Possibly the Best French Toast

A few years ago I made the worst french toast ever.  It was awful.  I somehow managed to take a simple dish and transform it into toast-crusted-with-scrambled-eggs.  It was that bad.

I swore that one day I’d get my vengeance on French Toast.  And I did just that this weekend:

Possibly the Best French Toast Possibly the Best french toast breakfast

One of the absolute keys to French Toast is soaking the bread in the batter for longer than my failed attempt.  I let it soak for 3-5 minutes and only start to cook it when I am a little worried that the bread might fall apart (i.e. it’s getting just that soft).  By doing this your French Toast ends up with a crunchy outside and a wonderfully moist inside.

My recipe also has 3 ingredients that many don’t use.  All are optional but They are a divine combination:

  • Flour.  Although some recipes call for this, we never used it in French Toast when I grew up.  Adding flour to the batter improves the texture by transforming the batter into a light crust.
  • Honey.  Some recipes call for sugar but most of my cooking uses honey these days.  I also make mine sweeter than most but it’s not cloying because I also use…
  • Orange Bitters.  Any bitters will do but a touch of bitter is such a great combination with the sweetness of the honey (and maple syrup if you’re using it)

You can omit any of the above – but do so at your own risk!

Possibly the Best French Toast – Ingredients

  • 8 slices of bread (cut and allow them to air dry for a few hours or overnight if you’d like – the drier they are the longer the soaking needs to be).
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 0.5 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 0.75 teaspoon (approximately) orange bitters
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil

Possibly the Best French Toast – Instructions

  1. Place bread to side and make the batter: mix eggs, milk, flour, honey, vanilla, salt and orange bitters together in a large, flat container (like a tray or casserole dish).
  2. Turn oven to 200 degrees.
  3. Warm a frying pan on medium-high.
  4. Soak bread, flipping several times for a few minutes.  It shouldn’t fall apart but it should start to feel delicate.
  5. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil to frying pan.  When it melts, add slices of bread in a single layer (I remove excess batter by allowing them to drain for a few seconds once I remove them from the batter).
  6. Cook until brown, flip and continue.  Place completed pieces in the stove where they will stay warm until you finish the remaining pieces (the extra butter and oil is to add as needed when you cook them).

What do you do differently?

Comments

  1. Well, assuming I’m not doing baked french toast, what I would normally do differently here would be to use cream instead of milk, and use fully stale bread. Soak long, like at least 10 minutes, then cook pretty hot, so that the insides are still a little soft and custardy. If you want to know how I make my baked french toast (hint, it makes the cream I mentioned above look like a weight-watchers ingredient) check here: part way down http://www.torontobeerblog.com/miscellaneous/a-beer-lovers-christmas/

  2. Honey is definitely transformative. Also a hint of freshly grated nutmeg in the batter. For added decadence, top with mascarpone and/or a scoop of any fruit sorbet!

  3. Oh my goodness, I have a large-ish batch of orange bitters I made with pepper, I think that would rock it! What a great idea to use my bitters, thanks.

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