Gentle Readers, The Practical Cook has long been a fan of French Toast. It’s a great way to use up stale bread, a perfect maple syrup conveyance, and did I mention it’s a natural bacon sidekick? Anyhoo, there are many styles. I grew up on the one egg, some milk, and a splash of vanilla kind using standard loaf bread.
Then I started reading Cook’s Illustrated. If you’ve never experienced their French Toast, you have never eaten French Toast. It was my go-to, but I’d never made the challah version. Until now. I told the Eldest Practical Cook Junior it would be the best she had ever eaten. She was still reeling from a French Toast and fried chicken experience from months ago at a local shop called Sandwhich (I know, apple:tree, what can I say.)
Her answer after tasting one bite: Wow, Mama, You Weren’t Kidding. I am not.
French Toast, Perfected
If you don’t have challah, go buy some and let it sit out. Pretend it was an accident, then make this recipe, adapted from Cook’s Illustrated. You can thank me later.
2 Tablespoons melted butter
3/4 cup milk (I’ve used whole fat, skim, whatever you’ve got works)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (don’t skimp)
2 Tablespoons sugar (not a health food people)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
about half a loaf of day-old challah, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
1. Preheat oven to lowest temp, and put a baking rack on a baking sheet in the oven. Heat 10- or 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes. It will get hot, proceed with caution.
2. Meanwhile, beat egg lightly in a shallow pan, whisk in butter, then milk and vanilla, then sugar, flour, and salt. Whisk until smooth.
3. Soak the challah without drowning it (you don’t want total disintegration here), then fry in butter in the hot skillet. Work in batches, and keep the cooked French Toast warm in the oven.
Serve alone, or with fruit and bacon. (Recommended.) You will not have leftovers.
Are you a French Toast fan? What’s your bread of choice?
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Up next, Cheesy Rainbow Pasta Toss. (Unicorns not included.)