Indulgent additions and toppings are cool, sure, but going berserk in that department doesn’t help if the basics aren’t right. Follow my suggestions – okay draconian rules – and you might find it’s like eating the dish for the very first time.
FRENCH TOAST THE RIGHT WAY:
First of all – obvious but usually ignored - the bread you use is the alpha and omega of things. In fact, making French toast is an object lesson in industrial versus real bread. There’s no way you can use industrial loaf here. The added gluten and improver, plus the whipped-in air, always reveal themselves when this kind of bread hits moisture. You’ll be making French mush, not French toast. A properly made bread, with its strong structure and developed (though not added) gluten, doesn’t dissolve into gloop when soaked. And soaking is what’s needed.
That’s the second big thing. No “dip and go”, please. Never. The bread (which should be sliced thickly) must be left in the egg mix until soaked right through to the centre. I’m talking 10 minutes or more.
Third thing - the egg-milk mix. Only use full-cream milk; around 1 cup to three or four eggs. And if you’re making a sweet version, scenting the mix with cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla is not the worst idea anyone ever had.
Fourth - and here I part with the Romans, pathetically fond as I am of them – fry in generous butter. Not oil and not margarine. And, no, “butter spread” is not butter, it’s pure evil.
Fry on a low heat until golden-brown and eat posthaste. Rolling in cinnamon-sugar while piping hot creates a French toast doughnut which is utter bliss.
If exotic toppings are your thing, then check out this recipe. For a great read on lousy supermarket bread check out this article from The Guardian.