Recipe: French Toast

This may just be the most effective way to wake someone up.
The scent of breakfast... specifically, French Toast. (Calm down, Luzee.)

I've always enjoyed French Toast. It's easy to make, ingredients are always in your pantry, and you can make them in a million variations. You even get to use the stale bread you have! And they come out just glooorrriooouuusss! (Someone talk about something else. I'm starting to drift away again in my head. LUZEE! FOCUS!) It also helps that this is one of Carl's favourite foods. When I prepare this, I always say I'll just have 2 slices. (WHATTA-LIE! I'm an idiot. More like minimum 4 slices!)

I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but the French Toast isn't from France. Yuuuup! Mind blown🤯. So many lies! (Hahaha 🤣) It existed even before France, the country, existed. It's one of those food items that have existed waaaay before (try the ancient Roman times to be exact) and just sailed through time and adapted a name by the 17th century. It's basically bread dipped in a sweet custard mixture and cooked to a beautiful butter-gold treat. In the olden times, when they discovered that there was a way to use up day-old bread, they started dipping and frying away! Hail to the French Toast gods! (We really thank you for your contribution to the epicure's life. You [in addition to all beautiful breakfast options] have ultimately changed our appreciation for Sunday brunch after a drunken and foie gras-filled Saturday night.)

Speaking of Sunday brunch....

Now, I've never been strict about the components to make this dish. Seriously, the pantry world is your oyster! Of course, I have my preferences - the lovely brioche (a sweet and fat-rich bread high in eggs and butter). But in the end, all you ever need are the following: stale bread, milk, eggs, sugar, flavouring (vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.), and butter! Et voila! The heavens have opened up and served you a puuhh-late! You can eat it on it's own, add some fruit and whipped cream, have it with nut or chocolate butters, eat it with cheese slices (yessss... this is Carl's preference), and even later make it evolve to sandwiches.... enter the Monte Cristo! Mind blown moment again. (The Monte Cristo is basically a ham and cheese sandwich dipped in an egg and milk mixture.... See? They're hugged by French toasts. What a warm and inviting hug.)

Why the need for stale bread though? Because.... 
(1) Let's not waste any food. I mean, seriously. The farmers worked hard to make the wheat to make the bread. Let's not even talk about how much time it took to let the bread dough rise. It's a whole life cycle we're disrespecting if we just throw away food.
(2) The day-old breads can soak up more of the custard mixture and still hold its form. Imagine using freshly-made steaming bread. It has so much moisture in it, it won't be able to drink up some of that yummy milk and egg mixture. 
(3) WONDERFUL TIP: You can buy the bread that's on SALE. 😉 (Imagine Oprah yelling this with arms spread out in the air, "Saaalllleeee!!!") Because you need it to be stale anyways. Let's save some money too! The saying is true, "If it's on sale, it must be stale". And you basically want that for this.

I try to use up a whole brioche loaf. If you buy a sliced brioche loaf, that's usually 500-600g in weight, around 14 slices. If you buy it unsliced, you can slice it up to 3/4 to 1-inch thick slices. This recipe is incredibly easy. It was made to work while you try to function as a human being, waking up from snooze-fest.

You'll need a mixing bowl, a whisk, a skillet or griddle, and some morning music to get you dancing while making these. 

1 cup milk (whole, 2% is fine)
1/2 cup cream (You can actually use 1 can of evaporated milk instead of milk and cream, I won't judge. Evaporated milk tastes even silkier, really.)
2 tbsp sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
a stale or day-old loaf of brioche bread
unsalted butter, as needed for frying

Optional ingredients for toppings:
mascarpone cheese
maple syrup
slices strawberries
raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries
whipped cream
powdered sugar, for dusting

1. Whisk the milk, cream, vanilla, eggs and sugar in a bowl. Make sure to whisk it all together so there aren't any egg whites floating about. Set aside. (If you're extra groggy in the morning, put these all ingredients in a blender and blitz away. It's faster. 😈 Then just transfer to a bowl.)
2. Heat up your skillet to a medium heat. Add some butter (around 1 tbsp) and let it sizzle (don't let it burn and go on beurre noisette mode - aka browned butter). 
3. Dip each side of the bread slices in the custard mixture, about 3-4 seconds each side. Don't let it sit too long. Then transfer to the skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, just until it's browned and crispy. Flip it and repeat. Add some more butter if needed. 
4. Continue to cook all the slices until you've reach perfection to the very last slice. 
5. Serve it with your desired toppings. (I like to slather mine with a good helping of mascarpone cheese on it, top with sliced strawberries or a mixture berries, add a dollop of whipped cream, and drizzle with maple syrup.)
6. ENJOY!!!! Revel in its beauty first and take a photo for the gram!
*Don't limit your choices to just brioche. I just personally prefer this. But you can use any loaf really, just steer away from darker rye breads. Just because they're more bitter in taste. Go ahead and use French loaves, Italian loves, even left over buns! 

**If the bread you bought is fresh AF but you're craving for French toast, you can dry them up a bit. Leave them open and spread out on a plate in your counter. Or, try to toast it lightly in the toaster or pop it in the oven for a few minutes. You just want it to be dryer, not crispy as a piece of breakfast toast. 

***Toppings and flavourings are your personal choices. I prefer ours to be basic and plain French Toasts so we really can taste the custard. If you want to add flavouring, try some cinnamon or nutmeg and add 1/2 tsp each. Or even use almond extract or lemon zest. As for toppings, I prefer mascarpone cheese, some berries, and a good helping of authentic Canadian maple syrup. Yuuuummmmsss. You can add any kind of fruit, drizzle it with chocolate syrup, or even drizzle with peanut butter and Nutella! 

****If you're watching your sugar intake, you can use a keto-friendly or low-carb bread. Use sugar replacement instead of regular granulated sugar. And use a sugar-free maple syrup too.

*****You can even use a non-dairy milk source! If you're on a specific diet, you can swap out the milk/cream for almond milk. This also adds to the flavour, a sweet nutty flavour. I have not personally tried it but thinking about it opens up so many other milk options. Soy milk?? Hhmmmm. Not too sure about this though. 

#donyaluzee #food #recipe #frenchtoast #French #toast #brioche #breakfast #brunch #maplesyrup #eggs #milk #cream #evaporatedmilk #strawberries #raspberries #blueberries #syrup #chocolatesyrup #peanutbutter #whippedcream


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