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 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 6 tablespoon Butter (may need extra)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Cut bread loaf into ½ slices
- Combine eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla
- Soak each piece of bread in the egg mixture thoroughly while turning the bread slices several times in the egg mixture
- Using medium-high heat, melt a tablespoon of butter in 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