Mossbolletjie French toast with cottage cheese & berries

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When La Motte Bakery sent me their annual loaf of mossbolletjie bread I knew I wanted to turn it into Mossbolletjie French toast. I made a high-protein whipped cottage cheese with vanilla to serve it with and topped that with a quick and easy berry compote. It was so delicious.

I love the Cape Winelands tradition of making mossbolletjie bread during the harvest. Grape must from recently harvested grape juice serves as a raising agent for this enriched brioche-like bread. Aniseed gives mossbolletjie bread its distinct flavour.

La Motte Bakery also uses a sweet sourdough culture in addition to the grape must resulting in a richer taste, a more generous size and in general, just more Mosbolletjie!

Slices of mossbolletjie French toast for breakfast

The history of mossbolletjiebread

Viticulture and the idea to use must as a raising agent, were introduced to the region when French Huguenot refugees settled in the Franschhoek Valley (1688). Mosbolletjies were typically made during the wine-making season when its key ingredient was readily available and enjoyed with black coffee for breakfast.

Chardonnay grapes being harvested at De Wetshof Wine Estate, Robertson

Must is one of the wonderful products of the wine grape harvest that not only has a rich history but is also a versatile seasonal ingredient in many recipes – even in the modern-day kitchen. It has been a popular ingredient in cooking since ancient times and it was probably the French Huguenots who brought the “recipe” to South Africa. Except for being used as must jam and vino cotto, it can also be used as an ingredient in savoury and meat dishes.

Probably first used as an ingredient for bread and rusks in a wine-producing country such as Germany or France, one of the earliest references to bread baked with must, is during the reign of King Edward I (1272-1307).

In South Africa, Mosbolletjies (similar to brioche) are often eaten fresh with butter or dried as rusks. Traditionally it was served fresh with black coffee early in the morning – similar to the French tradition of serving black coffee and croissants.

Mossbolletjie French toast with whipped vanilla cottage cheese & mixed berry compote recipe

How to make Mossbolletjie French toast

Make sure you cut the slices quite thick and allow the bread to soak in the egg/milk mixture for at least 30 seconds to a minute.

How to make mossbolletjie French toast step by step

You can add whatever flavour you like to the egg/milk mixture, but I opted for classic vanilla and cinnamon. You can leave this out to keep it plain. I didn’t add sugar to the mix as I felt there was enough sweetness added to the toppings.

Fry the French toast over medium heat until golden on both sides.

How to make mossbolletjie French toast with step by step images

If you are using thick slices (which I recommend), bake them in the oven for about 10 – 15 minutes to ensure they are cooked all the way through. This serves as a good way to keep all the French toast slices warm at once. This is handy if you are feeding a crowd. You can omit this step and just make thinner slices if you prefer. 

How to make mossbolletjie French toast step by step

The word is your oyster and you can add any topping you like to your French toast but I opted for high-protein whipped cottage cheese with vanilla and my quick berry compote. You could use thick yoghurt if you prefer and fresh berries.

Whipped vanilla cottage cheese in a small blender to top French toast

I ended off with a drizzle of maple syrup as this recipe for mossbolletjie French toast is not that sweet. Feel free to add sugar to the egg custard if you prefer or dust over icing sugar at the end.

Vanilla whipped cottage cheese and a mixed berry compote to finish of French toast

If you are looking for a traditional recipe for Cape Winelands mossbolletjie bread you can find it here.

A few other breakfast recipes you might like:

Easy & healthy high-protein cottage cheese waffles

Blueberry pancakes with ricotta & orange

Dutch baby pancake with blueberries & lemon

Hot cross bun French toast waffles

My 4 favourite pancake recipes

Fluffy blueberry & banana pancakes with oats

French toast waffles with cinnamon

Cottage cheese toast ideas (easy, healthy tartines)

Mossbolletjie French toast with whipped vanilla cottage cheese & mixed berry compote recipe

Prep Time:5 minutes

Cook Time:20 minutes

Berry compote:

  • 1 cup of frozen mixed berries such as raspberries strawberries and blueberries
  • 2 Tbsp sugar or any sweetener
  • Juice of half a lemon

Whipped cottage cheese:

  • ¾ cup smooth or crumbly cottage cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or paste
  • 2 Tbs sugar or artificial sugar
  • Place all the ingredients into a small food processor such as my @kitchenaide mini chopper and blend until smooth.

French toast

  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ tsp – 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 -8 thick slices of mossbolletjie bread
  • Butter for frying
  • Maple syrup to drizzle
  • First make the berry compote by placing all the ingredients into a small pot and bring it to a boil.

  • Cook for around 3 minutes while stirring then remove from the heat and allow it to cool. It will thicken as it does.

  • To make the whipped cottage cheese, combine all the ingredients except the bread and whisk until smooth. You can use a small food processor or a handheld whisk (or do it by hand).

  • When you are ready to make the French toast preheat your oven to 180C/350F and heat a nonstick pan on a medium heat.

  • Add a knob of butter to the pan and bring it to a bubble.

  • Dip each slice of mossbolletjie bread into the egg custard and allow it to soak briefly. Flip it over then transfer to the heated pan.

  • Fry the French toast in batches adding additional butter to the pan as is necessary, until golden brown on either side.

  • Place the fried French toast on a oven tray and bake for 10 minutes until set through.

  • Serve with the whipped vanilla cottage cheese, berry compote and maple syrup.

French toast is best eaten after it has been made and does not keep well. 
Use any leftover whipped cottage cheese or mixed berry compote on toast, crumpets or pancakes. This would also be a nice healthy topping for waffles (if using artificial sweetner).


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