Saturday, March 29, 2008

French Toast

Last night, my son and I were watching Good Eats with Alton Brown on the Food Channel. He was doing a show all about toast. He created the yummiest looking French Toast I have ever seen. After the show was over, my son and I looked at each other and decided we HAD to make that French Toast. It is similar to the French Toast I ate as a child only in the fact that it uses eggs and bread. Other than that, it is light years away from the French Toast my mom made 30 plus years ago. She always used Silvercup bread. She dipped the bread in an egg batter and frequently dipped that into breadcrumbs and fried it up for us. We would always douse it with pancake syrup and powdered sugar. I loved that French toast until I started making my own. I used whatever store-bought bread I happened to have in the house, dipped it an egg, vanilla and milk mixture. I would fry it up in my electric frying pan. My son enjoyed that type of French Toast until we tried Alton Brown's French Toast extravaganza!

One of Alton Brown's comments about authentic French Toast were that you should use high quality bread. The options he suggests are day-old country loaf, brioche or challah bread. I could only find challah bread at the grocery store. I am not sure how "high quality" it was but it did make some yummy French toast. We enjoyed it on Saturday morning with some strawberries, real maple syrup and powdered sugar.

French Toast courtesy of Alton Brown

1 cup half-and-half
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons honey, warmed in microwave for 20 seconds
1/4 tsp salt
8 (1/2 inch) slices day-old country loaf, brioche or challah bread
4 tablespoons butter

In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, honey, and salt. You may do this the night before. When ready to cook, pour custard mixture into a pie pan and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Dip bread into mixture, allow to soak for 30 seconds on each side, and then remove to a cooling rack that is sitting in a sheet pan, and allow to sit for 1 to 2 minutes.

Over medium-low heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a 10-inch nonstick saute pan. Place 2 slices of bread at a time into the pan and cook until golden brown. Approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and place on rack in oven for 5 minutes. Repeat with all 8 slices. Serve immediately with maple syrup, whipped cream or fruit.

I had to double the custard ingredients to have enough for all 8 slices of bread. My bread slices must have been gigantic. Also, I added a half teaspoon of vanilla to the custard because I love a little vanilla in my French Toast batter. Try this recipe one Saturday morning when you have time. I know you'll love it.

The Creative Cook