Rise and Shine!! It’s time to get out some bread, eggs, milk and just a few other ingredients and make this fantastic French toast recipe! You might wonder why anyone would need a French toast recipe. People have been soaking bread in an egg mixture to transform old bread into something new and wonderful for centuries! Honestly though, the results can be varied and not always so good. The bread turns out soggy or too eggy or just plain bland. This recipe takes care of all of these problems and will give you French toast that’s crisp on the outside, soft and puffy on the inside, with rich, custardlike flavor every time!
There are a couple of tricks to getting it right and they are super simple. First the bread. Sandwich bread works but ONLY if it’s the hearty type of sandwich bread like Arnold Country Classics White or Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse Hearty White. Regular sandwich bread will just give you gloppy French toast…nobody wants gloppy French toast! You could also use a challah or brioche from the bakery which is what I did here. Honestly, Italian and French bread turn out a really chewy French toast…not ideal.
The key to getting French toast that isn’t too soggy is to dry the bread out. It’s a must! Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. If your bread isn’t sliced you’ll want to slice it into 1/2 inch slices and lay the bread out on a wire rack set in a baking sheet. You’ll bake the bread for 16 minutes flipping half way through. This will remove the moisture that makes for a soggy French toast.
Next up, we’ll deal with French toast that’s just too eggy. The key here is to use only the yolks. It’s the whites that contain the sulphur compounds that give off that eggy taste (and smell) and the whites can also have that unappealing ropy texture, you know what I mean? When it’s on your bread and you fry it, it can give your bread a white speckled appearance. So we’ll leave off the whites and only use the yolks!
We want to add some flavor to our mixture so a little cinnamon, vanilla and brown sugar are added, also we’ll add some butter to the dipping mixture to bump up the YUM factor. You will want to warm your milk in the microwave so that your melted butter doesn’t solidify on contact with the mixture. You can pour your mixture in a 13×9 pan and soak the pieces 3 at a time or whatever will fit so that your bread will soak up the liquid more evenly.
Soak the bread for only 20 seconds per side. That might seem short to you but it works. Any longer and you start getting into soggy territory. Fry your egg mixture soaked bread in a little butter on medium low for 3-4 minutes per side. You can use an electric griddle but you may need to cook a bit longer. I sprinkled ours with powdered sugar and handed Tom the first batch to test, he finished it off faster than I could say pass the syrup! I think he liked it. 🙂
- 4 large slices hearty white sandwich bread or qood-quality challah
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk, warmed
- 3 large egg yolks
- 3 Tbsps light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 Tbsps unsalted butter, melted plus 2 Tbsps for cooking
- 1/4 tsp table salt
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- Maple syrup
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees.
- Place bread on wire rack set in baking sheet.
- Bake bread until almost dry throughout (center should remain slightly moist), about 16 minutes, flipping slices halfway through cooking. Remove bread from rack and let cool 5 minutes. Return baking sheet with wire rack to oven and reduce temperature to 200 degrees.
- Whisk milk, yolks, sugar, cinnamon, 2 tablespoons melted butter, salt, and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Transfer mixture to 13x9 inch baking pan.
- Soak bread in milk mixture until saturated but not falling apart, 20 seconds per side. Using firm slotted spatula, pick up bread slice and allow excess milk mixture to drip off, repeat with remaining slices. Place soaked bread on another baking sheet or platter.
- Heat 1/2 tablespoon butter in 12 inch skillet over medium-low heat. When foaming subsides, use slotted spatula to transfer 2 slices soaked bread to skillet and cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Flip and continue to cook until second side is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes longer.
- If toast is cooking too quickly, reduce temperature slightly. Transfer to baking sheet in oven. Repeat cooking with remaining 2 pieces, adding 1/2 tablespoon of butter for each batch. Serve warm.