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Best French Toast Recipe?

Heatherb Oct 31, 2008 12:30 PM

My boyfriend loves French toast for breakfast. I've never made it and have only eaten it once or twice. We're more into pancakes and waffles than French toast in my family. I'm looking for a good variation of it - preferably made with challah bread. Any suggestions?

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  1. breadandcoffee RE: Heatherb Oct 31, 2008 12:51 PM

    I have a very simple recipe for French Toast.

    In a shallow dish:
    Use 1 egg per 2 slices of any kind of bread. I prefer challah or italian (best day old).
    Add some milk (to dilute egg),
    Season with salt (as used to season eggs) and cinnamon
    Mix with fork

    Dunk bread slices in egg mixture and cook on griddle pan sprayed with cooking oil.
    Flip as required for even cooking.
    Since we love cinnamon at my house, I usually sprinkle more cinnamon while cooks.

    Have fun.

    1. Deenso RE: Heatherb Oct 31, 2008 01:08 PM

      I whisk brown sugar into the beaten eggs, instead of cinnamon, and nothing else. Here's the part that makes this somewhat obscene: rather than griddle-frying, I fry the dipped slices in a deep skillet full o' butter-flavored shortening, turning and watching carefully, until it's golden brown all over. Drain briefly on paper towels, then serve with just butter and warm syrup. Yes - fat galore, I know - which is why we have this, maybe, once a year, for very special occasions.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Deenso
        Sooeygun RE: Deenso Nov 1, 2008 06:33 PM

        A diner near me serves French toast that is fried like that. Once you put the syrup on, it's like candy. mmm

        To the OP, make sure the bread is stale. It's called 'pain perdu' in French, meaning lost bread because it is best with stale bread.

        1. re: Deenso
          Honeychan RE: Deenso Sep 11, 2009 06:57 PM

          This sounds close to the French toast my Grandmother used to make us. No sugar or cinnamon in the egg mixture, tho. She'd use about 1/2 inch of vegtable oil in the pan, deep-frying the bread. SOO GOOD when I was younger.

          I haven't thought about making French toast in a -long- time. This thread is making me crave it something fierce! I love the idea of adding cardamom and brown sugar to the egg- it sounds heavenly.

          Egg nog French toast? SIGN ME UP!

        2. janetms383 RE: Heatherb Oct 31, 2008 01:18 PM

          My recipe is basically the same as breadandcoffee's but I use vanilla as well. Mix in a teaspoon for each egg. Then I brown them in real butter and top with powdered sugar.

          Around the holidays, I will make french toast using store-bought eggnog.

          And why are my posts all of a sudden double spacing??

          1 Reply
          1. re: janetms383
            susan1353 RE: janetms383 Oct 31, 2008 01:32 PM

            I also use eggnog nearer the holidays with either challah or pannetone.

          2. s
            squidly RE: Heatherb Oct 31, 2008 05:03 PM

            All of these sounds similar to what I do, but I also like to add a little orange zest to the soaking/dunking mixture when oranges are in season.

            2 Replies
            1. re: squidly
              chicgail RE: squidly Sep 14, 2009 01:06 PM

              I love the orange zest idea. Gonna try it.

              I put vanilla in with the eggs and milk and sugar and a pinch of salt. No cinnamon (might be good to sprinkle on top). Dipping the battered toast in corn flake crumbs before frying gives it a nice crispiness.

              1. re: squidly
                calpurnia RE: squidly Sep 15, 2009 07:32 AM

                I really like this Grand Marnier French Toast recipe from Epicurious.


              2. Pastryrocks RE: Heatherb Oct 31, 2008 07:04 PM

                Our favorite is made with brioche (butter makes everything better) and sometimes stuffed with cream cheese and blueberry mixture. A must is maple syrup but cooked down with wild blueberries, the blueberries help to colour the maple syrup and add texture and flavour.

                1. todao RE: Heatherb Oct 31, 2008 07:10 PM

                  I'm on your boyfriend's team when it comes to French Toast and asking which is my favorite is like asking which of my kids is my favorite - I could never answer the question. I do fry it in a skillet sometimes but I prefer it baked. Pecans or Cashews seem to find their way into my French Toast recipes fairly often.
                  If you're looking for French Toast variety, this web site is a great place to start:

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: todao
                    JEN10 RE: todao Nov 1, 2008 07:27 PM

                    Praline Apple French Toast

                    Now, you do not need to do the apples, as the French Toast itself is sublime, But I will post both parts of the recipe.

                    8 servings:
                    2-1/4 cups milk
                    9 eggs
                    1/4 C plus 2 T. orange liqeuer
                    1-1/2 T vanilla extract
                    1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
                    1 pound day old French bread sliced 1" thick

                    10 T. Butter

                    1-1/2 LBS tart apples peeled, cored, and chopped
                    1-1/2 C chopped pecans
                    2/3 C firmly packed brown sugar
                    1 C hot water

                    In a belnder mix first 5 ingriedents.
                    Arrange bread in a single layer in a shallow pan.
                    Pour egg mixture over bread and let soak about 20 minutes.

                    In the mean time.

                    Melt 7 T. butter in heavy skillet over med heat.
                    Add apples and saute for 5 min.
                    Reduce heat to med. low and add pecans, cook for 5 more min.
                    Add sugar and 1 C. hot water, cook 3 more min.

                    Meanwhile melt remaining butter in another heavy skillet.
                    Add bread and cook until crisp and golden brown about 3 min. per side.

                    Serve with apples and pecans.

                  2. f
                    FlaHopper RE: Heatherb Nov 1, 2008 08:26 PM

                    I have a recipe for Elvis French toast (French toast with peanut butter and bananas).


                    1. EmmaToo RE: Heatherb Nov 1, 2008 08:57 PM

                      Brie Stuffed French Toast from the Valley Green Inn in Philadelphia. Challah stuffed with brie, topped with sliced bananas and maple syrup.

                      1. l
                        LARaven RE: Heatherb Nov 1, 2008 09:39 PM

                        I use flavored coffee creamer instead of milk.

                        1. j
                          jpc8015 RE: Heatherb Nov 2, 2008 12:19 AM

                          I love this French toast recipe from Alton Brown:


                          The addition of honey to sweeten the custard is very good, I like to add a little vanilla as well. They key here is browning your French toast and then finishing it in the oven. This gives you a nice crispy crusty and a custardy moist center.

                          1. pinstripeprincess RE: Heatherb Nov 2, 2008 04:44 AM

                            i like a combination of cardamom and lemon essence of some kind in mine. i also soak mine until they can't hold any more liquid as well and then top it off with a 8%mf yogurt yums!

                            1. h
                              Heatherb RE: Heatherb Nov 2, 2008 03:01 PM

                              Oh lord. That's a lot of options. I'm sure he won't mind if I experiment on him with the different recipes:-) Thanks everybody!

                              1. kattyeyes RE: Heatherb Sep 11, 2009 06:43 PM

                                I tried a new variation (to me, anyway) on French toast this past week--ALMOND FRENCH TOAST. It's sooooooooo good and so simple. I just made it for myself, but need to make this again and share. For each egg, I added a splash of milk 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract and 2 teaspoons of sugar. I used leftover slices of a wonderful baguette I picked up this week...what a treat! And, yes, I topped it with vanilla-infused maple syrup. So tasty. Has anyone else figured this out? I have to play with this a bit and see how it would be stuffed with some sort of almond cheese filling. Clearly, this would go great with candied bacon, too!

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: kattyeyes
                                  Caitlin McGrath RE: kattyeyes Sep 16, 2009 08:30 PM

                                  Yup, I definitely add almond extract sometimes, or a little amaretto. Cream cheese mixed with almond paste would make a delicious filling, a bit reminiscent of a bear claw.

                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                    kattyeyes RE: Caitlin McGrath Sep 17, 2009 04:28 PM

                                    Ooooh, Caitlin, NOW you're talkin'! I want to try that! :)

                                2. Emme RE: Heatherb Sep 11, 2009 08:20 PM

                                  My boyfriend loves oatmeal raisin cookies, so I started experimenting to make an Oatmeal Raisin French Toast. I take Cinnamon Raisin bread, or cinnamon swirl bread. Then I mix egg with a splash of milk, brown sugar and vanilla. In a separate dish, I mix pretoasted oats (either baked on a baking sheet or toasted in a pan) with some wheat germ. I dip bread in egg mixture and allow to soak up a little, then coat with crust. Fry in some butter, enough to coat the pan. He doesn't even have to use syrup, but he always throws a little on for good measure.

                                  1. j
                                    jencounter RE: Heatherb Sep 13, 2009 06:11 PM

                                    My standard recipe:

                                    eggs, milk, dash of salt, honey or agave syrup, vanilla and orange zest. fried in combo of butter/veg oil (butter burns too fast otherwise).

                                    1. shanagain RE: Heatherb Sep 14, 2009 07:16 AM

                                      One tip not yet mentioned reminds me of an anecdote I've related elsewhere on the boards:

                                      When I was 20 I tended bar up the road from the CIA, and was part of this exact debate one afternoon. [ETA: Original discussion was on the "lost" cooking skills of the US.] Two gentlemen, obviously instructors/chefs at the Culinary (the pompous German or perhaps Austrian one wore his toque through the entire time spent at the bar) were debating cooking skills in America. The German wheeled around, pointed at me and rather viciously bellowed "YOU!" (perhaps sensing weakness in my high heels, short skirt and overall 20yo-bartender-in-1990 rock-chick look) "How do you make French Toast?"

                                      The American was obviously pleased when I replied sweetly (after all, there was still a tip to be had here) "Crispy American style or classic custard-style with thick French bread?"
                                      So, bear in mind that you may prefer either thinly or thickly sliced. Personally, I don't much care for the classic prep, but love thin & crispy.

                                      1. h
                                        HillJ RE: Heatherb Sep 14, 2009 07:52 AM

                                        Pumpkin Egg Nog dipped in challah bread and pan fried on both sides, served with pumpkin butter is my son's absolutely fav "brenner" meal and his birthday breakfast request for the past 20 years. Must try!

                                        7 Replies
                                        1. re: HillJ
                                          jencounter RE: HillJ Sep 14, 2009 08:10 AM

                                          the very idea of pumpkin egg nog makes me swoon. how is it that I am 40 and have yet to try this manna from heaven?

                                          1. re: jencounter
                                            HillJ RE: jencounter Sep 14, 2009 08:13 AM

                                            jencounter, what a cute response. Welcome fellow pumpkin egg nog lover-it's never too late!

                                            1. re: HillJ
                                              jencounter RE: HillJ Sep 14, 2009 11:06 AM

                                              I'm going to have to search for it this year.

                                              1. re: jencounter
                                                HillJ RE: jencounter Sep 14, 2009 11:44 AM

                                                Does your local market carry Hood products?

                                                1. re: HillJ
                                                  jencounter RE: HillJ Sep 15, 2009 11:33 AM

                                                  I'm on the west coast, it doesn't appear so. :(

                                                  1. re: jencounter
                                                    greygarious RE: jencounter Sep 15, 2009 11:48 AM

                                                    I'm a big fan of Hood's PEN, but I think you could approximate it quite well blending canned pumpkin pie filling into storebought eggnog. Of course you haven't tasted Hood's so you won't know what flavor you're shooting for, but try a little filling at a time until it tastes good to you. Obviously, Hood can't be using a large amount, because the stuff isn't noticeably thicker than regular eggnog.

                                                    1. re: jencounter
                                                      HillJ RE: jencounter Sep 15, 2009 11:55 AM

                                                      I would even suggest using pumpkin butter in a traditional egg nog product to achieve a rich flavored batter.

                                          2. n
                                            Norm Man RE: Heatherb Sep 14, 2009 12:36 PM

                                            Cook's Illustrated recommends using only egg yolks, not whole eggs, in its French Toast Recipe.

                                            1. greygarious RE: Heatherb Sep 15, 2009 09:15 AM

                                              The claim-to-fame of a Halifax, MA restaurant called Pogo's II is that they serve French Toast made from a variety of baked goods, including Danish, coffee rolls, and quick breads.

                                              1. l
                                                lawgirl3278 RE: Heatherb Sep 15, 2009 09:22 AM

                                                An old boyfriend made me french toast with Captain Morgan in it...it was quite tasty.

                                                I like lots of cinnamon in mine. I think french toast and bacon may be on the dinner menu this week!

                                                1. j
                                                  jmullen1251 RE: Heatherb Sep 15, 2009 11:55 AM

                                                  i'm sure i'll regret admitting this in a public forum but i love soaking bread in a standard custard concoction and then rolling the bread in crushed up cinnamon toast crunch cereal. fry in butter (obviously) - so so good.

                                                  the most artery clogging french toast i had was in austin, tx - it was carrot cake slices, battered, fried and then topped with a praline topping similar to the icing for a cinnamon roll. i think i lost 5 years off the end of my life for eating it but i'm oddly ok with the trade-off

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: jmullen1251
                                                    DallasDude RE: jmullen1251 Sep 15, 2009 03:43 PM

                                                    I have used melted Blue Bell Vanilla Ice cream instead of milk.

                                                    1. re: DallasDude
                                                      chicgail RE: DallasDude Sep 15, 2009 04:30 PM

                                                      That's obscene. Highly tempting, brilliantly innovative, but totally obscene. In a good way, of course.

                                                      1. re: chicgail
                                                        Boccone Dolce RE: chicgail Sep 15, 2009 04:45 PM

                                                        DD-I felt naughty just reading that!!

                                                        *my baked french toast is so easy-you can add whatever you want and not screw it up. Slice crusty french bread and place in buttered baking dish- cover with 8 beaten eggs + 3 cups half-n-half, cinnamon, splash of good vanilla and let it sit overnight. Bake in the AM- cover w/powdered sugar and serve w.warm syrup- can top with cut fresh fruit, throw almonds in there, etc- it bakes up happy and custardy and one tray serves a gazillion people. the overnight part is not optional, the bread soaks up the liquid and bakes up puffy and happy-i promise.

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