Monday, August 4, 2014

Sweet and Savory French Toast

All growing up I thought French Toast was bread dipped in egg and toasted on the griddle.  It was only after it was cooked that you added cinnamon-sugar, powdered sugar and syrup and all those wonderful things.  My husband and I actually had a debate about the best method for making French Toast a couple of years ago, and I really stuck to my guns; convinced my way was the best. Oh, I hate it when he's right.

He pulled out the America's Test Kitchen cookbook and looked up a recipe that changed our lives.  I will never look at French Toast the same way again. I'm talking mouth watering, unbelievable, can't-have-enough, so good French Toast.

The only thing I struggled with was the leftover bread. So, I have modified the recipe to make a complete loaf of texas toast.  But, what do you do with the leftovers, you ask? Even re-heated the next day, these bad boys taste great! I simply cooked all of the toast and then froze the leftovers and re-heated them when we were ready.  Worked great and gave me two fun breakfasts in one. Fantastic! It would also be a good way to prepare for a busy school morning.  Have a batch of these in the freezer to feed the kids before they leave; quick, easy, no-fuss breakfast as they head out the door.

Sweet and Savory French Toast

1 loaf texas toast or other thick-sliced bread
3 Tbs butter, melted
1 1/2 c milk
1 lg egg
3 tsp vanilla
3 Tbs sugar
1 t cinnamon, heaping
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c  flour

Melt the butter in a medium bowl and allow it to cool for a few minutes. Meanwhile, gather all other ingredients and prepare/heat up the griddle. Heat your oven to 200 degrees. Spread your bread on a wire rack on a jelly-roll pan so they all lay flat. Place in the over for about 5 minutes. Pull them out and flip each piece over and put it back in the over for another 5 minutes. You want to the bread to feel dry to the touch but not dry out the center of each slice.  It keeps the bread from getting soggy when placed in the batter.

Measure out the milk in a measuring cup and add the egg and the vanilla.  Whisk together.  When butter has cooled to warm, add a small amount of milk while whisking to infuse the milk and butter. Add a little more and keep whisking.  Keep doing this until all of the liquid is in with the butter. This will prevent the butter from re-solidifying when the cold milk hits it. Now add the sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk together until well blended.  Finally, add the flour slowly, whisking each addition to create a smooth batter.

Dip one slice at a time into the batter, covering both sides, and place it on the griddle.  Brown on each side for a few minutes (this depends on your griddle and your personal preference for how toasted you want it). Once done, remove it from the griddle and place on a warm plate while you toast the rest (I usually keep a plate in the microwave to put them on, nice little incubator). Continue in the same manner until all of the toast is toasted. Serve with eggs, fresh fruit, bacon, you name it!

**To freeze, I use the jelly roll pan to lay leftovers flat and place it in the freezer. Once they're frozen thru, I stack them and place them in a freezer bag. Pull out what you want and warm in the microwave for a minute or so. Yum!

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