A while back, on my way to upstate NY, I enjoyed some crispy french toast at a restaurant that I hadn’t been to previously. I can’t recall exactly where the restaurant was, but I do know that the french toast was a-maz-ing.
Has that ever happened to you? You take a chance on a new diner or small family-owned place and are simply wowed by the food? I just love when that happens!
Since having the a-maz-ing crispy french toast, I’ve been on a quest to recreate it.
After digging a bit, I’ve come to learn that the best strategy to get that ideal combination of crispy outside with custard-like inside involves the use of a few distinct steps that include:
- the use butter on the stovetop to begin developing the golden crust
- the use of dry (not moist) bread to facilitate adequate soaking
- the use of an oven to finish off baking the inside of the bread.
Soaking the bread thoroughly is also needed to ensure that the bread is adequately saturated – a dry middle would be far from ideal. The contrasting textures of this french toast make this a go-to breakfast recipe for me on a Sunday morning.
Source: Modified from Chef John’s Food Wishes Video Recipe
Crispy French Toast
- 1 loaf unsliced bread
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 tbsp Butter (may need extra)
- 3 tbsp canola oil or other neutral flavored oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Cut bread loaf into 1/2 slices
- Combine eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch, and vanilla
- Soak each piece of bread thoroughly in the egg mixture for 20 to 30 seconds while turning the slices several times in the egg mixture. For softer or fresher bread, soak less.
- Using medium-high heat, melt a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of oil in a pan and lightly brown the bread (use additional butter as needed), about 3 minutes per side.
- Transfer lightly browned bread to sheet pan, bake for 6 minutes, then flip each piece over and bake for another 6 to 8 minutes (12 to 15 minutes total)
- Serve with pancake syrup and powdered sugar