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Basic French Toast Recipe

Do you really need a recipe for French Toast?  I’m not sure.  But this is one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast and I just want to make sure that everyone knows how simple it is to make french toast at home!

The best thing about french toast is that most households have all the necessary ingredients on hand at any given time: bread, eggs, and milk.  Really, that’s all you need!  Of course you can fancy things up by throwing in dashes of cinnamon and/or nutmeg.  You can vary the richness by switching between skim milk, whole milk, or even half-and-half.  And don’t even get me started on all the different types of bread you can use!  The possibilities are endless.

As a kid, we regularly ate whole wheat french toast for breakfast.  On special occasions, it would be sourdough.  But what I really loved was the diner-style french toast made with thick-sliced white bread.  We never ate white bread at home, so when we would go out for breakfast, it was always so hard for me to decide between that white fluffy french toast and a short stack of blueberry pancakes.  The french toast usually won out and it still does to this day!

But now that I’m an adult, I can choose whatever bread I want for my morning french toast.  And sometimes I do buy that thick-sliced Texas Toast style sandwich bread.  But now my favorite french toast is made with stale sourdough bread.  Sometimes it’s my homemade bread or sometimes, like today, it’s made with a crusty levain from my favorite local bakery.

But whatever bread you choose, french toast is always best made with bread that’s stale.  Unfortunately, with all the preservatives they put in grocery store sandwich breads, most of those don’t really ever stale.  But if you leave it out unwrapped overnight, that usually does the trick.  Or you can just dry it out in a low oven for a few minutes.  But in a pinch, you can use fresh bread and I think it works just fine.

The formula is simple.  For each person you plan on feeding, use one egg plus 1/4 cup milk. That will be enough for about three big slices of bread.  You will need a shallow bowl or dish that’s wide enough to fit one slice of bread and deep enough to hold your liquid.  A square baking dish usually works quite well if you don’t have a bowl that will work.

You can beat the eggs and milk right in the dish, using a fork.  At least that’s what I usually do!

Now you need to set up your french toast making station!  Sliced bread on one side, egg mixture in the middle, and a hot pan or griddle on the other side.  Start heating your pan over medium heat as you get everything organized.  It’s also helpful to turn the oven on warm and keep a plate in there to keep the french toast warm if you don’t have people waiting to gobble it up immediately.

Now just soak a couple slices of bread in the egg mixture, making sure to flip them so each side of each slice gets wet.  I don’t like my french toast soggy in the middle so I don’t let them soak too long. But it’s completely up to you how long you want to soak it.  When the bread is ready to hit the skillet, drop a small pat of butter in the pan, swirl it around, and then add your slices of french toast.  Flip the toast when it’s browned to your liking.

See, wasn’t that easy?  Perhaps I’m preaching to the choir here, but I think a big breakfast of french toast is one of the simplest, most satisfying breakfasts around.  I love mine with lots of melted butter and powdered sugar, or sometimes maple syrup.  And of course it doesn’t hurt to add a side of bacon or sausage.  I hope you’ll enjoy this French Toast recipe!

Basic French Toast

2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
6 slices of bread

1. In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk.
2. Dip bread slices in egg mixture, one at a time, making sure to soak each side.  Hold bread slice above bowl to allow the excess egg mixture to drain off and then place in the hot, buttered skillet. Repeat with as many slices as will fit in the pan at a time.
3. Cook the french bread over medium heat and flip the slices when they are browned to your liking. When both sides are browned, remove to a warm plate in the oven, or serve immediately.

Recipe Notes: I often add a splash of vanilla and a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg to the egg mixture, depending on which type of bread I’m using.  If I use sourdough bread, I don’t add anything extra.  But the vanilla and cinnamon go really well with other types of white or wheat breads.

For those of you just tuning in this month, I’m happy to say that I’m participating in the National Blog Posting Month challenge. For this year’s edition of NaBloPoMo, I’ve pledged to post a new recipe every single day for the month of November. If you don’t want to miss a recipe, sign up to receive my recipes by e-mail. You’ll only receive an e-mail when I write a new blog post, and your e-mail address will not be used for any other purpose. Interested? Sign up now!

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