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August 24, 2007 / Tony

French Toast

This recipe for French Toast, I think, is Alton Brown at his best.  He takes ordinary food, analyzes what makes it good, and comes up with a solid methodology to achieve those goals.  What he wants, and myself as well, is French Toast that has a nice but not overpowering egg flavor, complete penetration of the egg mixture into the bread, a fully cooked inside, a well-browned exterior, and a hint of sweetness.  This recipe does it all:

Alton Brown’s French Toast, (original recipe can be found here)

1 cup half-and-half

3 large eggs

2 tablespoons honey, warmed in microwave for 20 seconds

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 (1/2-inch) slices day-old or stale country loaf, brioche or challah bread

4 tablespoons butter

In medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, honey, and salt. You may do this the night before. When ready to cook, pour custard mixture into a pie pan and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Dip bread into mixture, allow to soak for 30 seconds on each side, and then remove to a cooling rack that is sitting in a sheet pan, and allow to sit for 1 to 2 minutes.

Over medium-low heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a 10-inch nonstick sauté pan. Place 2 slices of bread at a time into the pan and cook until golden brown, approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and place on rack in oven for 5 minutes. Repeat with all 8 slices. Serve immediately with maple syrup, whipped cream or fruit.

This is what it looks like when finished:


I know this recipe takes a little more work than your average French Toast but it’s really worth it especially if you are using a nice country sourdough loaf like I was.  (BTW, it was from the Turtle Bread Company in the Twin Cities.  They’re great bakers.)  The recipe creates French Toast with a custardy interior, crusty exterior, and just the right level of egginess and sweetness.  I hope you give it a try.  One last note:  I made this recipe this morning substituting skim milk for the half and half.  It was still good but lacked some of the richness that I had enjoyed when making this recipe in the past. 

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