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French Toast, a procedure poll

On Saturday, I watched "French Cooking at Home," or I think that's the name of the show. I also discovered that the Food Network (or was it the Cooking Channel?) has a lot of great shows on Saturday that I'd prefer to see mor often during the week!

Anyway, the host of the show -- I forget her name -- made a savory French toast. But her method for making it was unlike any I've seen or heard of before. She cut a baguet in nice thick slices, then she soaked the bread in milk, THEN dipped it in a beaten egg and from there, into the frying pan with melted butter.

I've been making French toast for at least a gazillion years, but I have always made a custard of milk and eggs, a touch of sugar to promote browning, and a pinch of salt to dip the bread in before frying. And that's the same method everyone i've ever talked about making French toast with uses. This different method is interesting, and I do plan on giving it a try to see if I like it more than my own method, but I am also very curious whether I have lived my life with my head buried in the sand. What method do you guys use? I'm really curious! Thanks!

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  1. I make it the same way you do, sometimes adding cream if I feel like it. I always fry in clarified butter to avoid burning and that does make for a slightly different flavor. (A few years ago I was working in a kitchen store and I happened to say something about milk and French toast to this young woman, and she said "You use milk?" Turns out she'd been taught to just beat the egg, dip the bread in that and fry in vegetable oil. So she thought the milk idea was great, and when I mentioned maple syrup she was in ecstasy!)

    1 Reply
    1. re: escondido123

      My mother always made hers without milk. She'd dip the bread in egg, fry in oil, then sprinkle with sugar and sometimes cinnamon. It was years before I knew people used milk and eggs, and put syrup or jam on it.

    2. Strictly with you on the method, with a good jolt of vanilla added. I don't see the advantage of the egg going on the outside - I want it inside, so the bread soufflés a little.

      1. This is the recipe that Caroline1 is referring to.

        http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recip...

        22 Replies
        1. re: ipsedixit

          Thanks, Ipse, but now tell us how YOU make French toast! '-)

          1. re: Caroline1

            I do it your way.

            I think Laura just did in a two step process because they had filler air-time to fill.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              TV Lady (Laura) was using the French technique for "pain perdu" - not filling air time. It makes for a lighter - not necessarily better - insides.

              1. re: boredough

                That's really interesting. Years ago, I had three French girlfriends, one from Paris, one from Provence, and one from Quebec. They all three made fun of the other two's accents when speaking French, but they all three made French toast the way I do. Very curious! Or maybe they just didn't want to dirty two bowls? It was before dishwashers were a standard household item. Thanks!

                1. re: Caroline1

                  Yes, that is interesting. I was only giving an explanation from the Larousse Gastronomique (the French Gastronomic Encyclopedia). It defines 'pain perdu' (what we call French Toast) as stale or leftover bread soaked first in a milk/sugar/vanilla mixture, then dipped in beaten eggs (mixed with a little sugar) and then sautéed in butter. It is the classic recipe.

                  1. re: boredough

                    I looked in my Larousse and couldn't find the recipe. What year is your edition? I looked under pain perdu, perdu pain, and French toast... Nothing! I have the 1961 translation. Maybe that's the problem?

                    1. re: Caroline1

                      I couldn't find it in my LG from the same era either.

                      In Spain torrijas are made the same way, though the soaking liquid might be sweetened wine. It is more likely to be deep fried.

                      1. re: Caroline1

                        even stranger! Mine is the 1988 English version of the 1984 (French) compilation, listed as both 'pain perdu' and 'French Toast". Furthermore, the 2000 English translation of Escoffier's 1903 Guide Culinaire shows the same classic version of pain perdu. Go figure.

                    2. re: Caroline1

                      I just checked a 1965 edition of 'Je sais cuisiner' (the French equivalent of 'Joy of Cooking'), and her method is to combine milk, sugar and eggs (400g stale bread, 1/2 liter milk, 150g sugar, 2 eggs). Fry in 125g butter, finish with powdered sugar and optionally cinnamon. She did not know about maple syrup I guess.

                    3. re: boredough

                      Can you explain how dipping it in milk then eggs makes for a lighter inside?

                      I'd imagine the type of bread used would have more effect on the inner/outer texture contrast.

                      Laura was using a baguette, which by it's very nature will be crusty on the outside and more airy or lighter on the inside.

                      If I was using, say, day-old Texas toast I'm not sure how this 2-step method would make a difference.

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        One thing I know for sure, Texas Toast aside, I sure wouldn't want to try this method with gummy white bread (Wonder Bread et al) or I'd end up making French toast crumblettes!

                        1. re: Caroline1

                          I save all my Wonder Bread for PB&J.

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            You, sir, are a master chef!

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              Years ago, my husband and I drove past a Wonder Bread factory. I was genuinely surprised that it actually smelled like yeast. Even as a child, I was sure it had some type of air-puffed textile, such as cotton, in it. My brothers and I would have contests to see who could get their bread mashed into the smallest cube.

                          2. re: ipsedixit

                            If the bread is left to soak in a custard mixture, then once you heat the concoction, the eggs will set "inside" the bread - not just outside. That would make it heavier than just soaking the bread in milk. OTOH dipping the bread in beaten eggs will provide an eggier outside than that same custard would. In the end, it's just a matter of personal taste preference.

                            1. re: boredough

                              That was my impression - that the outside was eggier.

                            2. re: ipsedixit

                              It makes a more custardy, softer inside. It's what I grew up on, the way my dad made it and later, I did, adding vanilla to it. The result isn't dependent upon the type of bread, more like the length of soak. But challah was always best, followed by that yellow potato bread.

                              1. re: mcf

                                I am with you on the Challah, although I also like a good raisin bread. We usually eat a whole grain, but this is a disaster in french toast. I also like a splash of vanilla and a dash of nutmeg or cinnamon, but I've never used sugar in the egg mix. But I also prefer it sprinkled with powdered sugar instead of syrup.

                              2. re: ipsedixit

                                i assume that if the bread absorbs the milk, it will keep the eggs on the outside, ie not absorbed, as that sponge is full. thus the inside will not firm as much as if it was full of cooked eggs

                              3. re: boredough

                                Also, a quick Google search for "pain perdu" recipes turns up no such 2-step process.

                                Two examples:

                                http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

                                http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/va...

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  I don't dispute the existence nor criticize the value of the one-step recipe that was used by my mother and many others to this day (obviously). My first comment was only an attempt to explain Laura's version, which goes as far back as Escoffier.

                                  1. re: boredough

                                    kinda makes you want to sit Escoffier down with a plate of thick French toast swimming in maple syrup, doesn't it?

                                    Wonder if he'd change his mind...

                                    (I make mine with the eggs and milk and sometimes cream mixed together, too)

                        2. I'm with you, Caroline . . . curious to hear what advantage the other method would give . . . .

                          GG
                          http://www.semisweetonline.com

                          1. I tried this method, and was happy with the results. I don't know if it is best with crusty bread like a baguet, or would work just as well with a softer American.

                            After several slices, milk was getting mixed in with the egg.

                            1. I think that French Toast may have been the first dish I ever cooked on my own. My mother taught me and I still use the same method: beat together milk, eggs, sugar, and any flavoring agents (cinnamon and vanilla typically, but sometimes I substitute orange extract for the vanilla), then dip the bread in that mixture.

                              1. I make French Toast the way you do, and so did my mom, which is where I got my method from.

                                Sometimes I like to soak the bread several hours or overnight. That definitely makes the finished product very souffle-like. Using Challah (or brioche) also enhances the end result, I think. ;)

                                1. I make mine the same way you do- but I add cinnamon and sometimes orange zest to the custard mixture. Also, no oil in mine, I panfry in a nonstick pan with a bit of cooking spray.

                                  The only bread I've used is leftover challah.

                                  1. I've only ever made it the way the TV chef did — soak in milk, then dip in egg — that's how my French Canadian (maybe that's the difference?) grandmother taught me. She also used at least day-old baguettes. No sandwich bread of any sort.

                                    Her son, my father, does the mix everything in one bowl method and will use any bread that happens to be in the kitchen.

                                    1. Does anyone remember the method Julia Child used on the episode, "In Search of Pain Perdu"?

                                      1. I make French Toast like most Americans do. My one interesting variation is Orange French Toast. I add a hefty dollop of thawed orange juice concentrate to the egg/milk mixture. After it's cooked I grate a little orange rind on top for a garnish. A really nice change of pace every now and then.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                          That sounds great!

                                          1. re: buttertart

                                            Thanks! For anyone make Orange French Toast just make sure to use a generous amount of butter to fry in as it can stick a little otherwise. My preferred bread of choice is Challah, but use what you like.

                                        2. I've heard of pain perdu using creme anglaise as the soaking liquid. Holy decadence.

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: Whats_For_Dinner

                                            A few years ago, when I did my apprenticeship in France with Escoffier ;-)

                                            We made pain perdu with the two step process (soak in milk first, than egg) AND it was served on a bed of crème anglaise.

                                            1. re: Whats_For_Dinner

                                              I've used eggnog for the milk or cream and added more nutmeg. Oh my goodness!

                                              1. re: aggiecat

                                                The other day I made some of the ugliest french toast using eggs, eggnog, and soft wheat bread slices cut in half. I soak the whole bunch, and tossed them in a fry pan too cook. In frying method I was following the chow recipe hootsla
                                                http://www.chow.com/recipes/14332-hoo...

                                                It has worked well with pieces of a substantial whole grain bread, but these pieces of wheat sponge got all mangled. Like I said it was ugly, but the taste was ok.

                                                1. re: paulj

                                                  Best to use slightly stale bread or bake as a french toast casserole (no need to set overnight) when you use eggnog.

                                                  http://cookingtipoftheday.blogspot.co...
                                                  example.

                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                    It was 'stale', in the sense of being more than a week old, but the type was wrong, high fiber, but perpetually soft. While there may be a 'best bread', the real purpose of French Toast is use up old bread, what ever its nature.

                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                      That may be the real purpose for some but I rarely wait for bread to go stale to make french toast. Now breadcrumbs, croutons absolutely. Try tho on the type of bread. Eggnog FT is best served casserole style..even if you use hardier bread types.

                                            2. Well this is sort of an inside-out or outside-in fried egg sandwich, which is best with white bread and ketchup.
                                              But to answer the question, sure, egg mixed with milk (and some pureed super-ripe banana), *then* dip.

                                              1. Soak it in egg and milk - but our family difference is that we add sugar (and I also add brandy or vanilla or Grand Marnier) to the custard. I was surprised when I saw restaurants serving syrup with French toast. And the answer to a long soak with Wonder Bread-type bread is a large spatula.

                                                I also advocate a slow heat to make sure the inside isn't still wet.

                                                1. I use the Alton Brown method: half/half, eggs, honey. Mix and let sit overnight. Delish.

                                                  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/al...

                                                  1. We call this "eggy bread" in the UK and that perhaps gives the game away about method - all the online British mentions I can see have it as the egg/milk mix. There may be recipes in the UK - but it's not something I've ever seen or heard of someone actually cooking.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                      And is it also called Poor Knights of Windsor in the UK? Or is this one of those goofy old names that either doesn't exist any more or is the product of someone's inflamed imagination?

                                                      1. re: lemons

                                                        "And is it also called Poor Knights of Windsor in the UK?"

                                                        Wikipedia tells me that we do call it Poor Knights of Windsor. So it must be true, then. :-0

                                                        There used to be a real Poor Knights of Windsor, established in the 1300s - effectively a charity for, erm, poor knights. Since the early 1800s, it's been known as the Military Knights of Windsor - provides accommodation at the castle to retired army officers in return for certain ceremonial duties.

                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                          Same name in German for French toast, arme Ritter, oddly enough.

                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                            I wonder which way the name got exported. From or to Germany?

                                                            And if there's any link with the British monarchy being German and, of course, having a castle at Windsor?

                                                            Fascinating site is Chowhound. I learn something new about food culture almost every day.

                                                    2. Thanks everyone for your answers. At least now I don't feel like the ultimate twit for never having seen French toast/pain perdu made this way before. I bought a baguette and it's aging so I can give it a try, but if I still did the dishes myself, I'd never think of forsaking the one bowl method! Lazy is as lazy does! '-)

                                                      19 Replies
                                                      1. re: Caroline1

                                                        Please post your results!

                                                        1. re: blue room

                                                          Promise! I think I'll do side by side, soaked in milk and dipped in egg versus just plain dipped in custard. And all that butter......

                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                            Great minds must think alike.

                                                            Because I just got a day-old baguette that I'm going to try a taste test with.

                                                            The only obstacle now is finding a guinea pig ...

                                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                                              Does the guinea pig have to squeel, or is it okay if it just walks on two legs?

                                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                                It's supposed to arrive sometime tomorrow, assuming there are no flight delays ...

                                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                                  Well, we did the blind taste test today.

                                                                  - 3 taste testers
                                                                  - Day old baguette
                                                                  - One batch made the Laura Calder way (i.e. 2 step, milk, dip, then egg, dip)
                                                                  - One batch made the "other" way (i.e. 1 step, dip in milk and egg mixture)

                                                                  The Laura Calder french toasts were soaked in milk for 5 minutes just like her recipe says and the "other" french toasts were soaked in the milk/egg mixture for 30 seconds on each side.

                                                                  Each toast was cooked on the same CI pan, each sharing half a hemisphere on the pan. Cooked in bacon fat (not butter).

                                                                  Plated and eaten with no fixings (i.e. no syrup, no fruit, no cream, etc.).

                                                                  Results? No difference in texture (at least according to my taste-testers) but 2 out of 3 said the Laura Calder french toast definitely tasted more egg-y.

                                                                  Scientific? Not really.
                                                                  Instructive? Maybe.
                                                                  Fun? Absolutely.

                                                                  Cheers.

                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                    who are you getting to fund further research?

                                                                    1. re: wew

                                                                      Self-funded.

                                                                      Want to be as impartial as possible.

                                                                      I got offers from the American dairy association, but nay ...

                                                                    2. re: ipsedixit

                                                                      You're a good'un, Ipsy! I've been planning a French toast party for days but small disasters (and big) keep taking precedent! I got as far as picking up a big fat loaf of French bread (which Walmart now calls "Italian" bread). The bakery where I can get decent cholla is 8 miles the other direction so I was lazy. BUT...! STRANGE things are happening. Walmart packages their loafs in a plastic sleeve which makes the crust soggy in time. I forgot to take it out, and here's the really strange part: When I bought it, it was a light tan (just golden) color. That was now four days ago. And now it looks like PUMPERNICKEL....! In fact, I bought a boule of pumpernickel at the same time, and they are now the same color, except the pumpernickel is 3/4 gone and the French bread hasn't ever had the twist tie untwisted.. I've never had anything this strange happen before. If it starts glowing in the dark, I'm calling for a HASMAT team! I don't know what to think, but I don't know if I want to eat it. Really really strange.

                                                                      1. re: Caroline1

                                                                        ewww

                                                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                                                          sounds like housewives of orange county meeting ghosts of Plano.

                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                            Well, not to be outdone by Ipsy Esquire, I decided to try the methods. And yes, I used the strange color changing bread. We'll see if I have a deep tan by morning. '-)

                                                                            I sliced the bread one and a quarter inches thick. Soaked two slices in milk for three minutes (the two slices had sucked up the full cup of milk, so why soak longer?), dipped them in egg, fried them in butter.

                                                                            To see if there is a difference if you soak as long in custard, I soaked two slices in custard for three minutes (they didn't drink nearly as deeply as the slices steeped in milk), then fried in butter.

                                                                            Then did two slices by my usual dipping and coating both sides, no long soaking, and frying in butter.

                                                                            Conclusions:

                                                                            Milk soaked bread did produce a nice eggy crust, BUT if I had soaked a full five minutes I would have had to serve it in a cereal bowl! It weeped and seeped milk. Sort of reminded me of soup dumplings or milk toast in a crust. It weeped pools after cutting! Maybe it would have worked better with whipping cream than with milk? Sheesh, the fat content!

                                                                            Custard soaked bread also produced a nice eggy crust and -- presumably because it was custard soaked -- the interior was custardy but not weepy in puddles all over the plate. Nice.

                                                                            Custard dipped was my favorite. Interestingly, the custard on the outside made the bread on the inside moist and steamy while frying and maximized the flavor of the egg crust and the flavor of the bread. I would not expect the same result with less flavorful bread, but this was a winner!

                                                                            So even though my dishwasher doesn't give a damn how many dishes I dirty, I think I'll stay with the one bowl method. Probably Pavlovian conditioning of childhood, but hey, French toast is comfort food, right? Dipping and frying with no soaking is definitely my comfort zone!

                                                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                                                              So even though my dishwasher doesn't give a damn how many dishes I dirty, I think I'll stay with the one bowl method. Probably Pavlovian conditioning of childhood, but hey, French toast is comfort food, right? Dipping and frying with no soaking is definitely my comfort zone!
                                                                              _____________________

                                                                              And, really, isn't that whole point of cooking for yourself?

                                                                              As long as you are happy, everything just seems right, or at least better!

                                                                              Thanks for sharing your results.

                                                                              (And, seriously, try it with some heartier bread next time ...)

                                                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                I thought about doing a slice of pumpernickel, then thought, "Why waste good pumpernickel?" I did use a pretty hearty "Italian" long loaf, not a skinny baguette. I let it get crusty out of the bag before making the French toast. It was good!

                                                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                  Another interesting bread to make French Toast with is Babka. Unlike Jerry Seinfeld, I've always used cinnamon, although I imagine the chocolate would be delicious too.

                                                                                  1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                    Ciabatta ... another underrated option for french toast.

                                                                                    But the most underrated (and unheard of -- by me at least) is Fruit Cake. Yes, freaking Fruit Cake. Had it over the holidays. All I can say is, am I glad the holidays are over. Not enough (heavily boozed) eggnog in the world to make that thing go down smooth.

                                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                      mmmmm... A really good fruit cake has a batter so dense (and so little of it) it seems to me it would end up more like fruit and nuts tempura. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Have you tried it, and what kind of fruit cake? But hey, on a low fat diet, I might try it with angel food cake! And yes, ciabatta makes GREAT French toast, croissants do not. I think I better stop reading this thread before I end up on a French toast diet! '-)

                                                                              2. re: Caroline1

                                                                                My grandmother always used stale baguettes or sourdough with the soak method. Fresh bread would be a bit lacking in texture ...

                                                                          2. re: ipsedixit

                                                                            Nice...i like mine egg-y, so i'll have to try that!

                                                                2. sourdough dipper, not soaked, in a mixture of egg and milk, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, fried in bacon fat deep enough that it can get a little crisp, topped with maple syrup...I have tried all of the others and like this one best.

                                                                  1. milk and eggs, some vanilla sugar and cinnamon, and I'll often cut some of the slices into sticks and dip them in corn flake crumbs or rice krispies or both -

                                                                    1. C

                                                                      I have never seen a milk soak followed by the egg soak.

                                                                      I made FT for the kids for years. The recipe they liked best was very non-Escoffier but very delicious and the kids loved it and that was all that mattered:

                                                                      One XL egg per 2 slices of regular old white bread; add some skim milk, a little vanilla and a touch of cinnamon. Mix.

                                                                      Take each piece of white bread and dip both sides in the egginess and then onto a buttered flat pan.

                                                                      And here was a little trick. I poured any leftover egginess on top of each piece of bread. This seemed to poof them when they fried.

                                                                      When I flipped to side 2 I also sprinkled some cinn-sugar on the already fried sided. Then whe side 2 was nice and golden i would flip back to side one to melt the cinn-sugar.

                                                                      Then onto a plate and a quick snowing of powdered sugar.

                                                                      Some good old maple syrup and the kids were in heaven.

                                                                      14 Replies
                                                                      1. re: jfood

                                                                        Sounds good, Jay. My mother was seriously hooked on salt and pepper with butter. She made her French toast gooey in the center, or what the French call "baveux", then slathered it while still piping hot with lots of fresh butter (sometimes she made her own) then a liberal sprinkling of telecherry pepper and salt. As a result of this childhood indoctrination, I ALWAYS have to have at least one slice of French toast swimming in butter and doused with salt and freshly ground telecherry pepper. It's good! But it's very bad for the waistline.

                                                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                                                          Baveux must be one of the best food words ever (even better, baveuse). There's a savory French toast I make in one of Madhur Jaffrey's cookbooks, bread in the custard, browned one side, minced chili pepper, green onions, and ginger applied to the top, flipped and browned. Very nice. I'm going to try the butter, salt, and pepper next time.
                                                                          Also good: granulated sugar and drops of lemon juice, eat while the sugar is still gritty.

                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                            Interesting - granulated sugar and lemon juice is the standard Brit way with pancakes. Gotta eat while there's crunch in the sugar.

                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                              I love that. Great on berries too. First time I had it was on palatschinken at a restaurant (the Balkan) in Toronto years ago.

                                                                            2. re: buttertart

                                                                              It's the perversity in me showing. Even though baveux is a very old traditional French culinary term for a runny center in omelettes, pain perdu, and the like, it also means baby's drool. As I said, the pervisity in me sneaks out every so often! '-)

                                                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                Well, what's runnier? Languages are so fun.

                                                                              2. re: buttertart

                                                                                The savory version sounds like the roti john that's popular in Singapore. http://thebuddingcook.blogspot.com/20...

                                                                                1. re: Leucadian

                                                                                  Pretty much, yes. From the "roti", Indian influenced? My Bengali SIL makes something similar with flour tortillas (in lieu of chapati) - royal style - including meat. The Jaffrey one doesn't have it.

                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                    Could you describe in more detail your SIL's dish? The roti john I'm familiar with was purportedly made for Europeans in Singapore who wanted a fried egg breakfast and the cook wound up using western yeasted bread and eggs together. John was a generic term for westerners. The roti part of the name I think came from roti prata which is an enriched unleavened flatbread, favored for snacks and breakfast. I'm not altogether sure of this etymology, but there were no chapatis in the history, and very little Indian influence either. I'm interested in what royal style means in your family.

                                                                                    1. re: Leucadian

                                                                                      http://www.suite101.com/content/roti-...

                                                                                      According to this description, Roti John uses an egg batter than includes mince meat. So it is more of an egg omelet cooked with a sliced roll. Some versions put this omelet inside the roll and then dip the whole thing in egg, somewhat along the lines of a Monte Cristo sandwich.

                                                                                      1. re: Leucadian

                                                                                        She takes flour tortillas, dips them in beaten egg, fries one side and then puts what is esssentially small bits of cooked, spiced keema and some extra raw onion, hot pepper, etc, turns them over and fries until done. V tasty. She's from Kolkata, I believe this was something her family cook used to make.

                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                          I have never heard of this, but it sounds great. I take it the tortilla is not folded over, but rather flipped on the other side? Shall we call it a roti huevilla? Or maybe omelette avec tortilla a la inde?

                                                                                          1. re: Leucadian

                                                                                            Omelette épicée indéene? It's fried flat. Very tasty.

                                                                                2. re: Caroline1

                                                                                  my tongue is struggling with the pepper, but hay, gotta try what generations before have done.

                                                                                  thanks for the tidbit

                                                                              3. In a blender I whip the eggs, light cream, vanilla bean, orange juice, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt to create the batter. Then I pour the batter into a pie plate and dip both sides of thick challah into the batter and pan fry with sweet butter until golden brown. About the only change for me comes when I add brandy or rum to the batter (replacing the syrup) when I make bananas foster french toast.

                                                                                Recently we added a java french toast to our breakfast menu which entails adding instant espresso powder to the blender mix and serving it with espresso-maple sauce.

                                                                                1. Just some real maple syrup in the eggs and cream gives a nice golden crust and sweet flavor.

                                                                                  1. You have all made me very hungry! I make my FT like many of you because that's how my momma did it ... white bread, eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, but we add a touch of freshly grated nutmeg, cooked in butter. Served with too much butter, powdered sugar and maple syrup. Sometimes I'll make a syrup for my DH if I have any berries in the house that should've been eaten the day before (I'm too picky about firmness)

                                                                                    The orange version has me drooling at the thought of it ... kids would love if it I added maple. Guess we are doing a taste test this weekend LOL

                                                                                    1. I want to try the orange now. I make our FT with challah and I lightly dust the outside with flour after soaking the bread for extra crispiness. cook in lots of butter. I like a proportion of custard that is more milk/cream product than egg, so about 4 slices of bread per egg. plus vanilla, sugar, and melted butter.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: cocktailhour

                                                                                        Another delicious riff subs almond extract for the vanilla extract and finishes with some lightly toasted sliced almonds and almond peanut butter. For almond lovers it's a big hit!

                                                                                      2. I make really, really light french toast using about half as much egg as is normally called for, whole milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and leftover ciabatta. I top it with powdered sugar and berries. I guess it's really an Italian toast?

                                                                                        Otherwise, I do as everyone else and use challah. My husband hates, hates, hates eggs, so I actually take the time to scrape off any overly eggy residue from the outside of the bread and then let the slices "drain" on a plate before tossing them in the pan.

                                                                                        1. I love rich and indulgent French Toast that uses heavy cream and eggs in one bowl (not dipped separately). When I don't have time to make it bread pudding style, I use this recipe from Martha Stewart.
                                                                                          http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/c...
                                                                                          Challah is good but I recommend using brioche.
                                                                                          I sometimes use lemon zest and add it to the soaking mix. It really brightens up the dish.

                                                                                          http://theavidbaker.wordpress.com

                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: sugarcube

                                                                                            See now we find brioche to be way to soft to hold up to the batter. Even thick slices. So for brioche we create an egg custard and use the brioche as the base. Completely diff from french toast but just as delicious.

                                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                                              No one finishes their off in the oven after frying it?

                                                                                              1. re: DougWeller

                                                                                                Keep warm setting, yes! Toaster oven does a great job for that.

                                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                  Same here.

                                                                                          2. I use a thick-cut, dense bread that is at least slightly stale, dip in in a mixture of egg, half-and-half, and vanilla, then brown both sides in butter. A light dusting of cinnamon on one or both sides is a must.
                                                                                            I use the method of placing the bread into a warm (not hot) oven on a cooling rack topped baking sheet to keep the toast warm while you finish cooking the other pieces. This step also allows the outside to stay crisp while drying off any excess moisture that may be left in the bread. Top with real maple syrup or a drizzle of honey. Fresh fruit is a nice addition, too.