Author Notes: It’s totally not a stretch to say that French toast recipe is no longer a stranger to minds, as it’s been on family’s breakfast tables unceasingly.
Though travelled with me from breakfast to breakfast, it’s only until recent explorations that I found there’re still a few unknowns regarding this fascinating egg-dish.
STALE BREAD IS TRADITIONAL – BUT DOES IT HAVE TO BE?
French toast is originally made with stale bread – dry and leathery. Stale bread has been through years in western style snacking and picnicking habit, to the point that it’s reputedly the bread base for a whole row of stuffing or baking dishes.
Fortunately, you don’t actually have to go find bread that’s so stale to throw a toast yourself, for grocery stores nowadays are put more with bread that’s not stale at all.
French toast is absolutely a complaisant deal that shouts out for no peculiar ingredients or devices. As long as the substitutes are custardy and absorbent just stale-bread-like, then it’s all gray. Bang for the buck.
SO WHAT ARE OTHER CHOICES?
Truth be told, if left out unwrapped overnight at temperature room, regular sandwiches can also do it almost like stale breads. But nevermind, store-bought ones are fine enough. Some at the front line should be basic white bread, golden-white bread, brioche and challah.
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Okay so since I’ve been recommended for sourdough elsewhere pretty much, I think I need to state it straight up that sourdough should never have a place in French toast altogether.
Whether it’s starter or commercial yeast being added to doughs to raise them, sourdough’s taste would still be too tangy for French toast. Some even said it’s “sour”, but I see not – it’s just not a thing that was born for. Perk-wise, when ducked, sourdough breads will turn to be chewy and sticky and tough – bet good money not the toothsome anyone would fancy.
STICK SOME TRICKS FOR UPPER SAVORINESS
Though there’s less liquid absorption in those variations other than the traditional stale bread, I myself would like to weight French toast’s savoriness based on the thickness of each slice.
My best possible advice is to purchase a whole loaf of your desired bread, then slice it however thick you like. Sure it’s a preference thing, but to me, 0.6-0.8″ of thickness would be best ideal.
Then you may ask, why thickness?
Because taste is all that matters.
You see, thinner slices are easily prone to oversoaking, which roots to the middles coming out (possibly) still muggy and gooey, even though the edges have already been cooked to crisp.
That is to say, to make the insides enough toothsome and tender, you’ve got to stick some tricks after all.
NOW, FANCY THINGS UP A BIT
Bread, egg and milk, how unsophisticated it could be. But why not throw it a bit more go-gaga-over-worthy?
And here we are on the sweetness.
On the dipping mixture, I heard some say sugar while some do not. Seems a bit confusing, but sugar or desugar, it simply rests on how basic you’d like. Feel free to cut it down if you only crave the mild sweetness, earthy, savory, milky and a bit creamy undertone of the egg-milk mixture all in all. Otherwise, dash some sugar or maple syrup and the like. If not, the natural sweetness from fruits as toppings afterward will also worth the deal.
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And while we’re at it, milk does bring excellent divergence to the taste too.
Switch for fat-reduced milk or even skim milk if you want to tone the whole thing down a bit. Just a notice here: if you’ve decided to swipe fat all out, then get rid of cream or butter (if there is) too, because that’s a whole bunch of fat there.
But honestly speaking, what is it if there’s no creamy aftertaste, after all?
—Healthy Kitchen 101
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 10 min
teaspoon ground cinnamon
teaspoon ground nutmeg
teaspoon vanilla extract
pieces challah, brioche, or white bread
cup maple syrup, warmed
- Melt butter over medium heat, set aside.
- Combine all cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and the melted butter in a bowl or pie plate. Whisk well to have an egg-milk dipping mixture.
- Dunk each bread slice in the mixture. And remember it's dunk, not soak. Make it just as absorbent as needed, no more, no less.
- Fry the slices until golden brown, flip both sides for each.
- Serve with strawberry syrup and/or fresh strawberry.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Umami-Centric Recipe