See: Oooooh–French Toast! There’s a version or eight in tons of countries, whether they call it French toast or pain perdu or roti telur. But why? Why does everyone love this stuff? What makes it so great? Here are my thoughts. I know, I know–you’ve been Dying to hear them, right?
As with many dishes, necessity is the mother of invention. The necessity, in this case, is how to use up some Stale-Ass bread and make it palatable. Enter eggs. Hello eggs. Why eggs? ‘Cause back in The Day, tons o’ folks had chickens. Chickens=free-ish eggs. And enter eggs’ buddy, milk. Hey, milk. Why milk? ‘Cause the chickens needed Company. Eggs+milk=custard, so a quick dip (or a long soak) in some custard, a sizzle on a slick griddle, and otherwise wasted bread turns into a free-ish meal. Waste not, want not.
When I sat down today to Write, I had not Clue One what I was going to write about. It’s that Planning Aversion that I have. So, I looked at my referrers so far, and I saw a post from Nate Cooks. And here it is: Yay for Leftover Bread–Making French Toast. Like Nate says, leftover baguette makes fantastic French Toast. Here are some other options for your Delectation (read stale before each Item):
- English muffins
- cinnamon rolls
- Cuban bread
- Italian bread
- Hamburger or hot dog buns
- Hawaiian bread (exceptional, I might add)
- yeast-raised doughnuts
- Et Cetera
And don’t limit yourself to sweet custards. Why not a savory French toast? Any neutral-flavored bread (eg: not doughnuts or cinnamon rolls) would work great for that. You could even use focaccia. Go crazy. Savory French toasts could make a Killer Appetizer. Fry it up so it’s nice and crisp, cut into cute canape shapes or just squares and top with a crumble of goat cheese and a bit of roasted red pepper. That’s just One idea. I’m sure you can come up with others.
Here’s another thought about French Toast–Any strata recipe, any bread pudding recipe, any quiche recipe can be turned into French toast, or stuffed French toast. For stuffed French toast, you could just put the fillings between two pieces of cooked bread, or you could cut your pieces twice as thick as you normally would, cut a slit in the side and stuff it, then brown it and finish it in the oven to make sure the filling is nice and hot.
One of the best French Toasts I have ever eaten is Deep Fried French Toast. Yes, you heard me Correctly. Susie Friou, a friend of my folks from church, brought the technique with her from New Orleans. I haven’t seen or heard from those guys in decades, but I still remember her French Toast. Susie, your legacy is assured. To make it, for every cup of milk and 2 eggs (the standard French toast custard), use 1 cup of flour and 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder. Make sure you add a healthy pinch of salt and whatever flavorings you like. Just soak your Bread of Choice in the batter and then Deep Fry It. You will not be Sorry, I promise.
And that’s pretty much all I have to say about French Toast. And, if you don’t read Nate Cooks, you should. His last post is from May, so he might be busy, but the archived stuff is great.
PS Make a sammich with ham, turkey and Swiss cheese, dunk it in the Deep Fry Batter, fry it up and serve it with raspberry jam, and you have one of the Best Sammiches Ever–the Monte Cristo. Thank you, God, for the Monte Cristo Sammich.