Cast Iron

Crispy-Fried French Toast with Hot Sauce Honey

March  6, 2018
5 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Serves 3 to 5
Author Notes

Let’s cut to the chase: This is breaded bread. Instead of the usual French toast technique—dunking in custard, then pan-frying—the dredge is extended to what I call the 1-2-3. First, flour, then custard, then bread crumbs. Often, this is employed for proteins, like chicken tenders, for an extra-crispy crust. Here, it sends French toast over the top. I like challah best, but brioche and even sourdough work as well. Fresh or stale both work. —Emma Laperruque

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half (or cream or milk or any combination of the two)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs, plus more as needed
  • Couple giant spoonfuls honey
  • Louisiana-style hot sauce (no spices!), to taste
  • five 1-inch-thick slices challah
  • Unsalted butter, for frying
  1. Set up your dredging station: flour on one plate; half-and-half plus eggs, bourbon, and salt in a shallow bowl (a piedish works well here); panko on another plate. Whisk the half-and-half mixture with a fork until completely smooth.
  2. Make the hot sauce honey. Microwave the honey until runny. (Or place it in a glass, nestled inside a bowl of hot water.) Add hot sauce to taste.
  3. Set a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add a big hunk of butter (figure about 2 tablespoons) to the pan. Bread a couple slices of challah: Cover in flour. Dip in custard, making sure it gets completely soaked. Cover in panko. By now, the butter should be melted and the skillet should be hot. Add the breaded challah—it should sizzle! Fry for about 3 minutes, until the bottom is deeply browned. Add another, smaller pat of butter to the pan and flip. Fry the other side for the same amount of time, until deeply browned. Sprinkle with salt.
  4. Repeat with the remaining bread slices, wiping out the pan and replacing with butter as needed. Serve French toast hot, with hot sauce honey drizzled on top.

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Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

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