French toast you can eat with your hands and taste like ham and cheese toasties! Fast to make, great for feeding an army AND you can even make them ahead. Win, win, win!
“When you Google “ham cheese french toast roll up”, there are zero search results. When I hit “publish”, there will be 1 result!”
I didn’t expect to post this recipe. I’ve seen countless french toast roll ups on the internet so I thought there was little point in adding mine into the mix. But the other day, I realised that all those french toast roll ups I’d seen were sweet ones, usually filled with cream cheese and berries, then coated in sugar. Whereas mine are savoury.
A quick google confirmed that french toast roll ups with ham and cheese inside them certainly aren’t a dime a dozen. In fact, when I Googled “ham cheese french toast roll up”, it return zero results. Lots of french toast roll ups (sweet), and ham and cheese french toast (sandwich style), but zero ham and cheese french toast roll ups.
“These french toast roll ups taste just like ham and cheese toasties!”
I have to admit, I was a touch hesitant posting this recipe. Wondering whether the reason why no one else has published a recipe list this (that I can find!) is because this is just weird. Is it??? For me, it ticks all my boxes for a great breakfast:
1. You can eat it with your fingers. Because we all know that everything tastes better when you can use your hands!
2. Fast to make and you can cook as many as you can fit in your pan in one go (unlike usual pan fried french toast which you have to cook in batches);
3. Fabulous “morning after” recovery food. Butter, cheese, salt, bread. Hits my sweet spot every time; and
4. You can make it ahead. Which I don’t bother doing if I’m only making one batch because these are so fast to make, but is really convenient if I’m cooking for a crowd.
Now I really should keep writing and give you the “story” behind these and share some witty anecdotes, but I’m hungry so please excuse me. I want to get stuck into my breakfast!
PS I will share one thing though. I’ve shared in previous posts my embarrassment about the abnormally small size and pudginess of my hands. “Baby Hands”, my friends call them. Well, sometimes I send photos to my family for feedback before selecting the ones to include in a post. When I sent a photo featuring my hands, I asked “Are my hands too pudgy in this shot? Are they ruining the photo of the food?”
My brother’s response – “No. It gives you credibility. Never trust a skinny chef.”
- 6 slices fresh sandwich bread (I used white, but you could use wholemeal, wholegrain etc) (see notes)
- 3 slices of melting cheese , each cut into 4 strips (I used Jarlsberg. Tasty, cheddar, gruyere and mozzarella are also great), or 3/4 cup grated melting cheese (see notes)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 egg (large)
- 2 tbsp milk (full cream or low fat)
- 2 small slices of ham (around 50g / 1.5 oz)
- Pinch of salt
Optional - cut the crusts off the bread.
Use a rolling pin to flatten the bread.
Divide the ham between the bread and lay it out in a strip about 1cm / 1/3" wide along the bottom edge of the bread. Cut to fit neatly if necessary - that's what I did.
Top each with 2 slices of cheese, or scatter grated cheese along the ham.
Starting from the bottom, roll the bread up and finish with the seam side down.
Place the egg, milk and salt in a flat dish and use a fork to whisk.
Heat butter in a large fry pan over medium high heat.
Dip the roll ups in the egg, rolling to coat all over. Then place in the fry pan. Place all roll ups in the same pan.
Cook the roll ups for 45 seconds to 1 minute, then turn 90 degrees. Repeat again 2 more times (so 4 sides of each roll up is browned).
Remove from pan and serve immediately.
1. You must use fresh bread for this recipe, not stale bread (which I normally preach for french toast recipes). The reason is that fresh bread compresses better when you flatten it with a rolling pin (stale bread springs back) and also sticks to itself a bit when you roll it up, sealing the roll perfectly.
2. You can use any cheese you want for these, so long as it is a good melting cheese. I used Jarlsberg slices because that is what I had. Make sure each slice is roughly the size of the bread so when you cut the cheese into sticks, it will fill the width of the bread.
You can use cheese sticks if you want, but I recommend cutting them in half lengthwise otherwise, I feel there is too much cheese for the amount of bread there is. Then cut them to length to the width of the bread before placing on it and rolling it up.
You can also just use grated cheese. Just scatter a pinch along the length of the bread.
3. You can make these the night before (I haven't tried any longer than 12 to 15 hours ahead). To make these ahead, roll up the french toast, then dip them VERY quickly in the egg mixture and shake the excess off. Then place them seam side down in a container or baking dish (you can stack them) so they fit snugly. Save the egg mixture.
When you are ready to cook, preferably bring them to room temperature. Quickly dip the roll ups in the egg mixture again before cooking. There should be enough egg mixture because you just dip them in very quickly, as opposed to soaking them.
The purpose of the first dip is to keep the bread moist and to ensure they stay rolled up. I found that sometimes (depending on the bread) the roll ups unrolled and dried out a bit. So a quick dip in the egg solved this.
4. Save the bread crusts! Here are two ideas for some nibbles you can make with them: Parmesan Thyme Bread Crust Treats and Cinnamon Sugar Bread Crust Treats.
5. Nutrition assumes this serves 3.