Alton Brown’s French Toast

I believe I’ve complained about my lack of good luck with French Toast before. Often it’s unforgivably eggy or mushy. Sometimes I enjoy it when we go out for brunch if it’s made well, but I can’t make it myself.

Alex and I have been on a Good Eats kick right now. Alton Brown has seldom led me wrong, and one of his episodes convinced me to try his French Toast recipe. It had a simple ingredient list and simple instructions. I’m very happy I made it, since it rekindled my enthusiasm for trying French toast!

Alton Brown's French Toast
Alton Brown’s French Toast

I’ve theoretically known the basics of how to make French toast for a little while. You need stale/old thick-cut bread, so it’s best to plan ahead a little. I bought mini French bread loaves because I wanted to make garlic bread out of what I didn’t have for breakfast; Alton Brown suggested country loaf, brioche, or challah. Last night, I cut the bread into 1/2-inch slices and left them loosely covered on the counter since I didn’t want it to get too hard.

The custard dip was very easy to put together. The custard mixture takes 1 cup half-and-half, 3 eggs, 2 tablespoons honey, and a little salt. I happened to have half-and-half around since I made a batch of ice cream this weekend.

I whisked the custard together and poured it into a pie pan. I soaked the bread slices for 30 seconds on each side, and then set them on a wire rack for a couple of minutes to let it soak in more. I melted a tablespoon of butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, and cooked half of the bread slices for about 2-3 minutes on each side. I returned the cooked bread to the wire baking rack and cooked the other half with another tablespoon of butter.

Once all the bread was cooked, I put the baking sheet of French toast in the oven and baked them for 375F for 5 minutes to finish them.

This is easily the best French Toast I’ve ever made! It was perfectly cooked – soft inside, browned on the outside. The honey made it a little sweet, and cooking the toast in butter gave it a faintly nutty flavor.  It wasn’t eggy and wasn’t soggy. The crust was a little chewy, so I’d be sure to use a softer-crusted bread in the future.

I’m incredibly happy that I tried out this recipe, to prove to myself that it is possible to make delicious French toast. I wonder if this recipe would work as well with milk as it does with half-and-half. I will definitely try this recipe again.

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