Turn Your Stale Hot Dog Buns Into Miniature French Toast

Barbecues are the gift that keeps on giving. After tucking into an insurmountable pile of smoky meats, grilled veggies, and a wide range of sides – both hot and cold – you're likely to find yourself with plenty of leftovers. One of the most common post-barbecue surplus items are hot dog buns, presumably from overbuying due to the eternal conundrum of hot dogs coming in packages of 10 and hot dog buns coming in packages of eight. Rather than let these bits of bread go stale and unused, there's an excellent way to repurpose them into a quick and simple snack — make mini French toast to take your barbecue goods into breakfast territory.

Why do stale hot dog buns work well as French toast? For one thing, buns are the perfect combination of thick, fluffy, and sweet characteristics, a trio tailor-made for French toasting. The stale consistency of day-old leftovers also makes buns an ideal French toast candidate as their structural integrity will hold up to dipping and soaking in an egg batter prior to frying. The fact that hot dog buns are generally a plain type of bread (unless you've got a Chicago-style poppyseed bun) also opens up the possibility to customize French toast flavors for your favorite version of the breakfast food.

French toasting your buns

When it comes to preparing hot dog buns in French toast, one thing to remember is that the buns are considerably smaller than a typical slice of bread, making these French toasts a mini-version of the classic style. They will also require less cooking time than traditional French toast, making the preparation more convenient. Simply slice the buns into quarters, dip them into an egg batter flavored to your preferences, and fry in a pan. Any way you slice it, stale hot dog buns make an excellent next-day French toast base to fit any flavor options imaginable. You can also roll the fried pieces in a cinnamon sugar mixture for more sweetness and make dipping sauces for the handheld bites like a decadent caramel sauce or a fresh berry compote.

For a richer batter, try substituting coffee creamer for milk. You can add your favorite spices like cinnamon or clove for a more traditional taste or drop a splash of orange liqueur into your batter for an extra citrus punch.There are also plenty of savory options such as savory cacio e pepe French toast with jammy tomatoes. Any of these styles can easily accommodate thickly sliced hot dog buns to make the most out of your toast.