Though a huge fan of all things Cook’s Illustrated, sometimes The Practical Cook can not be bothered. She devours the issues, and then takes the salient nuggets that she can bring into her own life, and runs with it. Such is the case with their French Toast recipe. It is delightful, but it requires steps, ingredients, measuring. Not something one wants pre-coffee.
French Toast, Simplified
The basics: 1 egg, at least 1/2 to 2/3 cup milk, splash of vanilla, teaspoon of sugar, melted butter, a Tablespoon or so of flour, cinnamon if you’d like, pinch of salt; whisk together, soak stale bread, fry in butter over medium heat. Consume with syrup or powdered sugar, never both in my book.
Since this barely qualifies as a recipe, here are some tips for success:
- Use Seriously Stale Bread. This is not an optional item. If you use bread that is just slightly stale, it will collapse. Stale that stuff up. Leave it out overnight, toast it, use overly hard bread.
- Use More Milk Than You Think. I grew up on French Toast that was very eggy, which I still like. But I appreciate the CI method of 1 egg to a whole lot of milk. It makes a real dipping batter, and it’s delish. The Eldest Practical Cook Junior noted the non-eggy nature of the toast with approval, and she’s an egg fan.
- Adjust to Taste. If you like it sweet, add more sugar. Everything changes based on the bread you choose, so take these as guidelines that you adapt to the situation.
- Serve It Hot. If you can’t serve it fast, hold it or toast in the toaster oven to reheat. I can’t abide floppy French Toast.
- Make It Come Out Even. If you are short a little batter, add some milk to the bowl to stretch it. You’ll have softened, more lightly flavored fried bread, which is not a bad thing. Conversely, consider throwing an alternative bread into leftover batter. It’s a good time to experiment and see what happens.
And of course, don’t forget the presentation layer. Are you a French Toast fan? Post a comment below, or Tweet!
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Up next, Kitchen Tool Talk.