Sunday, September 13, 2009

Lou's Most Excellent Marinated French Toast

It sounds disgusting, but it's not. And 'marinated' may be too strong a word here anyways.

I love French toast and I hardly make it because when the urge comes, I usually succumb to traditional bagel, eggs and sausage for some strange reason. But yesterday afternoon I was craving French toast.

After picking up a loaf of challah from Morty's - which a) took nearly 10 minutes for some strange reason, b) wound up not being great challah, and c) both of which should be inexcusable if I have to wait 10 minutes for a cold loaf of bread - I was trying to solve the classic problem of French toast that no one but me thinks is a problem: how to get the cinnamon flavor in the bread.

When you whip up the egg and milk mixture for French toast, upon adding the cinnamon it doesn't dissolve. This is for one simple reason. Ground cinnamon is a very fine, dense powder and doesn't absorb water very easily...kinda' like pepper. Now you have bread coated in egg/milk/cinnamon and when you cook it the cinnamon sticks to the outside leaving plain tasting bread.

Thinking of vanilla ice cream, part of getting vanilla into the ice cream is having the whole bean sit in the hot milk. So why not do the same with cinnamon sticks in milk then use the milk for the French toast?

B.I.N.G.O. Did I hit the nail here on the head or what? I should copyright this shit here. Maybe even patent, eh? It's pretty new, novel I would say, and a bit non-obvious.

1 loaf bread (challah, Italian, whatever)
1½ cups of milk
3 whole cinnamon sticks
2 - 3 eggs*
1 TBS sugar
Unsalted butter
Powdered sugar (optional)

In a one quart sauce pan, add the milk, sugar, and cinnamon sticks and bring to a simmer (not boil) over medium heat. Once simmer has been achieved, remove from heat, cover, and let rest for 30 minutes. Go for a run or something (that's what I did...believe it or not).

Cut the bread into thick slices - near one inch if you're into that.

Remove the cinnamon sticks and add the milk into a large bowl. Add two eggs (for more crispy toast) or three eggs (for more eggy), a pinch of salt, and whip up.

Heat pan - cast iron if you've got it - over medium heat and add a big honkin' amount of butter to it (about ½ TBS per slice of toast) and heat until the butter starts to bubble. Dip the bread fully into the mix and sit for about three seconds, flip, and dip and hold for about three seconds. Add immediately to the pan.

Cook the toast on each side until well browned and serve immediately. Garnish with powdered sugar if desired.

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