Every once in a while we decided to bake something a little fancier for breakfast. Yesterday, Michelle woke up and decided she would like to have some French toast. French toast is not something I make at all really, mainly because it’s not one of my particular favorites. In my opinion, a lot of French toast that you get is pretty soggy and has too much egg for my particular taste. Anyway, I was more than happy to make some for Michelle and Sean and chose to use this recipe from the Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook.
8 large slices hearty white sandwich bread or challah bread
1 1/2 cups milk, warmed
3 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter +2 tablespoons melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 300°. Place the bread on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Bake the bread until it is almost dry throughout (the center should remain slightly moist), about 16 minutes, flipping the slices half way through the baking. Remove the bread from the rack and allow it to cool for five minutes. Return the baking sheet with the wire rack to the oven and reduce the temperature to 200°.
Whisk the milk, egg yolks, sugar, 2 tablespoons of melted butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl until well blended. Soak the bread in the milk mixture until it is saturated but not falling apart, about 20 seconds per side. Using a slotted spatula, pick up one bread slice and allow the excess milk mixture to drip off; repeat the process with the remaining slices. Place the soaked bread on another baking sheet or platter.
Melt half a tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Using a slotted spatula, transfer two slices of the soaked bread to the skillet and cook until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the bread and continue to cook on the second side until it is golden brown about 3 to 4 minutes longer. If the toast is cooking too quickly, reduce the temperature slightly. Transfer the toast to a baking sheet in the oven. Wipe out the skillet with paper towels. Repeat the cooking process with the remaining bread, two pieces at a time, adding a half tablespoon of butter for each batch that you cook. Serve warm.
I think it came out pretty well myself considering I’m no French toast expert and Michelle and Sean both seem to really enjoy it. It was a little more work toasting the bread before you actually make the French toast, but I think it came out better because the bread isn’t nearly as soggy as I’ve seen in the past. I think between using only the yolks of the egg and adding some melted butter to liquid it gives the toast a chance to be not nearly as soggy and a little more rich.
I also decided that I wanted to make a little bit of blueberry sauce to go along with the French toast. I had just bought some blueberries at the store the other day and they looked pretty good. This recipe makes quite a bit of sauce, a lot more than what was needed for the French toast, but we have it on hand now and I think it’ll be great to use with things like ice cream, cake or even in your oatmeal in the morning.
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Wash and crush the blueberries in a medium bowl. Add the sugar, lemon juice and salt and mix well. Place the mixture in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Boil for 1 minute and then add the vanilla. Remove from the heat and chill until serving.
It’s a pretty useful sauce that I think you find you’ll be able to work it into a lot of other areas if you want to use it. It’ll go just as well on pancakes as it would for French toast that’s for sure.
That’s all there is for today. I’ll have some more recipes for you tomorrow. I will likely be posting the fried chicken recipe I used that I got from the New York Times recently. I also have several other recipes to try out for this week, so check back in see what I use. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!