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I’ve been working on the perfect French toast for a while now, and stumbled upon it by accident.
To me, the perfect French toast is full of flavor — specifically cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla — thick, custardy, but not soggy. It’s a fine line I tell you.
A week or so ago, I got some croissant bread in my Imperfect Foods delivery (side note: if you want to get $20 for trying Imperfect Foods, you can here) and put a few slices in the toaster. Something came up, I and I completely forgot about the toast until the next day when I saw it still in the toaster oven. I wasn’t going to throw it away, but it was sure in no shape to be toast anymore.
Since croissant bread makes the best French toast, I decided to use this day-old toasted bread. And guys, it was literally perfect. Custardy inside, caramelized outside with chewy, toasty edges. It tasted of cinnamon and vanilla and nutmeg, with a hint of orange zest. You can leave this out, but if you have it, I highly recommend it.
In addition to the toasted bread, the one thing that perfect French toast requires is time. You can’t rush this, or you’ll end up with bread that is burnt on the outside and soggy inside. Nope. You have to do this low and slow for it to work.
I made my French toast with salted, cultured butter (also from Imperfect Foods!) and it was amazing. Keeping the heat low keeps the butter from burning. You can also use clarified butter if you have it, but that doesn’t mean you can crank your heat.
If you’re looking for something impressive to make for your next brunch or just a lazy weekend morning, then this is most definitely it.
Double Toasted French Toast
For the perfect French toast, good bread and toasting the day before is key. Your favorite brunch recipe is here!
8slicesthick cut breadsuch as brioche, challah, or croissant bread
Zest of 1 orangeoptional
Maple syrupfor serving
The day before you make the Frech toast, toast your bread until it’s golden brown, but not burnt. Don’t skimp on the toasting — get it good and browned.
Leave the bread on a cutting board on the counter for a full day, flipping it at least once so that both sides of the bread are good and stale.
When ready to cook, whisk the milk, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and orange zest if using.
Melt a tablespoon of butter in a nonstick or cast iron skillet over low heat.
Dip a slice of bread in the milk mixture — don’t overlook — and add it to your skillet. If you can fit another slice, do the same.
Let the French toast cook over low eat, checking after a minute or two to see if the bottom is browned. If so, carefully flip. Don’t flip too early — let it cook. After flipping, do the same for the other side.
Continue with the remaining slices of bread.
Serve with maple syrup, and fresh fruit if desired.