French Toast – the French way

“Pain perdu” is what the French call it, literally translated to “lost bread”.  Not certain why they called it this and have thus come up with  my own brilliant hypothesis that it has something to do with fact that the bread used in french toast is supposed to be at a least a few days old, therefore “lost” to any other uses…

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Oh my goodness!  What is this magnificence pictured above, you ask? Oh yes…let me tell you all about how to prepare this most memorable french toast in the comfort of your own kitchen!

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The custard – of course there’s a custard, it’s French! – is so simple to make it seems unlikely that it will create as much flavor as it does.

You’ll need a little less than 1 cup of milk in a large bowl (meaning don’t fill it to the tippy-top of the measuring cup…)…

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add a heaping 1/2 cup (scoop out the sugar with the measuring cup and if it’s overflowing, that’s what you want!) of white sugar to the milk ( you can also add 1/8 cup of vanilla sugar, too, to send it over the moon!)…

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Add 3 eggs and whisk.  And whisk.  And whisk.  And whisk. And whisk until your arm falls off and then keep on whisking.  You’re looking to really combine all 3 ingredients, especially the eggs.

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Ohhhhhh, the bread.  Soooo important to get the right bread…

Look for a brioche or sweet bread or challah, for the yummiest results.  Although white bread of some sort will work beautifully as well.

The secret to the bread, no matter which kind you get, is that it be at least a few days old.  So, if you plan to make french toast on Sunday morning, purchase the bread on Friday, at least!  Then let it sit out to get a bit stale.  The more stale and dry it is, the better the results!

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Slice the bread to at least 1/2 – 1 inch thickness.  Soak the slices in the egg mixture on one side until absorbed and then flip to soak the other side.

What happens next is up to you…

I will tell you the conventional way to make french toast and then blow your mind with a delicious, sure-fire way to make them incredibly each time!

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The 1st way, the conventional method, to cook the French toast is to add them to a hot, buttered skillet.  The skillet needs to be hot, over medium heat, so that the custard doesn’t leak out of the toast as you set it in the pan.  This will also ensure that your custard will set, and that your toast will be cooked all the way through.  Heavenly!

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The 2nd way, the one that’ll blow your sox off, is to put your drenched slices of toast on a buttered sheet pan, sprinkle them all with some brown sugar and cook them for 30 minutes at 375 degrees in your oven.   Unbelievable!

The custard sets perfectly and the sugar caramelizes into the crevices on the top of the bread slices and mmmmm, mmmm, mmmm is it good!

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Serve with maple syrup and try not to lick your fingers between each delicious bite…

Goodness the French know how to take a dish from great to exquisite!

Bon Appétit, Ma Chérie!

 

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