French toast is one of the toughest of all the breakfast foods to get right. So here are some tips that'll bring your French toast to the next level!
First, take that loaf of Wonder Bread and punt it into the street. For French toast, you want to make sure you use a dense bread like a challah or a brioche. You don't want it to fall apart while soaking in your custard mixture. Seriously, kick that white bread as far away as you can.
Believe it or not, the best bread for French toast-making isn't that super fresh loaf that just came out of the oven. Day-old bread or slightly stale bread is the best. It will soak up all that eggy goodness, but won't get all goopy. It will still retain its texture and sponginess.
Put the egg down, man. Seriously. Your custard ingredients should never go straight from the fridge into the bowl. Letting the eggs, butter and milk sit out until they reach room temperature may seem like a waste of time, but trust when I tell you they'll mix together much better that way.
Make sure you use the right ratio of milk to eggs. Real Simple suggests using 1/4 cup of milk for each egg. Don't make your mixture too milky. Even though your dog might appreciate it, you don't want your French toast dripping all over the floor.
And for goodness' sake, lose the whites! Egg whites contain the sulfur compounds that make eggs taste, well, eggy. The yolks are pretty much just lovely thickening fat. So, unless you want your French toast to taste like eggs stuck to the outside of a piece of bread, stick with just the yolks when creating your custard.
No matter how careful you are while separating your eggs, don't kid yourself. You're not perfect. Straining your custard mixture will remove any lingering whites and make your French toast absolutely positively perfectly soaked in perfectly mixed custard.
Don't be afraid to get that bread sopping wet. Really, just drown it in the stuff. If you're using hearty bread and have used the proper ratio of ingredients in your custard, the bread should soak perfectly and evenly. If you don't let it really soak up your mixture, you might have dry spots in the middle, and that's no good.
Another golden rule of cooking things on top of a stove: Use oil or cooking spray instead of butter. Butter burns very easily and pretty much the saddest thing in the world is burnt French toast. You don't want to do all that hard work straining the custard and whisking the ingredients only for it to get ruined a minute after it hits the pan. I speak from experience when I say that it's the worst.
If you want to get real fancy, stuff your French toast with berries and cream or Nutella and bacon (like this recipe, which you can get here). This might involve a little more work ”” usually, you stuff the bread then batter both sides, then cook the whole mess ”” but it is so worth it.
The toppings can make or break your French toast. And after you've done all that hard work finally perfecting this beast of a breakfast endeavor, you deserve the best. So please, for the love of all that is holy, use real maple syrup. Use fresh fruit. Use dark chocolate sauce and homemade caramel and fluffy whipped cream. Treat yo' self right.