Good ol’ French toast for breakfast!
Call it food fight! 😀 Yeah, believe it or not, there are conflicting origins of the French toast recipe. Wonderopolis wrote that the recipe and name were first brought by early American settlers from 17th century England. In the ever-trusty Wikipedia, it states that French toast dates back to a Roman gourmet in the 1st century AD; also alluded to as a poor man’s meal.
As a child, I remember my mom or one of my siblings preparing this simple breakfast treat. Sometimes, I would have it for merienda (snack), either dusted in white sugar or Karo corn syrup. I thought of it as the closest cousin to a pancake (which we call hotcake in the Philippines) but I discovered later on that the French toast was very much like waffles, crepes and even pudding! The recipe is basic and the preparation is easy but one can add toppings to make it more special for the kids. I remember the chef uncle of my best friend from college, who lives in San Diego, made his French toast extra special for us by topping it with bacon and whip cream! Others even put ice cream, nuts, chili or even ketchup. (Check out the Wikipedia entry on French toasts toppings in different parts of the world!)
Eventually, as I began to learn how to prepare meals for myself, I’ve always included French toast because it’s easy to prepare, filling and best of all, it’s a complete meal. It has protein (eggs and milk), fat (butter), carbohydrates and grains (bread), vitamins and minerals (fruit). Try this one out, Dads and Moms and enjoy!
8 pieces of day-old bread, sliced or cut into halves
1 cup of milk (whole cream, homogenised or half and half is better)
A few drops of vanilla for flavoring or ¼ tsp. cinnamon powder
Unsalted butter or vegetable oil for frying
Fresh fruit (banana, strawberry or mango) or jam
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Toast the bread for 8 minutes to give the bread a crunch.
2. Meanwhile, beat eggs on a shallow dish then add the milk and continue whisking until the eggs are well-beaten.
3. Add vanilla and cinnamon powder.
4. Dip the toasted bread on the mixture until both sides are well-coated.
5. Do not over soak the bread! You may want to “park” the soaked bread on a plate.
6. Melt butter in a preheated pan on MEDIUM heat. Once the butter melts, place the egg milk soaked toasts immediately. You know that one side of the toast is cooked when the middle part rises. Flip the toast to cook the other side. This usually takes 3-5 minutes.
7. Dust the toast with cinnamon powder or confectioner’s sugar topped with a fruit or jam with maple or corn syrup*. Serve with hot coffee for grown-ups and hot chocolate for kids. This recipe is good for 4-5 people.
- I read that some cooks add cornflakes, nuts and some flour on the egg mixture to give it an extra crunch then bake it. If you have the time, you can try this one, too.
- Instead of maple syrup, I tried using condensed milk and it tastes really good.
- My wife and I were treated by my late uncle to Arby’s French toast in Hawaii years ago. I’ve tried copying the recipe from memory but with minimal success. I guess this is the closest to the Arby’s recipe.