When I was growing up in Toronto we used to be members at a place called The Granite Club. For our athletically inclined family it was our home away from home. It’s been 20+ years, yet three memories are still with me today – of my tennis coach; a horrible haircut; and the cafeteria cinnamon toast. I hadn’t eaten this for ages and had the sudden urge to do my own version, updated with a few modern tweaks.
Make it the night before and it takes about the same time to reheat it as an EGGO waffle. —Feed Me Dearly
- Serves 4
good quality salted butter (if using unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt)
good quality cinnamon
thick slices of a good quality country white bread, Pullman, or Pain de Mie
half ‘n half
Maple syrup and/or crème fraiche
- Soften butter for a few hours or overnight.
- In a medium bowl, mix the butter with the cinnamon and the sugar.
- Spread 1 tablespoon of cinnamon butter on each of the 4 slices of bread and lay them in a medium casserole dish- doesn’t matter how as you’ll be breaking them up and re-inserting them at a later point.
- You’ll have leftover butter at this point, which will keep in your fridge for a few weeks and is great for making cinnamon toast (just remember to soften beforehand).
- Chill the dish for a few hours, overnight, even for up to a few days. Stale bread is the key for this recipe.
- Once the bread has chilled, remove and set to the side while you butter the inside of the casserole dish.
- Once buttered, break up the chunks of bread and lay them inside the dish.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, half ‘n half and vanilla.
- Pour over the bread chunks, and with a large piece of Saran Wrap, cover and compress it a little with your hands.
- To help with the absorption, put something heavy on top of the Saran Wrap – I used a smaller casserole dish but you could also use soup cans.
- Let the mixture absorb into the bread for 20 -30 mins.
- While the mixture is absorbing, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove the weights, and the Saran Wrap, and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the aluminum foil and bake for another 30 mins or until custard has set.
- Remove the French Toast from the oven, scoop onto individual plates and top with maple syrup and/or crème fraiche. (Vermont Creamery makes a vanilla crème fraiche that’s perfect here).
- NOTES: Although this may look like a long and complicated process, the active time is short and can be spread out over multiple days making it a cinch to pull together. French toast can be baked ahead of time, covered and reheated the next day to save time in the morning.