Do you ever feel like eating dessert for breakfast should be totally okay? But then you feel really guilty when you eat cake for breakfast? French toast solves that problem, because it tastes like dessert but it pretends to be breakfast. That’s right, all those people that judge you for eating bread made out of milk, eggs and sugar—so, like cake—for breakfast will no longer give you weird looks if you just eat bread dipped in milk, eggs and sugar. Or for you, rice milk, eggs and sugar. You can have your cake and eat it too!
As finals approach and temperatures drop, French toast warms my heart in a way that problem sets can’t. My favorite meal to cook is breakfast, and my favorite breakfast is French toast (see Blossom). NOTE: My recipe for French toast is one of those “measure by feeling” recipes, so if you’re into exact measurements and strict ratios, then this blog post may drive you crazy. If you don’t like strict recipes, feel free to play around with this one!
I try to make French toast more French by using French bread, but you can use whatever bread you want (except moldy bread). Sometimes I have bread that’s a few days old and I don’t want to use it for sandwiches anymore. That kind of bread makes great French toast! According to Wikipedia, French toast is sometimes known as “lost bread” because you can recover stale or about-to-be-stale bread by softening it in the batter. I like that idea, but you can use fresh bread if you prefer. Just make sure that your slices will fit comfortably into your pan!
The next step is to make the dipping batter. French toast is mostly just fried bread, but dipped in a gooey egg-based coating. Because there are no real measurements in this recipe, I have to judge the number of eggs by the amount of bread that I have. For the amount of bread I had (see above), I used five eggs and whipped them up with some rice milk. The brand that I have is Trader Joe’s rice milk, but any kind will work just as well. In fact, soy milk, almond milk, or any other kind of milk works, and if you have fewer eggs, the milk can increase the volume of your batter to cover all of your bread slices. I like to add a couple spoonfuls of sugar to my batter, which makes it a little thicker and sweeter. (The sugar is not pictured below.) I prefer plain white granulated sugar, but brown sugar and confectioner’s sugar also work. My rule of thumb is one small teaspoon or lump of sugar for every couple of servings, but you can play around with your ingredients. I have seen other people add cinnamon before, which is something that I’ve never tried, but wholeheartedly encourage exploring.
After you’ve mixed up the batter, dip a few slices in and let them soak on both sides while you heat your pan. If you are using particularly firm (or stale) bread, you may want to soak it for longer. If you’re wondering what kind of dish to mix your batter in, something relatively shallow is better than a large mixing bowl, so the bread doesn’t sink. However, it should be deep enough to comfortably soak a piece of bread in, so use your best judgement. Here I used a plain cereal bowl, because my bread slices were pretty small.
Cooking spray or a little cooking oil is all you need for French toast, but make sure that it is hot so that the egg will cook properly. Once the pan is hot, arrange the slices on the pan however you wish to do so. The arrangement of the toast is a matter of efficiency; the more toast you can put on one pan, the faster it will all cook. You should hear a nice sizzle sound when you place the bread down, which means that the oil is hot. I use chopsticks to cook a lot of my food, as you can see here, but a fork for the dipping and a spatula for flipping seems to be the norm. Just make sure you separate utensils that have touched raw egg!
Each side is cooked when it’s golden brown (or just brown, if you like your toast to be burnt). Thinner slices cook better than thick slices. You will have to lift up corners and flip multiple times to get a feel for the timing, as every stove is different. I like to keep a plate right next to the stove so I can pile up the finished pieces. Because this is a poorly measured recipe, sometimes I have some egg batter leftover. Because of this, sometimes I double-dip some slices, mostly just to use up the batter, but also to make a fluffier piece of toast!
I love to eat my French toast with maple syrup, powdered sugar or both! Some people like to eat it on its own, and some people like to add berries or other fresh fruit on top. Bear likes his with honey, of course. No matter how you choose to eat it, French toast is the perfect breakfast! It’s pretty easy to make, and once you get the hang of it, you will be able to impress other people with this seemingly fancy dish. Sharing French toast is the best way to convince people that, yes, you can eat dessert for breakfast!