Bell-less, Whistle-less, Damn Good French Toast

By • May 16, 2010 • 66 Comments



Author Notes: There are things in life that just ought to be simple, and to my taste buds, French toast is one of them. Mine has only three ingredients, depending on the quality of the bread to carry the dish, and the quality of the accompanying butter and syrup to finish the dish to perfection. It is critically important to use good quality challah for French toast. I had no idea how important until I tried it the first time. I'll never go back. Fresh fruit is an acceptable add-on, but preserve me from cinnamon, confectioners sugar, and the like. - KaybKayb

Food52 Review: There's nothing to making this French toast. But there is one thing that makes it exceptional: cream. KayB cuts to the chase, forgoing spices and extracts, and focussing instead on eggs, cream and challah. You whip together the eggs and cream, which form a custardy mixture, then dip the eggy bread into this custard -- make sure to gently squeeze the bread with your fingertips to draw the eggs and cream to the center -- and fry them in butter. Outside is a crisp crepe-like shell. Inside, pudding. What are you waiting for? - A&MA&M

Serves 4

  • 1 loaf challah bread
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • butter, for grilling and serving
  • Good maple syrup, for serving
  1. Slice challah into 3/4 to 1-inch thick slices.
  2. Whisk together eggs and cream.
  3. Heat a griddle or flat grill pan over medium high heat, and add 1 tbsp butter for every two pieces of French toast it will accommodate; swirl butter around to cover surface.
  4. Dip slice of bread in egg and cream; flip and repeat. Add to griddle, and grill until golden (approximately 90 seconds) on one side; flip and repeat.
  5. Serve with additional butter, if desired, and good quality maple syrup. The experience is enhanced with the addition of good quality smoked bacon.

Comments (66) Questions (0)

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about 1 month ago grasspress

you can't 'soak the bread in the batter until it is soaked through' you silly. it will be nearly impossible to retrieve it without shredding and coming to pieces going from the batter to the pan. admittedly, it will still be good, just no longer bread slices. more like bits and pieces.

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about 1 month ago dymnyno

If you use a bread like brioche, it doesn't shred. It holds together nicely. The finished toast tastes a lot like bread pudding. (basically the same ingredients)

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about 1 month ago Rorinski

No, no, no, no! Doesn't anybody know anything about French toast? You soak the bread in the batter until it is soaked through. THEN you sauté it in butter. Anything less isn't worth eating -- just fried bread.

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about 1 month ago dymnyno

I think the method and length of soaking the bread to make French toast is a personal issue. I use brioche bread (Bouchon Bakery) and soak the bread through as you do, and that is my own preference. But there are many other methods, including of spices, and types of bread to use that are just as good, just different. Probably there is a lot of regional influences too.

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about 1 month ago dymnyno

probably there are a lot of regional...

Flower

4 months ago Tracie

I love how easy and absolutely delicious this recipe is. It's a great simple dish that I feel like I can now make without a recipe and it still turns out delicious! Thank you!

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4 months ago grasspress

here's another fast and easy french toast recipe for cooks with kids still in the house and who are still working and don't have time for 'preparation'. i use the 'hawaiian' bread cut into slices, but i'm sure you can use any bread you have around that is near its shelf life. now, you will have to gauge the ingredients to your audience, but it's a forgiving recipe so don't fret. pour about a cup and a half (or more, depending on need) of half n half into a pie pan, add a few tablespoons of sugar, a shake of salt, a few eggs and then mix well with a fork. add a few sprinkles of cinnamon and stir again. get your griddle hot and slick (spray or small amount of cooking oil) and then dip your cut bread slices in the mix, first one side then the other, place on griddle and cook one side to your liking, flip and cook the other. add more ingredients to the pie pan to finish up your slices, if needed. keep your butter handy to spread over the toast as soon as it comes off the griddle. this keeps your kids from having to do it and messing up the butter dish and reduces the messes you will have to clean up later. if you don't trust your kids to appreciate expensive maple syrup, make up a simple syrup (half water, half sugar, heated, with a drop or two of maple flavoring) and serve the little buggers. they'll love it! or at least my kids did.

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5 months ago Mulzee

I just made this for breakfast and it was absolutely delicious. I didn't have Challah bread on hand but will definitely try that next time. Thanks for the great and simple recipe!

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7 months ago Lorraine

I like to dry the bread out just a bit on a cookie sheet in a 200 degree oven to keep it from getting soggy. Also, I sometimes add a bit of orange extract to the eggs for a citrusy accent.

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8 months ago sandra

ok not to sound stupid but what is Challah bread and what can I use to subsitute

Kay_at_lake

8 months ago Kayb

Challah is the traditional Jewish "braided bread." It's heavy on eggs -- any brioche-type loaf would probably work.

Stringio

8 months ago Dalia Rosales Arend Rosales

Sounds good. I will miss the cinnamon. I usually use Hawaiian bread. Get the apple bacon at Trader Joe's.

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7 months ago April

oh yes, the applewood smoked bacon at Trader Joe's is the best!

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8 months ago Bonita Quick

WOW! i just printed this recipe,its beeen a long time since I had some real good french toast,sounds delish!!!!

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8 months ago Mat

You should only use REAL maple syrup not some commercial concoction claiming to be real or even phony maple syrup

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8 months ago dymnyno

Of course!!!!

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8 months ago dymnyno

My own French toast is also so so simple...I use Bouchon Bakery brioche bread loaf and cut thick slices. I usually slip in a little cinnamon and nutmeg, too.

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8 months ago maybelle

yumee, what kind of cream, is it whippped cream, please. thanks

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8 months ago Molly

Yes - heavy cream is also known as heavy whipping cream in the dairy section near the milk.

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over 1 year ago millicent

Made this for breakfast with my left over oatmeal-molasses bread and it was delicious. I made it for two so used 1 egg and 1/8 cup cream and it worked a treat. Delicious. Saved and will definitely serve with bacon next time.

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over 1 year ago AY2013

THIS Recipe is THE BEST FRENCH TOAST Recipe I've tried! Challah bread works wonders! I became a top chef in my house!! I did add some cinnamon for that breakfast flavor and it was awesome! I will always use this recipe from now on! Thank you!

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about 2 years ago Genglish

We use day old brioche and add a bit of warm honey to the custard mix. Finishing it off in the oven for a few minutes gives it a nice airy finish.

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over 2 years ago lschrive

I love french toast, but have never used challah bread until today - I may never go back!!! Thanks for the simple and AMAZING recipe!

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over 2 years ago ruzyreez

I found this recipe and made it for breakfast this morning - I used Texas Toast bread instead of challah bread. The bread was thick and was able to absorb the cream & milk without turning soggy or falling apart. It turned out awesome! :)

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over 2 years ago steph.luv

Made this for Saturday breakfast and it was delicious! I normally do french toast with eggs and a splash of milk but never again. I didn't use challah bread as I had no idea where to get it but I got a lovely tin loaf that I cut into thick slices and it worked a trick.
Thanks for the recipe :)

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over 2 years ago AmyRuth

I'm going to need a recipe for real challah bread. There isn't a bakery in town who makes it. Anyone have one they like? I love french toast, carbs and all.

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7 months ago April

Hey Amy Ruth, you might have already found this but here it is:
http://food52.com/recipes...

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over 2 years ago ubs2007

Excellent recipe: simple and outstanding! Made this today on a very cold NYC morning! My 4.5 yr old and I LOVED it!

Kay_at_lake

over 2 years ago Kayb

So glad you enjoyed! I also just recently learned you can cook a whole loaf, then heat it up in the toaster oven for a quick breakfast for snack!