French Toast

Honest to goodness, custard-drenched, authentic French toast. I told you I was going to make good use of that Challah I made!

I eat French toast pretty often, but it’s usually nothing close to the sweet sensation that I cooked up this morning. I typically keep it pretty light and healthy – wheat bread, a couple of eggs whisked together with a splash of milk, quick dip, and then browned on the skillet. This, however, is so incredibly decadent, has such a rich flavor, and so sweet that I would argue that the syrup could be optional. Crazy, right??

There are a few key pieces to this recipe that really let the flavor come through:

  • Take the time to stale the bread overnight – this helps it hold up to soaking in the custard mixture without falling apart. Without it being stale it wouldn’t be able to soak up as much custard, thus losing a lot of the flavor. If you forget to set the bread out the night before, dry it out in the oven on a low temperature.
  • Don’t be tempted to turn up the heat on these. I admit I was skeptical about making French toast over medium-low heat, and although it takes a little longer, it allows the custard to cook the whole way through the bread while evenly browning the outside. At a higher temperature the bread would brown much too quickly and not allow the interior to set up. (Although my crusts look dark it’s not from making the French toast – it’s due to the naturally dark crust of the challah, achieved through the egg wash.)
  • Finally, don’t try to make this healthy or low fat. It’s just not meant to be. Either go all out or do the wimpy egg dip that I normally do. This is an outstanding treat that you just need to savor and enjoy!

One year ago: Soft Pretzels

French Toast

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutse

Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

8 slices firm bread (preferably white or challah), sliced about ½" thick
1½ cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted plus 2 tablespoons for cooking
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Stale the bread by setting it out on a cooling rack uncovered overnight.

2. Whisk milk, yolks, sugar, melted butter, salt, and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Transfer milk mixture to 13x9-inch baking pan.

3. Working with 3 slices of bread at a time, dip into custard for 20 seconds. Using a spatula turn bread over and soak for another 20 seconds. (Bread should be saturated but not falling apart.) Transfer soaked bread to baking sheet or tray and continue until all bread is soaked.

4. Heat ½ tablespoon of butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat. When foaming subsides, use slotted spatula to transfer 2 slices soaked bread to skillet until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until second side is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Wipe out skillet with paper towels. Repeat cooking remaining bread, 2 pieces at a time, adding ½ tablespoon of butter for each batch.