The Secret to Perfect French Toast
Andy Broder French Toast That's Crispy on the Outside and Creamy Inside
AndyTalk: Four Riffs on Caprese Salad
AndyTalk: Not All Bananas Are Created Equal . . . Take the Plantain
French toast is not just bread, eggs, and milk. French toast is technically custard, at least when done right. When done wrong, it's soggy bread and scrambled eggs or, worse, egg clinging to dry toast. To make great French toast, you need two items not often listed among the ingredients: 1) dense, slightly dry bread (the denser the better) and 2) patience. Soft bread dissolves as it soaks up the egg and milk mixture and nets you a mess. If your bread is really soft and moist, leave it out and uncovered for a few hours or lightly toast it. Day-old bread, or even two-day-old bread, makes stellar French toast.
The next considerations are based on personal preference. Do I want it sweet or less sweet? Do I care about cholesterol (and use just egg whites)? Flavored or unflavored. Personally, I'd rather eat one slice of not-so-healthy French toast than a stack that's low-fat.
Andy Broder French Toast: 1) bread 2) egg/milk/maple syrup and 3) soaking
This past weekend, I got a loaf of incredibly dense pecan-cranberry bread. When sliced, it was beautiful to behold: nuts and cranberries seemingly held together with just enough dark wheat bread to do the job. The loaf was small but weighty, and as I left the store, I knew French toast was a day or two away. That's right -- days.
I started by mixing my eggs and milk. I added a little maple syrup but could have added a little agave nectar, honey, or sugar. I could just as easily omitted the sweet. I also added a dollop of Greek yogurt and whisked until the mixture was a uniform creamy yellow. The richer version of this is made with half-and-half instead of milk, plus or minus the yogurt.