French Toast

French ToastAnother quick post.  French Toast.

And not just any French Toast, but the most awesome French Toast.

Growing up, in my home what we got, which was good, was just beaten eggs with bread dipped into it and cooked on a griddle.  Sometimes, the bread was broken into chunks and just stirred with the beaten eggs, then all at once was put on the griddle and cooked, occasionally stirred or turned to get it all cooked.  The issue with *that* was that the eggs didn’t coat all the bread and some of the thicker chunks didn’t get fully cooked in the middle.  Personally, I love runny eggs, especially as a French Omelette, although admittedly with a few less herbs than Julia uses.  But when soaked with maple syrup, I find it to be cloyingly sweet and a little gross.  Of course, I also do not like maple syrup on scrambled eggs, or even McGriddle sandwiches.  Yuck.  My brother disagrees with me, and he adored the chumps of french-toast-like-stuff we ate as kids.

I am more of a purest.  I believe that you should make the French Toast in toast shapes, though I do add more than just eggs.  I actually tried a few different recipes (few dozen?), and even tried winging it a bunch and just put whatever looked good into the bowl and mixed it up.  It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t awesome, either.  We actually now go to the Joy of Cooking, that wonderful classic of American cooking.  If you don’t have it, you should go get it.

Also?  it is good with normal sandwich bread, but to reach awesome levels of goodness, you need a thicker bread, and it is even better if that bread is a little stale or dried out.  We lay out the bread on a rack for a half hour or so before putting it in the custard, if we can at all stir up the patience for it.  And for those super special occasions, we get a big pack of Croissants, cut in half length-wise, and use those.  Awesomocity at it’s finest!

Really simple, too.  Dump all the ingredients into a bowl, whisk them (with a fork or a balloon whisk), and dip the bread into them until well coated.  Put it on a 325-350 degree griddle, flip them when the first side is golden brown, remove when the second side is golden brown.  Serve with butter or syrup.

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Oh, and don’t forget Croissants!

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French Toast
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10 slices
Best French Toast, ever!
  • ½ Cup heavy cream (or half and half, or whole milk)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 8-10 slices of bread (more or less depending on the type of bread used)
  1. Preheat griddle or pan to between 325-350 degrees (when drops of water dance and evaporate rather than just sitting there)
  2. Put all the ingredients, other than the bread, into a bowl and whisk it together.
  3. Dip slices of bread into the custard and onto the griddle. Turn when golden brown, remove when second side is golden brown.
  4. Serve with butter and maple syrup, or powdered sugar.


World’s Best Pancakes

pancakesI love pancakes. In fact, I adore pancakes.  If it took no time to make them (and no calories), I would eat pancakes twice a week.  Unfortunately work and children conspire to take up my pancake time, and I settle for lesser food in the mornings.  (And I gladly make that choice, but I think it is ok to occasionally lament the good things we give up for better things).

This is another food that I would make ok at home but head to a restaurant for better on the weekends.  I even went through a phase when we used a powdered mix to save time and effort.  I learned that some things are worth the effort, or left alone until the time can be set aside to do them right.  Save yourselves from box mixes and instant foods!
So one day I finally had sufficiently bad pancakes to push me the the Internet in pursuit of the perfect recipe.  And there are a lot of them; some good, some terrible.  I tried twelve different pancake recipes, all claiming to be the best.  And some were really good.  We finally found one that headed toward great, but not quite there.  We tweaked, and we adjusted.  We tested and we adapted.  What we ended up with was different than all the others, with a little borrowed from a lot of different ideals.
We call them the World’s Best Pancakes.  It is a little bit hyperbole, but not much.  I think you’ll like what we came up with.

We are at 4200 ft altitude.  You may need slightly less flour, and maybe a pinch less baking soda if you are at sea level.  Please post a comment on any success or failure at different elevations.
Also, this makes a LOT of pancakes.  Most people have extras at the end.  They freeze well and heat up nicely in a toaster or oven, or you can half or third the recipe.
One other thing, the syrup makes a big difference.  Either use a high end syrup, or at least get one made from sugar (like Log Cabin) and not made from corn syrup.  Or try these with strawberries and caramel sauce.


World's Best Pancakes
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 40 - 3" pancakes
These pancakes are so good, they will ruin your appetite for all other pancakes.
  • 3¾ cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 3½ cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoon vinegar
  • 3 eggs
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
  1. In a medium glass bowl (4 cups or larger) make the sour milk, starting with the lemon juice and vinegar, and adding the milk until a you have a total of 3½ cups. Let sit at least five minutes while you mix the dry ingredients.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In the glass bowl with the sour milk, and the eggs and beat or whisk together. Once combined, slowly beat in melted butter. Keep the wet and dry mixtures separate until just before cooking.
  4. Heat your electric griddle to between 325 and 350. You know it's ready when you can flick water drops onto the surface and they bead up, sizzle, and dance for a moment before evaporating.
  5. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture, and whisk together. Do not over stir; mix just enough to bring together, a few small lumps are ok.
  6. Pour in ⅓ to ½ cup per pancake and brown on both sides, as if you are cooking pancakes. Which you are.
  7. Serve hot.