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!
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.