The way French toast originated is that it was a way to use up day-old bread. Because back then (like medieval times basically) it was customary to bake fresh bread every single day, so if you had any leftover from the day before, you had to figure out what to do with it.
And significantly, the mindset was that you would rather invent a whole new recipe than ever throw away food — so as a result, we have French toast.
But it also turns out that slightly stale bread is actually the best for making French toast because stale bread absorbs more of the egg mixture than fresh bread will. If the only bread you have just popped out of the oven, you could try toasting it very slightly first.
But the reality is that today, most of us buy our bread at the store, which means a brand new loaf of bread was probably baked yesterday anyway (or even earlier), and I bet you don't use up a whole loaf in a single day in any case. So no matter what, you're ready to make French toast.
This easy French toast recipe can be modified and enhanced by adding cinnamon, nutmeg or orange zest. For grown-up French toast, add a splash of rum or brandy to the custard mixture.
- Pre-heat oven to 200°F.
- Beat the eggs thoroughly. Whisk in the sugar, half and half and vanilla.
- Pour the egg mixture into a shallow glass dish. An inch deep should be fine.
- Heat your griddle to medium-low, and melt the butter on it.
- Soak a couple of slices of bread (but only as many your griddle can accommodate at once) in the eggs while you count to ten. Flip them over and repeat.
- Carefully remove the soaked slices from the eggs, letting the excess liquid drain back into the dish, and transfer the bread to the griddle. Flip when the bottoms are golden brown. When the other sides are also golden brown, remove from the griddle.
- Serve French toast right away, or transfer it to a dish in the oven to keep warm.