Saturday, December 18, 2010

French Toast

I cook and bake for different reasons:
1. need to eat;
2. want to save money;
3. want to use stuff up before it goes bad;
4. want to experiment different recipes, especially when the word "BEST" is in the title;
5. has plenty of time, but doesn't feel like cleaning/exercising/anything else that's more important.

In this case, the reason is #3. I forgot to mentioned in the last post the recipe yield 2 big loaves of Challah bread. What should we, as a household of 2 +1 dog, do with so much Challah?

As I was searching for recipes to peruse the carbs that would last us for months at the rate we are consuming bread. The French Toast published in Cooks Illustrated January 2009 caught my eyes, especially when the recipe states that a good challah produces best results. Now for 2 mornings in a row, we chowed down the best french toast I have made by far. Granted it's probably my second or third time making french toast in my lifetime, I know it won't be my last.


8 large slices hearty white sandwich bread or good-quality Challah
1 1/2 cups whole milk, warmed
3 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 2 tablespoons for cooking
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Maple syrup

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Place bread on wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. Bake bread until almost dry throughout (center should remain slightly moist), about 16 minutes, flipping slices halfway through cooking. Remove bread from rack and let cool 5 minutes. Return baking sheet with wire rack to oven and reduce temperature to 200 degrees.

  2. Whisk milk, yolks, sugar, cinnamon, 2 tablespoons melted butter, salt, and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Transfer mixture to 13- by 9-inch baking pan.

  3. Soak bread in milk mixture until saturated but not falling apart, 20 seconds per side. Using firm slotted spatula, pick up bread slice and allow excess milk mixture to drip off; repeat with remaining slices. Place soaked bread on another baking sheet or platter.

  4. Heat ½ tablespoon butter in 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat. When foaming subsides, use slotted spatula to transfer 2 slices soaked bread to skillet and cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until second side is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes longer. (If toast is cooking too quickly, reduce temperature slightly.) Transfer to baking sheet in oven. Wipe out skillet with paper towels. Repeat cooking with remaining bread, 2 pieces at a time, adding ½ tablespoon of butter for each batch. Serve warm, passing maple syrup separately.

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