Cooktop Cove: 7 tips so you can make perfect and tasty French toast every time
Warm, sweet, delicious French toast in the morning is a decadently indulgent treat that's ideal for weekends and makes a show-stopping dish for any brunch. Although French toast is really just fried bread doused in maple syrup, too many cooks get it wrong.
Follow the tips below and never end up with soggy or burned French toast again.
1. Don't let the bread soak up too much liquid.
The mixture that you dip French toast into before adding it to a pan is known as the custard, because it consists of eggs and cream (or milk). When you allow the bread to soak up too much of it, the egg can't cook properly, and the bread's exterior doesn't develop the desired crispness. Limiting exposure to the liquid keeps the interior of the bread from getting water-logged and ensures the entire piece gets a perfect searing.
2. Mix the custard very well.
Everyone knows the custard's there on French toast, but no one should be able to see it. And if you don't mix it well enough, white egg bits make French toast look as though it fell into a fried egg before hitting the plate. To prevent this, whisk the custard really well so all the ingredients are completely blended.
3. Choose the right bread.
Regular thin, white sandwich bread is good for a lot of things, but French toast isn't one of them. It's too thin and falls apart when placed in the custard; plus, it can't soak up enough of it. Instead, choose a bread you can slice yourself into about 3/4- to 1-inch slices. Also, choose a sturdy bread that retains its structure in liquid. Brioche and challah make excellent choices for French toast.
4. Really saturate the bread.
Most people place the bread into the custard to coat it, flip it to coat the other side, then throw it into the pan. But that prevents the inside of the bread from getting velvety, because the custard doesn't have enough time to soak into it. Instead, place the bread into the custard, let it sit for a few minutes. Then, flip it and let the bread soak on the other side. Then and only then should you place it into a pan.
5. Cook over medium heat.
Another mistake is turning the heat too high or too low when cooking your French toast. If the heat is cranked, the sugar in the custard will likely scorch, and the toast also will be burned. If the heat is too low, it won't cause that crispy exterior everyone looks for. Medium heat is the correct temperature, and the French toast should be cooked only for a few minutes on each side.
6. Preheat the pan.
Have you ever had French toast that has a "foot" on it — that inch or two of custard that spreads out from the bread? It happens when you place French toast in a cold pan, which causes the custard to spread out and away from the bread. When the pan finally gets hot, the spread-out portion cooks, still attached to the bread. When you preheat the pan, though, the French toast cooks as soon as it hits the pan, and the custard doesn't have a chance to spread.
7. Use butter and oil in the pan.
If you don't add butter to the pan, the French toast will stick, and it won't have that extra-rich butter taste. But if you add only butter to the pan, it will likely burn and ruin your French toast. To avoid this, place 1 tablespoon of butter in the preheated pan, and then a drop of olive oil. The oil will keep the butter from burning, but the butter will still lend its rich taste.
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