It’s been one of those crazy weeks. Work has pretty much swallowed me up whole and there’s not much left of me for anything else. Not that I’m complaining because the work I’m doing is fun and exciting and I’m using all my skills and honing them into lean, mean machines. Which brings me to this post. French toast. I’ve been making it for years. As a kid, I would help my mom make it and when I got a little older, I took over the task. It’s simple breakfast that almost seems too simple (which is probably why I’ve never posted a recipe for it here on this blog). I didn’t think I had anything to learn about french toast.
I was wrong.
This Saturday morning french toast was on the agenda*, but I decided to go about things a bit differently. First off, I had some really, really wonderful day-old sourdough bread that I purchased from a little shop 3 blocks away. A sliced it up thick but instead of doing the same ol’ dip and dunk into the egg mixture, I decided that this thick bread really deserved a good soaking. Once it had it’s luxurious egg bath, I fried it up as usual, but decided to take extra care that it was cooked through by plopping the whole shebang onto a cookie tray and into the oven for a bit of solid heating. Little did I know that baking had the effect of puffing up the toast into wondrous bites of deliciousness hereby unknown to me! How could french toast — which has long been a breakfast staple, suddenly blossom into this sophisticated dish? Whatever happened, I can now call this the best french toast I have ever had the pleasure of eating. It’s sweet and fragrant with cinnamon and vanilla and the smells coming from your oven will rouse the most sleepiest head. Divine!
thick cinnamon french toast (aka the best french toast ever)
1 small day-old sourdough loaf , sliced 1″ thick
2 c skim milk
1 T vanilla
1 t cinnamon
1/4 c brown sugar
Place sliced bread in a large baking tray. In a large bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients (not the butter!) until foamy. Gently pour egg mixture over the bread and let sit for 15 minutes. Turn bread over and let sit for another 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350. In a large skillet, melt 2 T of butter. Working in batches, add bread to skillet and cook until golden on both sides — about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to baking sheet and bake until french toast is slightly puffed and golden, about 15 minutes. Serve with maple syrup or fresh berries.
* Uh, I don’t have a breakfast agenda…but wouldn’t it be wonderful if I did? Mmmmm.