My dad's recipe: Thick slices of French bread are soaked in a rich custard and cooked slowly in butter. Finished with a quick blast in the oven and best eaten with lots of butter and syrup. This truly is the best French toast.
- 1 loaf of day or two old French Bread (Or Italian, just don't get it with seeds or spices on top) sliced into thick 1 1/2 to 2 inch slices
- 2 cups half and half or whole milk
- 4 eggs
- 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla (or the seeds of a vanilla bean if you want to get super, Crème brûlée style fancy)
- 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon and/or nutmeg (this is totally optional, and I add it depending on my mood--sometimes I just want the vanilla)
- good pinch of salt--about 1/2 teaspoon
- butter and vegetable oil for cooking
- butter and syrup for serving
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk well. Add half and half or milk, honey or syrup, vanilla, salt, and any spices you're using and whisk to combine. Place your sliced bread into a baking dish large enough to hold them comfortably in a single layer. Or, alternatively, split it evenly between two smaller dishes. Pour over your wet mixture and allow to soak for about 5 minutes before flipping and allowing to soak another 5 minutes. This step is so important! One of my biggest food peeves is French toast that is still dry in the middle. Let it soak. Just walk away and let it soak. It will drink up the liquid, and you will be rewarded for your patience. I promise.
When your bread is done soaking, prepare a large griddle or skillet by heating about two tablespoons of butter with a tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-low heat. Carefully lift your soaked bread, allowing excess to drip off, and place on pre-heated griddle. Cook slowly allowing to brown for about 7 minutes on each side. Flip as needed to get it evenly browned. Do this in batches if you don't have a large griddle.
When it is nice and brown on both sides, remove to a sheet tray and bake for about 5-10 minutes. This last step is my dad's signature move, and it just ensures the bread is cooked all the way through, as well as making it puff up or soufflé a little like my dad always said. And it guarantees that while you scurry around getting the final breakfast preparations done, your French Toast will be nice and hot when you're ready to sit down and slather it with butter and syrup. My family's favorite accompaniment is sausage, but bacon is obviously great, too. Whatever you serve it with will be perfect.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: breakfast
- Method: stovetop
Keywords: French toast, the best French toast