Saturday, September 24, 2011

Perfect French Toast

I have a love/hate relationship with French toast, it's one of those things I love if it's made right, but hate if it's not (and it's usually not).  I admit that for most of my life I've been guilty of not having a clue how to make a good French toast, mine always came out too soggy.  Sure I could do a good job if I went to the bakery and bought some fancy, expensive challah or brioche, but those types of breads almost triple the cost of what should be an inexpensive breakfast.  I gave up on French toast for a while, but then I found "the trick"... using inexpensive Texas toast style bread and drying it in the oven before dipping it in the batter. This recipe will get you a French toast that's got a nice crispness on the outside and is soft but not soggy on the inside.  The batter makes exactly enough for 10 pieces of toast.

10 slices of Texas toast style bread, or other thick cut sandwich bread
1 1/2 cups milk, warmed
3 large egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbs melted butter
dash of salt
1 Tbs pure vanilla extract
butter for frying and serving
powdered sugar and maple syrup for serving

Preheat oven to 300ºF.  Place bread slices on a rack placed over a sheet pan.  Bake 15 minutes, turning halfway through.  Remove bread and reduce oven to 200ºF.

Preheat electric griddle to 350º or large frying pan over med-low heat.

Mix together milk through vanilla, whisking until thoroughly combined in a 13x9" glass dish.  Lay each slice of toast in the batter for a few seconds, repeat on the other side for each slice and then set aside. 

When griddle or pan is heated, spread just enough butter to coat the surface and add toast slices, don't crowd them.  Cook about 3-4 minutes on each side until nicely browned.  The heat should be low enough so the toast doesn't brown before this time, otherwise the middle won't cook through.  Flip the toast slices and continue cooking for an additional 3 minutes or until browned.  Place toast in the warm oven until all pieces are cooked. 

Serve with butter, maple syrup and powdered sugar.