Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Toast En Français

It’s only fair that I celebrate Bastille Day with a second cooking blog post honoring our beret wearing friends across the Atlantic. Ah, the French. They bring us such culinary delights as escargot, frog legs, croissants, brie, wine, champagne, crepes, and baguettes… my mouth waters just thinking about it. I really love French food. And of course, there is French toast! Although I had a feeling French toast is not truly part of French cuisine, and the internet has proved my suspicions right:

According to Wikipedia, French toast is a breakfast food served in North America and some countries in Europe. In the United Kingdom it is sometimes known as Eggy Bread. It is a Christmas time dessert in Portugal and Brazil (rabanada) and an Easter dessert in Spain (torrijas). "French toast" can be found in print in the United States as early as 1871. The Oxford English Dictionary cites usages of "French toast" in English as early as 1660 (toasted bread with wine, orange juice, and sugar), and cites an egg-based recipe of the same name from 1882 According to the International House of Pancakes, French toast is not necessarily French in origin; it is likely that the recipe dates back to medieval times, as "torrijas" in Spain already existed in the 15th century.

Oh well, I’m posting about it anyway!

French toast was a staple of my childhood. I like pancakes and waffles and all, but French toast is my favorite of all the breakfast foods. My mom always made it with regular sliced bread but recently I’ve learned of an even more French-y way to create this breakfast dish using French bread or a baguette (thanks to Byron for educating me about this way of making French-y French Toast.)

Why I love this recipe:
  • The use of French bread/baguette makes wonderful little bite-sized toasts that are a lot more fun than plain bread. Note: It’s best to use a baguette or French bread that is a day old, which actually makes this recipe perfect because you don’t have to go shopping in the AM for bread and can buy all your supplies the day before.
  • Plus, I’m a real sucker when it comes to vanilla, so the inclusion of pure vanilla extract in this recipe makes it all the yummier and gives it a nice rich flavor.

French-y French Toast

Ingredients –- (These ingredients are an approximation based on how much French toast you want to make. Feel free to eyeball it and add more or less of things as you see fit. Mostly you just want to create a nice batter out of the eggs/milk/OJ that will be soaked up by the bread.)
  • Day old baguette or French bread 
  • Cup of orange juice 
  • Cup of milk 
  • 4-5 eggs 
  • 2 tablespoons sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon 
  • Powdered sugar 
  • Butter 
  • Pure maple syrup

Directions --
  • Slice the baguette/French bread about 1-1 ½ inches thick so you have a bunch of nice round pieces. I ate about 5 pieces, so use your judgment for how hungry you are to determine how many slices to make.
  • Whisk milk, orange juice, sugar, vanilla, eggs, and cinnamon together creating a nice eggy batter. 
  • Place the baguette rounds in a large casserole dish and pour the batter on top. 
  • Move the baguette rounds around and flip them over so both sides are covered with the batter. 
  • Leave them to marinate/soak up the batter for approximately a half hour. 
  • Heat a skillet/pan over medium-high heat and cook the batter-covered baguette pieces until they are brown on the outside and done. 
  • You will probably have some leftover batter which you can turn into scrambled eggs to accompany the toast. 
  • Serve with butter, powdered sugar, and pure maple syrup. 
  • Enjoy!

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