Monday, January 16, 2012

As French as I Get -- Basic French Toast

Hey y'all! Hope you had a good holiday weekend! We made a short road trip to visit some family so I have been out of my kitchen and have enjoyed being lazy. We did eat at a great restaurant in Knoxville that is famous for their hot wings. Love me some hot wings! They had a heat scale for their hot wings that basically ranged from "boring" to "burn your eyeballs". I stuck with the "melt my lips off" section and really enjoyed them. They had a great sign out front and I couldn't resist taking a picture of it.

Today we all slept in a wee bit, well, the salesman and I pretended to be sleeping until the Veggie Tales theme song started blasting in the living room and I could hear the youngest muffin munching on some chips he found in the snack drawer. I decided that today, I would share my basic recipe for French toast. I am not an expert on anything French, but this is one of the first recipes that I ever made by myself when I was a kid. There are some good ratios to know when making French toast so I will share them with you. 
For every 1/2 cup of milk you will need 1 egg. A 1/2 cup of milk recipe will get your around 4-5 slices of bread.  
Some secrets to good French toast are: 
1) a hot skillet. I prefer a cast iron since it gives you a good golden color and a little bit of crispiness
2) old bread works best, preferably old bread that has a thicker texture like sourdough, homemade (if yours is like mine then you could pave the drive way with it) or a baguette
3) don't over soak your bread. You want to give it a good dip then flip in the egg mixture but don't over soak it. The bread might feel a bit hard when you put it in the skillet and you might be tempted to re dunk it but remember that the steam from the milk hitting the heat will soften the bread to create the perfect texture. 

So, are you ready? Let's begin! (Oh, and I am really testing out my camera, hope you don't mind the extra photos!!)
 The French bath. I like to use a flat container that my bread can lay in to soak up everything.
 Get your skillet nice and hot and throw a pad of butter in there just to get things moving.
 Whisk your french bubble bath together well. You don't want any part of a yolk untouched.
That good,old, hearty, thick bread is ready for a swim.
 See all of the cinnamon on the bread and the butter sizzling!! Oh, I can't wait!
 That is a good crust. You will know you are ready to flip when the bread doesn't resist the urge to stick to the pan anymore. Just slide your spatula under and flip over and let  it cook on the other side.
 Stack them up. Now, around here we slather our French toast with peanut butter prior to topping with syrup and powdered sugar. I know, my husband calls me weird but this is the way I have always had it and I have passed that along to my kids.
The oldest muffin enjoying his third piece. He did not want to be bothered while eating his French Toast deliciousness so he gave the the best of the fake smiles. Nice! 

Basic French Toast - Makes 8-10 slices of bread
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 dash of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
8-10 slices of 2 day old thick bread (baguette, sourdough, etc)
2-3 Tbsp of butter

Combine all into a flat container (I always use Tupperware for this) Whisk thoroughly to make sure it is all combined. 
Place a skillet on the burner on medium heat and melt 1/2 Tbsp of butter. Take your bread, once slice at a time, and quickly dip it in the egg batter. Place in the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes until the bread is lightly browned and doesn't stick to the pan. Flip and repeat. I always place a wee bit of butter into the skillet between rounds just to help give it some good flavor. Who am I kidding? I like butter but don't go all Paula Dean on me, please!
Repeat procedure until you run out of bread
To serve, place bread on a plate. Slather with peanut butter (just try it) drizzle is pancake syrup (I like the cheap stuff for this, save the maple for something else) and sprinkle with powdered sugar. 

Enjoy Y'all!

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