This foolproof French toast recipe guarantees crisp, custardy slices by keeping things simple. Stale bread is standard, but we got better (and more efficient) results from oven-dried slices.
For the batter, we beat milk, egg yolks, and melted butter for an indulgent coating; brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon added warm, sweet flavors. After soaking the slices in batter, we cooked them over medium-low to gradually impart a golden-brown crust.
Prevent the butter from clumping by warming the milk in the microwave or a saucepan until warm to the touch (about 80 F). An electric griddle set at 350 F can also be used to cook the French toast, but it may take an extra 2 to 3 minutes per side. Cook the slices all at once using the entire amount of butter for cooking.
Start to finish: 1 hour
8 large slices hearty white sandwich bread or challah1 1/2 cups whole milk, warmed
3 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
To Make The French Toast:
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 F. Place bread on wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. Bake bread until almost dry throughout (center should remain slightly moist), about 15 minutes, flipping slices halfway through baking. Remove bread from rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Return baking sheet with wire rack to oven and reduce temperature to 200 F.
Whisk milk, egg yolks, sugar, 2 tablespoons melted butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt together in bowl. Transfer mixture to 13 by 9 inch baking pan.
Soak bread in milk mixture until saturated but not falling apart, 20 seconds per side. Using firm slotted spatula, remove bread from milk mixture, 1 piece at a time, allowing excess milk mixture to drip back into pan, and transfer to clean rimmed baking sheet in single layer.
Melt 1/2 tablespoon butter in 12 inch skillet over medium-low heat. Using slotted spatula, transfer 2 slices soaked bread to skillet and cook until golden on first side, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until second side is golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer toast to wire rack in oven. Wipe out skillet with paper towels and repeat with remaining bread, 2 pieces at a time, adding 1/2 tablespoon butter to skillet for each batch. Serve.
Nutrition information per serving: 401 calories; 171 calories from fat; 19 g fat (10 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 176 mg cholesterol; 489 mg sodium; 45 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 18 g sugar; 10 g protein.
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