How to make the best French toast is a very easy question. Why? Because the French toasts are one of the easiest recipe made with ingredients that you normally already have in your kitchen: eggs, milk, sugar and butter. And of course toast.
In France, we say: “pain perdu” the exact translation is lost bread. Which means exactly that it’s old bread that no one want to eat anymore as it’s hard bread.
What can of toasts you should use?
It could be bread leftover, soft bread or even brioche.
Origin of the French toast
At the origins of French toast, a poor man’s dish that originated in the early years of the Roman Empire, before gaining its letters of nobility a few centuries later at the table of Henry IV and spreading throughout the world.
It is one of the oldest known desserts in gastronomy, since its first mention dates back to the first century BC. Stale bread soaked in milk and fried in oil, all topped with honey, the equivalent of sugar at the time.
From a poor man’s dish to a dish prized by kings and the aristocracy
In the 13th century, we see the mention of “pain ferré”, while the name “pain perdu” probably arrives between the 14th and 15th century. But it is then only a kind of bread doughnut. The recipe for French toast as we know it, sweetened, appears in the 17th century. Originally a poor man’s dish, French toast managed to make its way to the upper echelons of French society, even reaching the table of the king. Legend has it that Henri IV, king from 1589 to 1610, was fond of it.
It is from there that the French toast, dish henceforth appreciated by the aristocracy, is exported a little everywhere in the world. It is notably found in the kingdom of England under the name of French Bread. Note that “French” here does not mean “French”, but is derived from old Irish. And in this language, “French” would mean “sliced”. Nothing to do with a tribute to our gastronomy.
Stale bread, or brioche
If it is also available in savory versions, the traditional French toast recipe is indeed sweet. To start, you need stale bread. The current trend in trendy restaurants is to use brioche instead. But it can break down before baking.
For four nice slices of stale bread, you need a few spoonfuls of vanilla sugar and a little milk. Soak the bread before cooking it in a hot pan with fat. For a savory variation, you can simply replace the vanilla sugar with grated cheese. This will bring a grilled and gratinated side which is really interesting. Note that it is possible to use different types of cheese.
1 cup milk
½ cup sugar
½ cup butter
We start first with the topping made with caramelized bananas.
Slide your bananas and in a wide fried pan add ¼ cup of butter. Temperature is over high. Now add all your sliced bananas in the butter and add ¼ cup of sugar in.
Preparation of the batter
In a large bowl, crack 2 eggs and add ¼ cup of sugar. Mix well and add 1 cup of milk into the eggs’ mixture.
Bake the toasts
Add 1/4 cup of butter into your fried pan while you dip the toast into the batter. Soak the toasts quickly in the mixture, if you leave them too long, they may become soggy.
Sear them on your biggest frying pan over medium plus heat in which you will have placed a knob of butter, 2 mn approximately on each side.
Serve, the first batch is ready, continue with the next.
For the service
Place the French toast into a plate and add your caramelized bananas, as an option you could add chocolate sauce or Marple syrup if you want to.
As well, I like making a mascarpone cream with eggs and vanilla, it’s absolutely amazing.
To finish, for an original presentation, do not hesitate to cut your slices of French toast with cookie cutters in the shape of small hearts.
There is something else I need to tell you. It’s that you could combine 2 toppings together.
You could prepare a mascarpone cream which will make your French toast more than perfect
If you would like to cook online this recipe with me, do not hesitate to contact me and I will be pleased to provide you a private lesson.
Do you know that you could bake your brioche yourself? Yes, you have the recipe on this blog! Click here for having it : Brioche recipe