Making Fantastic French Toast

Add interesting toppings to make your French toast stand out.
Add interesting toppings to make your French toast stand out.

French toast is brilliant in its simplicity. If you’re taking culinary courses online, you should consider how you can use your skills to take this classic dish to the next level. Consider these tips and soon you’ll be ready to bring a little excitement to an old favorite:

Choosing your bread
If you’ve always just reached for a few slices of white or wheat bread when preparing a batch of French toast, it’s time to expand your horizons. The dish can be made with a variety of breads or pastries, so try experimenting with a few. Bon Appetit recommended using challah, brioche or Pullman loaf. The buttery challah results in an especially creamy interior. If you prefer a chewier final product, choose a thicker, crustier bread instead.

The other question is how fresh that bread should be. After all, French toast was traditionally a recipe intended to use up loaves that had grown stale, and overly soft bread will not sop up enough of the batter. Serious Eats suggested oven-drying white bread so it holds its shape when soaked. Artisanal loaves, on the other hand, work best if they are either fresh or only mildly stale or toasted. Otherwise, it is too difficult for the denser bread to absorb the liquid.

Escoffier_3_2015_ 54331Crafting the batter
The ingredients for the batter in which you immerse the bread are kitchen staples: eggs, milk or cream and perhaps a touch of additional seasoning. However, opinions differ widely on what ratio of these elements you should include. For instance, Real Simple suggested mixing 1 egg with half a cup of milk and a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon. By contrast, Serious Eats contended that 3 eggs and 1 cup of milk brings perfectly moist and fluffy results. Adding sugar to the mix, meanwhile, makes the bread sweeter, so maple syrup will not clash when you slather it on later.

Others prefer combining milk and cream to give the French toast a custard-like interior. The Kitchn directed using 3 eggs, 1 cup of half and half, 1 tablespoon of sugar and a pinch of salt. Epicurious offered the idea of using buttermilk for a bit of added tanginess, combining 1.5 cups with 4 eggs, 3 tablespoons of sugar and a quarter teaspoon of salt.

Clearly, there is plenty of room to explore various ingredients in different quantities. Try out a few variations in your batter and see what best suits your own tastes.

In the pan
To prepare French toast perfectly and keep it warm, you will use both the stove top and oven. Alton Brown’s method calls for preheating the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, melt a tablespoon of butter in a saute pan and cook two pieces of bread at a time, for two or three minutes on each side. Transfer each piece of bread to the oven rack for five minutes. Once you have prepared enough slices, add any final toppings and serve immediately.

Final touches
Of course, you must also consider which toppings will best complement your fresh, delicious French toast. You can keep it simple by just patting on some butter and pouring a little maple syrup. However, you can also try some fruit flavors like raspberry, banana or apple. For the more ambitious cook, Good Housekeeping offered ideas for combinations such as apple and bacon, Nutella and banana or peaches and cream.

French toast is an easy and satisfying way to start the day. With a little experimentation, you can put your own spin on this old standby, developing a signature dish to serve for weekend brunch.

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One Comment

  1. I have always liked French toast. My method is easier to learn .
    I would simply scramble the egg, Put the bread in to soak both sides fry in pan to desired doneness , and top with either powered sugar or syrup.or what ever is available. I will try your “adult” version. The keep hot is of course standard.

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