Food 101: How To Make French Toast
Breakfast is probably the least sacred of meals during the day, often getting skipped due to time constraints and laziness. Which is unfortunate since breakfast is incredibly important from a biological and diet standpoint, and also because there’s some delightful treats that you don’t really see in any other meals the rest of the day. The ‘Big Three’, as I like to call them, which include pancakes, waffles, and french toast, are the three best and most important breakfast meals you can have at your disposal. They’re foundations that can be eaten many different ways and are really friggin’ delicious. Sadly, pancakes take a bit of preparation even with box mixes, and waffles require borderline commercial-grade machinery in order to be made. As such, those two are a bit of a stretch for everyone with a busy lifestyle. That’s why Meg and I save those for the weekends. However, french toast meanwhile is quick and easy enough for you to prepare any day of the week before going to work. And don’t be lazy, freezer french toast isn’t gonna save you that much time in the long run. If you have about 10 minutes, you can make french toast.
French toast originated in, surprise surprise, France. It was a means to use crappy, stale bread which was past its prime. After being battered and cooked on stovetop, the bread gains a new consistency that sort of ignores the previous texture. This is part of the beauty of french toast, it’s not only easy, but it’s a perfect way to “recycle” old bread you can’t really use anymore.
Now, this isn’t to say you must use stale bread. It’s perfectly doable with fresh bread too. The only major factor involve in this is how firm the bread is. If you use flimsy trash bread like Wonderbread, it’s gonna be mushy and hard to cook. If you let it get stale, it’ll be easier to work with. That being said, don’t eat Wonderbread. It barely qualifies as bread. Even so, using higher quality breads like hardy/country white bread, or whole grain breads, etc will be fine on their own without being stale. Plus they’re better for you anyway. Now if you will, direct your attention to our very own quick and easy french toast recipe!
Quick and Easy French Toast
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp powdered sugar OR sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 slices of bread
- cinnamon sugar
- Stovetop griddle / medium frying pan
- Non-stick cooking spray / butter
- Pour milk, vanilla, and sugar into a shallow bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Add eggs into another shallow bowl and begin whisking them with a fork or whisk. Add in a splash of water while mixing, until eggs become a pale yellow color with a smooth consistency.
- Turn on heat for griddle/frying pan to medium and grease with spray or butter.
- One by one, quickly dip a slice of bread into the milk fast enough so that it absorbs the milk but without getting soggy, on both sides. Then dip the milky bread into the egg mixture on both sides too.
- Place the battered bread onto your hot griddle/pan and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Cook on this side for about 1 minute, until the bottom is golden brown.
- Flip the bread, and repeat previous step, including cinnamon, on this side. After bottom is cooked, flip the toast once more and cook for about 30 seconds until the cinnamon sugar is caramelized (gooey).
- Remove french toast and serve warm.
- Powdered sugar works way better than plain old granulated sugar, for this recipe. Odds are that your milk is cold, and it’s hard to fully dissolve granulated sugar in a cold liquid. If you use powdered sugar, it will dissolve instantly due to its lovable cocaine-like consistency.
- Step 4, the dipping process, is very important. As mentioned you need to be quick with this. If you leave the bread just chillin’ out in the milk bath it’s going to get mushy and will never fully cook on the inside. When I say ‘quickly’ I mean instantly. As in, place the bread in the milk, and without even letting go, with less than a second going by, flip it over and place it down again, and then again in less than a second taking it out. You don’t need to be like this with the egg mixture, since the bread doesn’t absorb egg as quickly. But still, don’t leave it in the egg longer than a couple seconds.
- This recipe serves one person. Three slices is about what we eat each. You can use this same recipe for two people, and thus six slices of bread with no problems. However, once you get over six slices of bread, you’re going to need to double the measurements for all the other ingredients.
Many of you are probably going “But wait! You’re supposed to mix the milk and egg together!” Well, conventional wisdom dictates that yes you use the two mixtures together as a sort of custard batter. Long ago I abandoned this concept and started dipping the milk and eggs separately. In doing so, the flavor of the vanilla and sweetness of the sugar stays deep inside the bread, while the outside becomes crisp and sealed through the egg and cooked sugar.
This recipe is unbelievably versatile since it’s one of those foods you can make with all things you should have lying around in your kitchen. And as mentioned, it’s pretty ecologically responsible since it’s a much better solution than throwing away old bread. Eat it with butter, powdered sugar, maple syrup, or fruit, or whatever you like. It’s one of the fastest meals you can prepare for breakfast, so everyone should know how to make it. Plus just look at it! It looks sooo good…
Want another quick breakfast recipe you can make in the time it takes to read the sports section? Check out our patented Egg-MegMuffin.
Posted on April 28, 2014, in Food 101 and tagged breakfast, brunch, easy, french toast, kitchen essentials, recipes, yummy. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.
Fun Fact: The French don’t call French Toast “French Toast” (nor do they just call it toast), they call it Pain Purdu which means “lost bread.”
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