French toast (a.k.a. Pain Perdu)
This is not something I make frequently but when I want it I want it and today was the day. Luckily I had good homemade bread that worked well with this, or get a beautiful challah bread, or a brioche if you are lucky. Otherwise, any good white bread would do. You can use whole wheat but this is not a health dish, it’s more like a rare treat.
It’s best to leave the bread soaking in the egg and cream mixture for a while. You could do it overnight, I left it in for about 30 minutes, turning it occasionally. The idea is to soak the bread through with the “custard” so it’s creamy throughout. Let the bread slices cook in the pan until golden and crusty on the outside, of course being careful not to burn.
My mother used to make a savoury version of this pain perdu, without the sugar. I remember loving it back then. I should try it next time.
2 tablespoons sugar
1.5 cups half and half or milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 bread slices, cut thick
Combine the eggs, sugar and milk in a lasagna type pan.
Whisk the ingredients until well combined.
Lay the bread slices in the custard and press them in gently.
Let soak for about thirty minutes, turning a couple of times. Most of the custard should be absorbed in the end.
Heat a skillet over medium heat, spray with oil.
Place 2 slices at a time in the skillet and cook, pressing lightly on the bread so the bottom surface touches the skillet.
When the bottom is golden turn them over and cook until the other side is golden.
Remove to a plate and keep warm.
Maple syrup, salted caramel cream or vanilla whipped cream, a wedge of lemon, a few grains of special large flake salt (maldon, fleur du sel, etc.)
To make the salted caramel cream whip a cup of cream with a little sugar and a tablespoon of caramel, then add a few grains of maldon salt at the end.