French toast, also known as eggy bread or gypsy toast is a dish of bread soaked in beaten egg batter, then fried and baked. As it is mostly bread, the kind of bread you use is important. Pick your favourite bread – White, Italian, French or Whole Wheat. Challah or egg bread will give incredibly creamy insides. Country- style breads are great too, and will give a sturdier, less creamy French toast. Classic French baguette sliced diagonally make a nice, chewy version. Do avoid using white sandwich bread and rustic breads with large holes and thick crust as the rustic bread can’t hold the egg mixture and white bread is too soft. Also day-old or slightly stale bread is preferred for this recipe.
6 Thick slices french bread, preferably day old
⅔ Cups Milk
1 Tablespoon Brown sugar
¼ Teaspoons Ground cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Vanilla extract
⅛ Teaspoons Salt
1 Tablespoon Butter, for frying bread
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Step 1: To Make French Toast, First Cut the French Bread Into 6 Thick Slices.
French toast works best with thick slices of French or Italian loaf bread that are several days old as firm bread are preferred to soft bread,
The ideal thickness for a slice of French toast is about 1/2" to 3/4" thick. If the bread is very thin, it will not be able to hold together or get mushy when dipped in the egg custard. If it's too thick, it may not cook to the centre.
Step 2: Measure All Ingredients Needed to Make the French Toast.
As french toast has very few ingredients, it's important to use quality products.
The milk and egg mixture into which you dip your French bread is basically a custard which forms an important component to a delicious french toast. So use quality eggs as the egg is a dominant flavour. Also use whole milk or low-fat milk if possible.
Vanilla extract and cinnamon are used to add a richness of flavour to this otherwise simple toast.
A touch of sugar and salt make this french toast so distinctively flavourful. However you can choose to leave out the sugar and serve this french toast topped with savory things like sautéed mushrooms, bacon or ham.
Step 3: Place the 2 Eggs in a Big Shallow Bowl.
To make the egg custard, start by placing the eggs in a shallow bowl wide enough to place the bread. Using a large shallow bowl will make it easier to reach in and remove the soaked slices of bread.
Step 4: Add in Milk.
Do not go overboard with the milk as the eggs in the mixture may not cook if too much is added. This will result in wet and soggy bread. You can use whole milk or low fat milk. Do not use heavy cream as it creates a thicker custard and the bread will have a harder time absorbing the mixture.
Step 5: Then Add Ground Cinnamon and Salt.
Ground cinnamon added gives it a great flavour and a pinch of salt helps bring all the flavours together. It is worthwhile to note that cinnamon may have a tendency to float and clump and not get absorbed when mixed together with the egg and milk mixture. However, the custard still works as the ground cinnamon will stick to the bread when soaked in the custard.
Step 6: Next Add in the Brown Sugar.
If you are adding maple syrup, honey or dusting the french toast with icing sugar on the plate, you may want to cut down on the sugar which means there is no need for the custard to be too sweet.
Step 7: Lastly Add Vanilla Extract.
Try to use a pure vanilla extract for better flavour.
Step 8: Then Whisk Everything Together.
Use a wire whisk to mix the egg and milk mixture. Make sure to whisk the custard until all the milk, eggs and spices are well combined. You do not want pieces of egg whites showing up on the perfectly toasted french slices.
Step 9: Dip Each Slice of Thick French Bread Into the Egg Mixture.
Do not under-soak the bread. The bread has to be soaked in the egg mixture to make sure the egg custard penetrate the bread for a soft, custardy centre (100% saturation). This requires a firm yet gentle pressure when placing the bread into the custard. Leave to soak for at least 5 to 10 minutes.
Step 10: Soak the Bread on Both Sides. Make Sure the Bread Is Completely Soaked.
Once fully coated on the bottom, flip the slices and let soak on the other side until fully saturated.
Step 11: Soak All the 6 Slices of Bread, Drained and Set Aside.
Drain off any excess custard on the bread after the bread has been completely soaked.
Step 12: Place All Soaked Slices of Bread on a Plate and Let Them Set Just a Minute Before Frying.
This is to prevent the french toast to have an eggy layer on the outside. If you prefer an eggy exterior, then just fry the soaked bread directly from the custard to the heat.
Step 13: Preheat Oven to 200 Degree C ( 400 Degree F ). Place Rack in the Centre of Oven.
Preheating the oven will enable the french toast to brown and crisp quickly and properly. Toasting the french toast in the centre of oven allows for even browning.
Step 14: To Fry the Soaked French Bread, First Preheat a Frying Pan and Give It a Light Coating of Butter Over Medium Heat.
If the frying pan is preheated, the egg mixture from the slice of soaked bread will not have time to seep and the custard will start cooking as soon as the bread is placed on the pan.
Using butter for frying the french toast promotes browning and adds extra flavour to the toast slices. You can also use a combination of vegetable oil and butter to coat the pan as this can help prevent the butter from burning.
Step 15: Working in Batches, Brown the Bread Very Lightly Until Golden Brown. Sauté for 3 Minutes, Just to Kind of Seal the Egg Batter.
Make sure to wipe out the pan after every batch, then use fresh butter or combination of vegetable oil and butter. Otherwise the butter may burn and little black bits will stick to the next batch of french toast.
Step 16: Flip Over and Lightly Brown for Another 3 Minutes Until It’s Beautiful and Golden Brown in Colour.
Do not over brown the french toast. Just lightly brown to give them some colours and to seal the custard as these french toast are going into the oven to finish cooking.
Step 17: Transfer the Golden Brown Slices of French Bread to a Baking Sheet.
There is no need to oil or lined the baking sheet when placing the golden toasted french bread on it.
Step 18: Then Bake in the Preheated Oven for 12 to 15 Minutes to Finish the Cooking.
The bread will puff slightly and will be crispy on the outside while the inside will be incredibly moist, creamy and soft.
Step 19: Keep the French Toast Warm in the Oven Over Low Temperature If Not Eaten Right Away.
If you are making french toast in batches and want to keep warm so that you can serve them all at the same time, just place them on a baking sheet in a single layer to keep warm in a 100 degree C (200 degree F) preheated oven. By keeping these french toast in a warm oven, the toast will keep warm and maintain its crispiness.
Step 20: Serve Warm With Butter and Maple Syrup.
The garnish possibilities for French Toast are wide and varied. It does pair exceptionally well with fresh blueberries which is the perfect summer fruit to eat raw with. Also a spread of butter, a drizzle of maple syrup and powdered sugar over these delicious toast make this dish ever so appealing in both flavour as well as eye appeal. So Enjoy!
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