Say it with French toast! The ideal French toast has a seared golden exterior, a delicate interior, is mildly sweet, and is wonderfully custard-like. All of those requirements are easily met by this French toast recipe.
With this recipe, all of the typical French toast drawbacks are avoided. Maybe your prior attempts resulted in mushy, crumbling, eggy toast—never again! I’ve researched French toast preparation methods, and this dish will not disappoint.
French toast, or pain perdu as it is known in France, is one of the many inventive ways to use up leftover bread. It is true that stale bread works best when making French toast. However, if your bread is still fresh, you can definitely prepare French toast. To prevent your French bread from becoming overly soggy, the solution is to quickly dehydrate slices of bread in the oven. I’ll show you how to execute this step below.
For an extravagant brunch at home, this French toast is ideal. Make some tomorrow for Mom? (More Mother’s Day recipes can be found here.) The dish is easy enough to prepare on any given weekend. Make some together!
Ingredients for French toast: bread
So many choices available! A fluffy local whole grain sourdough is my go-to bread for French toast. French toast made from challah or brioche will be particularly decadent and elegant restaurant-style. Regular slices of bread will do as well as thick slices for sandwiches.
Because it produces rich results, whole milk is the best option here. It will also work with two percent milk. Alternately, try a thick non-dairy milk like homemade cashew milk or cashew milk with the Foragers brand.
Yes, we are simply using the yolks. The sulfurous, “eggy” flavor that occasionally overpowers French toast is brought on by egg whites. This advice, which I acquired from America’s Test Kitchen, is accurate.
Uses for extra egg whites: You’ll have three extra egg whites, which you may use to make a single serving of egg white scramble or four servings of scrambled eggs by adding five additional eggs.
The melted butter will be incorporated right into the custard. The butter permeates the bread in this way, adding more richness and a nutty, charred butter flavor. Since butter tends to burn against the skillet when making French toast, we don’t need to butter the skillet throughout this process. Even if you cook with cast iron or stainless steel, there is enough of batter.
Our batter is organically sweetened with real maple syrup. Brown sugar is an additional option. French toast is mildly sweetened with two tablespoons of sugar. Serve extra maple syrup with your toast so that each person can add as much sweetness as they prefer.
This French toast truly tastes like a delight because to the one whole tablespoon of vanilla extract. Not too much, so don’t worry.
Spice and salt
The vanilla custard is the ideal partner for ground cinnamon, while salt brings out the flavors of everything else.
Creating French toast
The complete recipe can be seen below. Before you begin, consider these three important advice:
1) The key is stale bread.
Your bread will be tough to work with and will result in soggy French toast if it is soft and fresh. We do not desire that! Sliced bread can be quickly dehydrated in under 15 minutes in an oven set to a low temperature (300 degrees Fahrenheit). For details, refer to step one.
2) Soak for a quarter-inch.
Simply dipping bread in custard will produce dry, splotchy results, and soaking bread for an excessive amount of time will result in soggy, floppy pieces. It takes stale bread a minute or two to soak up some of the mixture. You can float several pieces at once by pouring the custard onto a 9 by 13-inch baking dish.
The trick is to flip the slices over and repeat for the second side after letting them rest until the custard has soaked in to a depth of about 1/4-inch. The middle should ideally have a thin layer of unsoaked bread because this preserves the bread’s structure.
3. Work in groups
If you have a system in place, making french toast really isn’t difficult, and it’s even simpler if you have a kitchen assistant. A batch of bread should be soaked as previously mentioned, then moved to a rimmed baking sheet while the pan or griddle is heating up.
After finishing the first batch, begin soaking the second. As you cook, your assistant can work on soaking the subsequent batch if you have one.
- one small loaf of bread (about 16 ounces, see step 1)
- 12 ounces of whole milk
- (3) egg yolks
2 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar or maple syrup
- 1/4 cup vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
- 14 teaspoon of salt, fine
- whipped cream or Greek yogurt, a dusting of powdered sugar, fresh berries or berry compote, maple syrup, and butter for serving…
- To get roughly 8 large or 12 medium-sized slices of bread, cut your bread into slices that are 3/4 inch thick. Go to the following step if your bread is stale. Set your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit if your bread is soft and fresh. If you have an oven-safe cooling rack, place it on the big, rimmed baking sheet with the sliced bread and bake for 8 minutes. Flip the bread over and bake for a further 4 to 8 minutes if the bottom sides are still soft and spongy. Not crispy toast, but a “stale bread” quality is what we’re going for. Set apart for cooling.
- Warm the milk slowly in the microwave or over low heat in a saucepan until it is barely above room temperature (otherwise, the melted butter will clump on impact). Place aside.
Three eggs should have their yolks separated; if wanted, keep the whites for another purpose. Whisk the egg yolks in a medium mixing basin until well combined. Whisk in the hot milk, melted butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt after adding them. In a baking dish measuring 9 by 13 inches, pour the mixture.
- Set your electric skillet to 350 degrees Fahrenheit right away if you’re using one. Working with one side of the sliced bread at a time, dip it into the egg mixture. Flip each slice over and repeat for the other side once the bottom sides have soaked up the egg mixture to a depth of approximately 14 inch. Place the wet slices on the baking sheet you have prepared.
Also read: Buckwheat Pancakes
- To spread the cinnamon evenly, whisk the egg mixture one more time. Continue, whisking the mixture in between batches, with the remaining slices.
- If an electric skillet is not being used, heat a skillet or griddle, preferably one made of cast iron, over medium-low heat. As soon as a drop of water sizzles when it comes in contact with the hot surface, you’re ready to begin cooking the bread. Because there is enough butter in the batter, we won’t need to fry the toast with any butter or cooking spray.
- Start cooking as soon as your cooking surface is hot enough. Slice(s) should be carefully added to the skillet and cooked for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the bottom is attractively golden. Transfer the toast to a fresh cooling rack or serving tray after flipping and repeating with the other side. If your toast starts to get too golden on the outside before the middle is cooked through, lower the heat over time. Using the remaining French toast, repeat (if you have extra bread and batter left, you could cook a few extra slices).
- Serve French toast with any desired toppings on plates. Enjoy!
Recipe modified from Cook’s Illustrated and America’s Test Kitchen.
I recommend using fluffy whole grain sourdough because it has a mild nutty flavor. Any type of bread will do, including challah, brioche, a broad loaf of French bread, sandwich bread (preferably thick cut), etc.
Whole milk is the best option. For less rich results, try using milk that has 2 percent fat. Alternately, try a thick non-dairy milk like homemade cashew milk or cashew milk with the Foragers brand.
REMOVE THE DAIRY: Use a thick non-dairy milk, such as Forager’s brand cashew milk or homemade cashew milk. Though I haven’t tried it, I think melting coconut oil or vegan butter would work well in place of the butter.
▸ NUTRITION INFORMATION
|Amount Per Serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 14.6g||19%|
|Saturated Fat 7.1g|
|Trans Fat 0g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 1.9g|
|Monounsaturated Fat 4.3g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 82.8g||30%|
|Dietary Fiber 3.9g||14%|