More french toast please!
December 6, 2002 8:09 AM   Subscribe

Let's talk French Toast. I'm not going to deny that we LOVE pancakes here on MeFi...but I think that we need to expand our breakfast discussion repetoire. Personally, I've always found Mom's simple french toast recipe -- eggs, milk, bread, and that's it -- to be the best, but still, there's no shortage of places on the web to find french toast recipes. Pass the maple syrup please!
posted by PeteyStock (44 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This chaps french toast is da lick.
posted by Frasermoo at 8:18 AM on December 6, 2002

Called 'poor knights pudding' or 'poor knights of Windsor' in England and 'pain perdu' (lost bread) in French, originally it was most likely a way to make use of crusts and stale bread.
I still prefer it with slightly stale bread. And spices, there must be spices in the batter. Cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and maybe a little cardamom for choice.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:31 AM on December 6, 2002

Forget all that, here's the real Breakfast Of Champions.
posted by jonmc at 8:42 AM on December 6, 2002

simple french toast recipe -- eggs, milk, bread,...

....cinnamon as it separates them from pancakes for me.
posted by thomcatspike at 8:44 AM on December 6, 2002

It's always been called 'Eggy Bread' round my way, which is a bit common.

I tend to forego the milk in the eggy mix, and serve two slices sandwiching a couple of rashers of bacon. Delicious.
posted by jack_mo at 8:46 AM on December 6, 2002

Here at Ty Webb Laboratories, we've found that the simple mixture of french bread, eggs, (very little) milk, cinnamon, and Grand Marnier is sure to keep those over-night companions coming back for more. If you never want to see the person again, just add too much milk.
posted by Ty Webb at 8:52 AM on December 6, 2002

mostly eggs, some milk, a little cinnamon, a little vanilla... fried in glorious butter (mmmmmmm, butter...)
posted by internal at 8:52 AM on December 6, 2002

oh yeah, texas toast or thick sliced french bread also, not normal sandwich bread
posted by internal at 8:55 AM on December 6, 2002

Challah makes the best french toast.
posted by luriete at 8:58 AM on December 6, 2002

The real secret to French toast is that your bread, of whatever type, should be at least day old.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:06 AM on December 6, 2002

On the weekends I do Full Breakfast Experimentation, where I basically pick some new recipe from and try it out.

I'm particularly fond of this french toast--the batter's got a little flour in it, when coats the outside of the bread and gives it a light crunch. Caramelize-it with this recipe, and you're set.
posted by gramcracker at 9:09 AM on December 6, 2002

luriete- challah. Word.
posted by Ty Webb at 9:12 AM on December 6, 2002

Metafilter: Word To Your Challah.
posted by jonmc at 9:19 AM on December 6, 2002

There is a restaurant in Ann Arbor that serves deep fried french toast. It's really good, but you can feel your arteries thickening and heart slowing while you eat it.

And I agree, without cinnamon, it's not french toast. Good link.
posted by CoolHandPuke at 9:26 AM on December 6, 2002

I always put a little powdered sugar on my French toast. Just for good measure.
posted by dogwalker at 9:30 AM on December 6, 2002

for those who are both lazy and willing to wait a little for their delicious breakfast to cook, i suggest making the leap from French toast (which requires standing at the stove) to bread pudding (which allows you to lie on the sofa reading the paper whilst it cooks). take that stale challah (in smaller chunks than slices), several eggs, some milk, vanilla, cinnamon, chocolate chips, blobs of nutella, you name it (ok, not the nutella, for god's sake), combine and bake. for a more delicate texture bake it in a bain marie, putting the casserole dish into a larger pan of hot water on the oven rack, and tent with foil. then laze about for an hour or so, and devour.
posted by serafinapekkala at 9:37 AM on December 6, 2002

Grand Marnier, Thanks Ty, hiccup mmm delicious.
posted by thomcatspike at 9:40 AM on December 6, 2002

French toast? The breakfast of kings (fat kings... think Elvis. ;) ) has to be the full fryup...

Black pudding, white pudding, sausages, eggs, burgers, mushrooms, tomatos, chips, hash browns, beans and fried bread...

You might not be surprised to know my dad died of a heart attack... ;)
posted by twine42 at 9:45 AM on December 6, 2002

While I'll admit that French Toast is pretty good, I still love waffles the most. Belgian deep-pocket waffles, with butter and maple syrup. Mmmmmm. Waffles.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:45 AM on December 6, 2002

Since getting a waffle iron for our wedding (feel free to let loose with the jokes about getting six of them), my wife and I have become largely waffle eaters. Cook's Illustrated Best Recipe has the best Belgian Waffle recipe I've had. I've also gotten into the habit of eating waffles with just butter, cinnamon and sugar, sooooo good...
posted by CoolHandPuke at 9:52 AM on December 6, 2002

Thanks to all for the french toast recipes. Many weekends worth. internal is on time- butter is the only way to fry. But I have another question (admission?): I'm pretty highbrow when it comes to food, but all of my flapjacks, waffles and toast have to be covered in Log Cabin. I can't make the switch to pure maple no matter how hard I try, and regardless of how high grade the maple is. Am I the only one who must kick it old skool with the Cabin?
posted by footballrabi at 9:54 AM on December 6, 2002

I make mine with thick sliced banana nut bread. Egg, milk - when done top with fresh banana slices, don't forget the sizzzurp!
posted by Jeremy at 10:00 AM on December 6, 2002

In Switzerland they have a stupid contraption called a Raclette, which is a grill with little pans underneath where you're supposed to grill cheese (called Raclette cheese) and meats and so on (those crazy Swiss).

Now take some bread, soak it in brandy or Grand Marnier, put it in the little pan with some raisins and cover with custard and coat with sugar. Then grill under the pans for an alcoholic bread pudding brulee.
posted by Summer at 10:08 AM on December 6, 2002

Ummm, footballrabi, as a former Vermonter I'm having serious issues with your maple syrup problems, mmmkay? Why even bother with Log Cabin, just get some Karo Corn Syrup and use that, it's the same thing.

Something to try: the biggest mistake people make with real maple syrup (you know, the kind that comes from trees) is getting grade A or extra fancy. The best grade syrup is Grade B. It's darker and has a stronger maple flavor. If that doesn't do it, then may the lord have mercy on your soul.
posted by jeremias at 10:09 AM on December 6, 2002

okay, what's the joke about syzzzzrup?

By the way, I have just finished a delicious brunch of french toast with cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Sadly, I happened to be out of confectioner's sugar and maple syzzzzrup... (ahem....), but it was still just what the belly ordered.

Thanks, BreakfastFilter!
posted by Jonasio at 10:13 AM on December 6, 2002

Am I the only one who must kick it old skool with the Cabin?

hells no, footballrabbi -- but Mrs. Butterworth would slap me upside the head if i chose any other brand.
now, jeremias has a point about the industrial strength awfulness of non-maple syrups, but it's like grape flavored candy. sure, it doesn't taste like grapes, but sometimes the artificial-ness is what you want. mmmm, fake fruit-flavored syrup at I.H.O.P.....
posted by serafinapekkala at 10:14 AM on December 6, 2002

luriete and Ty - I have to challenge you on the challah. French toast made of day-old brioche is da bomb. Or, as the French would say, la bombe.
posted by starvingartist at 10:22 AM on December 6, 2002

Finest french toast I've had was on a rainy morning in a provincial park: french toast stuffed with rhubarb compote and topped with marscapone cream. My wife and I, we know how to camp.
posted by Yogurt at 10:28 AM on December 6, 2002

re: syzzzrup, never let it be said that Mefi revels in inside jokes (ok, let it be said)

I understand the need for artificial every now and then, but to forgo natures' perfect sugar bounty altogether? In lieu of some food scientist's unholy concoction? That's just wrong. Some people take the corn syrup/ maple thing very seriously.
posted by jeremias at 10:33 AM on December 6, 2002

serafinapekkala is dead right. If you enjoy cooking you owe it to yourself to experiment with bread pudding. Personally I like chocolate & banana chunks in mine.
posted by revbrian at 10:34 AM on December 6, 2002

luriete's right on with giving mad props to challah. however, that is not allowed on passover... so what we do is make matzah fry - french toast using broken pieces of matzah. as jews, we only use it as an unleavened alternative, but my girlfriend and i enjoy it year round. just break up matzah, soak it under the faucet for a few seconds, then immerse it in the usual milk/egg/cinnamon mix, and fry. voila!
posted by adamms222 at 11:29 AM on December 6, 2002

You have to put Vanilla extract in the eggwash. I like the idea of almond flavoring. I'll have to try that.
posted by mblandi at 11:29 AM on December 6, 2002

Once again, I must assert the breakfast dominance of the Dutch Baby, which is to French Toast and lowly Cakes o' Pan what Godzilla is to a garden lizard.
posted by Kafkaesque at 11:30 AM on December 6, 2002

Not to gross anyone out, but my mom always made me "Russian Toast," which wasn't/isn't sweet and is made with fried onions. Really yummy with some tomato juice!
posted by ParisParamus at 11:52 AM on December 6, 2002

The best grade syrup is Grade B

Damn skippy, but it's awfully hard to find (I suspect because all the syrup makers know it's better and keep it for themselves).

And if you don't want booze in your French Toast, use orange zest instead of Grand Marnier. It has a brighter taste than the liqueur, too.
posted by briank at 12:00 PM on December 6, 2002

For those of you that like to make FT with non-fresh bread, but don't have the prescence of mind to buy the bread three days ago, I always toss the bread in the toaster first, just enough to start the crispification process. Then dunk.
Also, yes to the usual pumpkin-pie spices, but also a dollop of vanilla is nzzzzzice.
posted by notsnot at 12:18 PM on December 6, 2002

While I prefer the sweet varieties for breakfast, there is another option: savory. Add chives to the milk and egg bath. Once grilled, serve with smoked salmon and a dollop of sour cream. Yum.
posted by Verdant at 1:14 PM on December 6, 2002

Once again, I must assert the breakfast dominance of the Dutch Baby

The Dutch Baby is also known as the German Apple Pancake, and it just so happens that the recipe is covered in this month's Cooks Illustrated, which is the best cooking magazine available. Pleae note the site has not been updated to reflect the current Jan/Feb 2003 issue.
posted by CoolHandPuke at 1:27 PM on December 6, 2002

mmmmmm! i'm so hungry now!

(but brioche, although harder to find than challah, wins! it is SO much better!)
posted by amberglow at 1:57 PM on December 6, 2002

Am I the only one who puts peanut butter on French toast?

Actually, I put a nice thick layer of damn skippy peanut butter, drown that with syzzzrup, and delicately sprinkle with powdered sugar.
posted by Pancake Overlord at 2:57 PM on December 6, 2002

Personally, I prefer the taste of Grade A lighter maple syrup.

On a slightly different topic, my father likes to put this artery clogging spread on his toasts:

The congealed fat from refrigerated roast beef cooking juice, topped with brown sugar.

He was born in another Era.
posted by titboy at 3:29 PM on December 6, 2002

Cinammon, syrup, sugar? Weird. It's always been a savoury dish for me.

titboy - "The congealed fat from refrigerated roast beef cooking juice." I take it you mean dripping. If it weren't for the health implications, my toast would always be soaked with that stuff... butter is such a poor substitute.
posted by jack_mo at 4:06 PM on December 6, 2002

Oh my god, the carbs!
posted by billsaysthis at 5:11 PM on December 6, 2002

Right. You asked for it:

The Secret Life of Gravy's Fuck the Calories Sunday Morning Brunch Spectacular

2/3 C half and half (that's half cream, half milk)
3 eggs
1/3 C orange juice
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp grated orange peel
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
4 1-day-old croissants halved lengthwise

Whisk first 8 ingredients together an pour into shallow baking dish. Add Croissants and turn. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.

Fry in butter in a medium-hot skillet. Serve with whipped cream and more grated orange peel for garnish.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:33 AM on December 9, 2002 [1 favorite]

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