The "Bell-less, Whistle-less, Damn Good French Toast" Beloved by 3,208 of Us

April 17, 2018

As Food52 gets older (and wiser), and our archive of recipes grows, we’re making the effort to revisit some gold recipes from our community. Today, meet an easy, French toast with the outside like a crisp crepe-like shell and inside, pudding.

How every morning should start. Photo by James Ransom

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's a recipe where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. I love the rich, custardy interior of the toast. I love the slight crisp of the crust and buttery flavor. And the good maple syrup. (Fresh fruit is an acceptable add-on, but preserve me from cinnamon, confectioners sugar, and the like.)

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It is critically important to use good quality challah for French toast. I honestly don't remember why I used it the first time. I think I had bought a loaf of challah, took a notion for French toast, and it was there... and it was just better, by an order of magnitude, than any other bread I'd used. I'll never go back.

Where I live now, there isn’t a bakery that makes good challah, and it's a bread I've never tried to make myself. So when I go back to Memphis, I always stop and get a couple of loaves, make one in French toast, and stick the other in the freezer for another time.

A word to the wise: When whisking the egg-cream mixture, don't skimp. More is better. The dog will eat what you don't use, and love you for it.

Have you made The Bell-less, Whistle-less, Damn Good French Toast? What's your favorite type of French toast?

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

I'm a business professional who learned to cook early on, and have expanded my tastes and my skills as I've traveled and been exposed to new cuisines and new dishes. I love fresh vegetables, any kind of protein on the grill, and breakfasts that involve fried eggs with runny yolks. My recipes tend toward the simple and the Southern, with bits of Asia or the Mediterranean or Mexico thrown in here and there. And a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on a float in the lake, as pictured, is a pretty fine lunch!