Sunday, March 25, 2012

French Toast

Baby French Toast - made March 18, 2012 from Just a Bite by Gale Gand (book #205)

I almost made the bread pudding recipe from this book but I decided to do something a little different.  I managed to find challah at my Trader Joe's (they restocked, yay) so I'm not even going to pretend I didn't buy a loaf.  I love French Toast but rarely make it.  Probably because I rarely have breakfast food for breakfast and when I have it for dinner, I usually feel like pancakes or waffles instead.

French toast is easy to make but really good French toast is a bit trickier.  Start with your favorite bread.  The egg and cream mixture you soak it in can hide a lot of sins but if I don't like raisin bread, for instance, making raisin bread French toast isn't going to make me like it any better.  I like to cut my bread slices thick but be warned, if you do, you need to soak it a bit longer in the mixture and fry it over lower heat for a longer time to make sure it cooks all the way through.  Otherwise your French toast will be soggy on the inside while the outside can look done or be burned.

Gale Gand's recipe calls for cutting the crusts off the bread slices.  I did that for picture taking purposes of the finished product but truthfully, I don't believe in cutting crusts off bread.  It seems wasteful unless you do something else with the crusts.  Bread cannot be made without a crust so it should be eaten with it too.  I ended up soaking the crusts too and frying them separately because I couldn't bear to let them go to waste.

This was a basic French toast recipe.  It was good but I can't say it stood out in any way from how I normally make French toast which is with egg, low fat or whole milk, a little sugar and a little vanilla.  I think what was supposed to make this a little more special was the blueberry compote recipe that came with it but I didn't make that.  Butter melting over warm French toast was good enough for me.

8 slices store-bought brioche, challah or soft white bread
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
Pinch of salt
¼ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup half and half
½ cup milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1.     Cut the crusts off the bread slices and cut each slice into quarters to make squares, about 1 ½ inches on each side.
2.     Whisk the egg and yolk in a medium bowl.  Whisk in the salt, sugar and vanilla.  Gradually whisk in the half-and-half and the milk.  Pour the mixture into a shallow baking dish.  Working in batches if necessary, place the bread pieces in the egg mixture and let them soak, then turn them and soak on the other side.
3.     Melt the butter in a skillet until it is foamy and very hot.  Working in batches, brown the soaked bread on both sides.  Serve warm.

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