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How to Make French Toast Without a Recipe

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Here at Food52, we love recipes -- but do we always use them? Of course not. Because once you realize you don't always need a recipe, you'll make your favorite dishes a lot more often.

Today: Food52's Managing Editor Brette Warshaw gives us the ratio to make any French toast -- with what you have in your pantry.

French Toast from Food52

It's late, you're home, and you're hungry. Your front door feels really far away. You have some stale bread, some eggs, and some dairy.

Or: It's Sunday morning, and your kids are shrieking, and you want to cook something -- something quick! -- that will get them all starry-eyed and quiet and happy.

Or: You're tired of salads and roasted vegetables and even meat and fish and you want something soothing, something easy, and something decidedly un-seasonal for dinner.

In all these cases, and many more: make French toast.

Go check -- you have everything you need. Now, read on!

How to Make French Toast Without a Recipe

1. Get out a pie pan -- it's the best soaking vessel for your bread -- and add your dairy and eggs (I use around 3 egg yolks for every one-and-a-half cups dairy). Use milk, use half and half, use cream, use a combination.

Whisk in around 1 tablespoon of sugar, agave, honey, whatever (or don't!) and any flavorings you'd like -- vanilla extract (or better: scraped vanilla bean) is always a great call, but feel free to go crazy.

French Toast from Food52


2. Slice up your day-old bread -- I'm a fan of brioche or challah -- and let it soak in the mixture for fifteen seconds on each side (thirty seconds in total). Make sure your bread is somewhat stale; it will soak up all that good stuff without falling apart.

Once it's out of the bath, let your bread rest on a baking sheet for around two minutes to allow for even custard-soakage within.

French toast from Food52


3. Melt some butter in a pan. Once it's nice and runny... 

Melting butter from Food52


4. ...get those slices in there! Fry until golden brown on one side, and then flip. Get that other side brown, and, if you're me, drizzle some maple syrup on, right there in the pan. The warmth will get it evenly distributed -- and slightly caramelized.

French Toast from Food5


5. Get your toast onto a plate, drizzle with more syrup, and eat. Quickly. Now.

French toast from Food52

Now, what to serve with that French toast? Try these:

The perfect fried egg
Spicy Basil Bloody Marys
Homemade Merguez

How do you make your French toast?

Tags: (Not) Recipes, DIY Food, How-To & Diy