French Toast is an old favorite. Some say it is French, others claim it is not French, it is just fried, hence the name French toast. It is pretty much a staple of breakfast foods today, especially in New Jersey diners. As the history goes, in the 15th Henry V they called it “pain perdu” or “lost bread” it was very popular. It was called “lost” bread because the recipe called for soaking hard or stale bread in a mixture of milk and egg, then frying it. Pain perdu is what the French call French toast today.
Here is my favorite version of it:
- 6 Slices of Brioche sliced Bread, about 3/4″ Thick
- 3 Large Eggs
- 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla extract
- 1/4 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of fresh ground nutmeg
The experts say the trick is to let the bread soak at least 10 minutes, I find this makes the bread mush and falls apart. Perhaps I should use bread that is more dry and stale, but the bread should absorb the egg/milk mixture well, but not to the point that if you lift it from the dish it falls apart or tears apart.
I used a non-stick skillet and added about a half tablespoon of butter per slice. I added the thin slice of butter over medium heat, cooked 2-3 minutes on one side, and 2-3 minutes on the other. It all depends on how dark/cooked you like it. I like mine darker, not light, but certainly not burnt. I find if you make a bunch of these, you can save them and reheat leftovers in the toaster and are just as delicious.
When you serve them, and they should be served hot, I don’t feel a need for butter since they were already cooked in butter, but definitely add real pure maple syrup. I don’t think dusting with confection sugar is necessary since its sweet enough already. Adjust to your personal tastes.