast. looks yummy with a cup of coffee :)

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  58. Stunning photos!! The dish looks mouth watering! Great post and recipe.

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  59. Looks good… oh yay more things I can’t have on my diet! LOL

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  60. this looks brilliant!!! i want some of this right now please….:) thank you for sharing this.

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  61. where is the wisk from?? its so pretty <3 <3 <3

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  62. mmmm, thanks for the recipe =)
    I just made this for a bed time snack, I know I'm horrible

    I just wanted to mention that if you just use what ever bread is lying around ( in my case regular white sandwhich bread) you need to be super carefull that you don't submerge the slice in the egg mixture as it soaks it all up and you're left with mushy bread

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  63. Why go through all the trouble of using fine ingredients for the French toast, and then ruin it with - prepared butter flavored pancake syrup ???

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  64. Since your palate is (obviously) highly refined, then maybe you would prefer to try a homemade raspberry syrup which would pair well with the chocolate.

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  65. I want to have sex with this french toast.

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  66. I kind of laughed at the comment above me...
    Anyways where did you get that whisk? It looks SO colorful and cheery! And your french toast needs to grow a pair of legs, run to Indiana, and GET IN MY BELLY!!! It truly looks to die for! :)

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  67. I have never been to Panera Bread but after seeing this recipe, I will be there ASAP!!!!! Thank you for the recipe &
    Also for futurely making me break my diet D:
    ;D

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  68. This looks delicious. Chocolate is my favorite. Thanks for the recipe & delicious photos.

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  69. im going to cry!!! I wanna have this RIGHT NOW. T_T

    fine, ok.......will list down ingredients and make it myself later. Ugh, why do I browse through foodblogs and torture myself so.~~

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