I’ve made this so many times in my life that I no longer need a recipe. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t write it down, though! Sometimes, all we eat is the French toast. Sometimes we make less and serve it with scrambled eggs and bacon. It’s all good! (I have a low carb version, too.)
2 whole pasture-raised eggs
1 cup organic milk, plus 1/2 cup organic heavy cream
1 teaspoon Nielson-Massey Madagascar Bourbon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Splash of Cointreau or bourbon (optional)
1 teaspoon orange or lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
Pinch of sea salt
Unsalted Kerrygold butter, for cooking
8 slices bread (French bread, raisin bread, brioche, or challah), sliced 1/2- to 3/4-inch thick
Cinnamon sugar or granulated sugar (see note)
Heat oven to 200 degrees, and place a wire rack on a sheet pan inside.
In a shallow pan (I use a lasagne pan), whisk the eggs, milk, cream, vanilla, almond extract, liqueur, zest, spices, and salt until foamy and smooth. Place slices of bread in the egg mixture and soak. Turn them a few times in the mixture until evenly saturated.
Place a small lump of butter (enough to coat the bottom of the skillet when melted) in a large, heavy nonstick skillet over low heat. It will melt very slowly.
When butter is just melted and bubbling, raise heat and bring to a sizzle. Lift a slice out of the egg mixture, gently shake off any excess, and place in the pan. Repeat until the skillet is full, and let the slices cook at a sizzle for about 2 minutes, until just turning golden brown on the bottom.
Add another small lump of butter to the pan and flip the slices over, swirling the pan so that the fresh butter coats the bottom. (This will allow the second side to brown.)
Continue cooking over low heat until the second side is golden brown. Dust with cinnamon sugar*, flip again, and dust the other side. Test for doneness by pressing the center: The dent should slowly spring back. If it remains, the interior is not yet cooked. Continue cooking at low heat, flipping occasionally, until done.
Transfer to the oven to keep warm while cooking remaining bread. Serve as soon as possible.
Top with maple syrup, berries, jam, sliced bananas, orange slices—whatever you’d like.
Note—Dusting the slices with sugar gives them a lacy, brown crust; plain or cinnamon can be used. To make cinnamon sugar, combine 1/4 cup granulated sugar with 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon. Shake or mix to combine.
Alternatives: For vegan buddies, I’ve made French Toast with nut milks (soy milk’s my favorite), skipped the eggs, and cooked in cold-pressed canola oil. It’s not as rich, of course, but tastes great.