8 slices bread
1 cup milk
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon sugar, optional
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
2 tablespoons butter, or probably more
1. Put a nonstick pan, over medium-low heat while you prepare the egg mixture for soaking the bread.
2. Crack the eggs on a flat, hard surface and open them into a wide, shallow bowl large enough to hold a few slices of the bread. Whisk in milk, sugar, salt and vanilla extract.
3. Soak the bread well with the egg mixture.
4. Put a pat of the butter in the skillet. When it stops foaming, lift a piece of bread from the egg mixture and let it drip off, then transfer it to the pan. Repeat soaking and transferring the bread until the skillet is comfortably full; don’t overcrowd or the toast will be hard to maneuver and won’t brown properly.
5. Cook each piece until nicely browned underneath, 3 to 5 minutes for each side, adjusting the heat if necessary to keep the bread from burning.
#3 Ways to Vary French Toast
1. Instead of vanilla, flavor the custard with a pinch of ground cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, or nutmeg.
2. Press sliced almonds or unsweetened grated coconut onto the top of the bread before transferring it to the skillet.
3. While the toast is staying warm in the oven, melt a little more butter in the skillet and cook some sliced apples or bananas for 2 to 3 minutes and serve them on top of the toast.
# Buttery, eggy breads like challah or brioche make soft, custardy French toast with crisp outsides. For something heartier, try a whole grain loaf. Airy loaves with big holes work only if you cut them 1 to 2 inches thick.
# Slightly dry stale bread is ideal here, because it soaks up the egg mixture like a sponge. Fresh bread is okay too, but dry the slices on a baking sheet in a 200°F oven for a few minutes if you have time.
# Topping ideas: fresh berries, yogurt, maple syrup, jam, a sprinkle of powdered sugar, or a drizzle of molasses