How is is possible that I’ve never written a post on french toast?? We’ve done waffles, we’ve done pancakes, but I’ve neglected my true breakfast love. French toast, if you can hear this, please accept this humblest of apologies.
Anyway, so french toast, why aren’t we making this more often? And even better question, why would you ever buy the pre-made frozen crap? I don’t get it. Listen, as much as I don’t agree, I can understand you saying making waffles and pancakes from scratch is a hassle, but there’s no excuse for french toast. The point of what i’m saying is to make you feel bad about yourself, and for you to reflect on how poor your decisions are…that’s all…I joke! You’re the best, and that’s why you deserve some french toast, so let’s get some stale bread shall we?
It’s actually a pretty amazing thing.. french toast that is…(are you not following??) I mean you take some old bread which has gone stale (more on that in a second), you add some eggs and milk, and fry. If you really delve into it, there are two things going on, first is the bread staling, which the actual technical term is retrogradation, and the other thing that’s happening is we’re cooking a custard.
Let’s start with retrogradation. Bread is made up of starch, which is a long molecule made up of smaller glucose molecules, and how those glucose molecules are stacked makes the starch either amylose or amylopectin, which are the two main starches found in bread. When starch and water meet, they gelatinize, which basically means the starch absorbs water, and once that happens the starch starts to undergo retrogradation, which means the starch starts to gel, and slowly start to expel moisture. Once a bread is done baking the staling process starts, and given enough time, it will expel enough water to make it feel dry. This is essential for french toast, because what we then do, is replace that lost moisture with the custard (ie – the milk and eggs). Now we’re not really going to get into the custard part, because frankly it’s not that important here, and we’ve done it before.
So just to recap – we need to expel the moisture from the starch network, and then replace it with awesomeness. One way to do that is allow the bread to stale by drying it out on the counter, which will allow the moisture to leave naturally. However, America’s Test Kitchen did a study and found that if you allow the bread to dry out in the oven, it actually will release a lot more moisture, because the process of retrogradation isn’t really that great, so we end up with a lot of moisture actually trapped inside. Basically, the best way to dry out bread is in a very low oven. That being said, this batch of french toast I made by allowing to dry out on the counter over night. By the way, if you’re wondering, don’t use the bread you buy in the supermarkets that mysteriously take weeks to go stale. There are so many preservatives that it won’t stale properly.
Once the bread is good and dried, it’s a matter of allowing it to soak up the eggs and milk, and then frying in some butter. So allow the bread to sit in the egg mixture for a minute or two, to make sure it’s sopped up enough liquid, and then fry, over medium heat.
That’s it. Easy as pie.
By the way, after I wrote all this I realized that I kind of did cover this, in my stuffing post. Bread pudding, which stuffing is a form of, is like french toast’s step brother. Also while we’re on the topic, can I air out one grievance? You know that dish that people make called: “french toast souffle?” That drives me crazy. First of all a souffle is a specific type of dish (you’re still reading, and want to know what defines a souffle??? Well since some people want to go back to their real lives, I’ll leave it for the comments, just ask away…as usual, I don’t bite)…and it’s a freaking bread pudding, so let’s call it that! Whodathunk I’m such a stickler.
Anyway, you’re free to go back to real life.
Good Shabbos, Y’all.
11 thoughts on “French Toast”
What did you top it with? Maple syrup?
Avada…and the real stuff, none of that high fructose corn syrup sorry excuses for maple syrup
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Dude, I ADORE your Pastrami recipe, I really gotta give it a go (strangely though, here in Israel, Pastrami usually means a cured and then roasted turkey breast…).
Thanks…technically you can “pastrami” anything, and if my memory serves me correctly, I think the original pastrami, which came way of Romania, was goose breast, but I can be wrong about that.
Here in the states it’s not uncommon to have “turkey pastrami,” but when someone says pastrami, they’re referring to beef pastrami
Hmm, my grandfather is Romanian, according to him, most Romanian pastrami is made with either lamb or pork… the method is also radically different. As far as I understand it, you cure the meat lightly with salt and lots of garlic and then you smoke or grill it…
Yeah could be…as far as standards go, pastrami is cured, smoked (with a coriander and black pepper rub), and then steamed
But I’m sure there are variations
I think that the reason people call bread pudding “French toast souffle” or “French toast casserole” is for the same reason that prunes have been re-branded as dried plums. Marketing. Bread pudding sounds stodgy and “French Toast _____” sounds like something you would like to eat.
yeah I guess, and I’m ok with re-branding, but let’s at least re-brand correctly. A souffle is when we separate eggs, and use the whipped whites for lift, and the “french toast souffle” is most definitely not that. Just bugs me when we perpetuate errors…kind of like calling “jaw pain” “TMJ”…but that’s a story for a different blog 😉
On Mon, Mar 10, 2014 at 10:07 PM, The Kosher Gastronome wrote:
It has been a long while since we had French toast. This is the perfect time. Thanks.
Thanks! Is it ever not a good time for french toast??