Pancakes or French Toast? For me, I'm happy with just about anything drenched in syrup, but a good french toast is definitely my #1 breakfast choice. I have been tweaking my french toast recipe ever since I was old enough to use the stove top on my own. So here it is, my perfect, restaurant style, melt in your mouth, crispy edged, french toast.
This recipe can be made with any type of bread you choose, however, Challah is my absolute favorite. Just make sure it is not a fresh, moist loaf. Day old bread works better for french toast because it can absorb more of the custard. I added a little flour to thicken the classic french toast egg/milk custard, and sugar to ensure a crisp, never soggy french toast. The use of thick challah bread gives the french toast a rich, melt in your mouth flavor, while the addition of spices, vanilla and orange give the french toast an amazing complexity of flavors that really take this breakfast to the next level.
If you are using a fresh bread, it is best to let it sit out overnight to let it get a little "stale" and dried out for optimal absorption of the custard. You can also heat the bread at 200 degrees F in the oven/toaster oven for about 15 minutes while you prepare the custard.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well with a fork or whisk. Pour into a casserole dish for dipping the bread. (If desired, cut out bread with a large cookie cutter for fun shaped french toast. Cut in to strips for french toast sticks, or cubes for french toast bites & kabobs.) Dip bread slices into egg mixture one at a time, coating on all sides. Drain excess back into dish.
Place bread in buttered skillet, cooking on each side until lightly browned. Repeat for remaining bread slices.
I like to keep the first few slices of french toast warm in the toaster until it is all ready to serve.
Top with a little butter, powdered sugar and maple syrup and enjoy!
Best French Toast Ever
Yield: Serves 3-4 (about 10-12 slices)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup half and half (may substitute milk)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon orange zest + 2 tablespoons orange juice, optional
- 3 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons butter flavored shortening, oil or butter, for greasing the pan
- 8-9 thick slices of day old challah bread (May use texas toast or 10-12 sandwich bread slices if needed)
- Powdered sugar and maple syrup for serving
Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a shallow casserole. Slowly stir in the half and half, followed by the vanilla and eggs and mix well with a fork or whisk.
Heat 1 tablespoon shortening, oil or butter in nonstick skillet over medium heat, for every 2-3 slices of bread. (If using butter, be careful not to burn it, and try melting it on a lower heat.) Use remaining shortening, oil or butter for remaining bread.
Dip bread slices into egg mixture one at a time, coating on all sides and place bread in hot skillet. Sprinkle extra cinnamon on top of bread if desired. Cook 2-3 minutes over medium heat, on each side, or until lightly browned. Repeat for remaining bread slices.
Want more fun breakfast ideas?! Click the photos below for some of my other 'breakfast with a twist' recipes:
Banana Split Pancakes (recipe coming soon)