My friend Nancy had a party and had a couple of extra baguettes which she gave me. I wasn’t sure what to do with them, I thought about making bread crumbs or croutons, then decided it was time to introduce the boys to french toast. For two days in a row we had french toast for breakfast and three of the four boys couldn’t get enough of it. This is a particularly good recipe, especially with bread that has been sitting around for a couple of days. The boys are always asking when they can have french toast for breakfast again.
Years ago, I’d make french toast using regular sandwich bread and always found it to be a bit soggy in the middle. I found that sandwich bread really sopped up the egg mixture and the resulting french toast was never perfect. Using day or two old baguettes yields a nice unsoggy french toast that is more like the french toast I order in restaurants. It’s really quite good. After I made it, I decided to try just a little piece and found myself eating four pieces in rapid succession. When you make this, you definitely want to make sure that the bread has been sitting around for a day or so.
Recipe by Alton Brown
1 cup half-and-half
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons honey, warmed in microwave for 20 seconds
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 (1/2-inch) slices day-old or stale country loaf, brioche or challah bread
4 tablespoons butter
In medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, honey, and salt. You may do this the night before. When ready to cook, pour custard mixture into a pie pan and set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Dip bread into mixture, allow to soak for 30 seconds on each side, and then remove to a cooling rack that is sitting in a sheet pan, and allow to sit for 1 to 2 minutes.
Over medium-low heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a 10-inch nonstick saute pan. Place 2 slices of bread at a time into the pan and cook until golden brown, approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and place on rack in oven for 5 minutes. Repeat with all 8 slices. Serve immediately with maple syrup, whipped cream or fruit.
Yield: 1 baguette served 3 hungry little boys