As much as I love pancakes…and was just this month yammering on about waffles…French toast is my favorite. The inside turns soft and almost custardy, while the crust of the bread gives each bite some structure and chew. But the best part is that golden, buttery-caramelized surface with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla!
I think because the ingredients are so very, very simple – eggs, milk, and a few dashes of spices – the taste and texture of the bread matters. You need a loaf of what my family calls “good Italian bread”, which is (wait for it while I make this super clear) crusty, but not too crusty…dense, but not TOO dense…hefty, but also kind of light and airy…but not light and airy like the squishy soft-on-the-inside-and-the-outside cheap supermarket kind. I think you know what I’m talking about…but if you don’t, and you kind of want to smack me, I’m happy to report that I’ve also made French toast with a stale crusty baguette, the aforementioned squish-squish $1.99 loaf, and many things in between and it’s always delicious. I’m just saying in an Ideal World, wherein you Planned Ahead To Make This, that’s the kind of bread you’re after.
My mom is the source of this French toast recipe, and she doesn’t actually measure anything – she just mixes it up. The “recipe” I had jotted down from her consisted of things like 1 egg + 1 “blup” of milk per person. I’ve been making it that way for years now, but you can’t publish a recipe like that…so recently she made it while I took these pictures and we measured everything and got a lot of extra measuring cups dirty. YOU’RE WELCOME.
So: slice up your gorgeous loaf of bread into thick slices – about 3/4 of an inch.
I feel compelled to admit that this is a loaf of French bread from Costco. It was perfectly fine, although a little heavier than the “good Italian bread” described so
eloquently nonsensically thoroughly above.
Then you whisk up eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt. I like to use a flat-bottomed casserole dish to make it easier to dip the bread slices.
Then each slice gets dipped on both sides into the egg mixture and settled into the pan or griddle. Cook the French toast with a mixture of oil and butter, or oil and bacon grease to add another layer of flavor!
Serve your French toast with more butter (obvi) and a drizzle of maple syrup. It has such amazing contrasts – chewy/soft/caramelized, sweet/brown-buttery-salty. Goooood morning!