French toast may not be an “American classic” when it comes to breakfast items, but it certainly tastes delicious and is easy to make. This year, National French Toast Day lands on a Sunday, so for November 28, consider making French toast for brunch or prepare it as a meal for breakfast for dinner. There are no specifics given as to when National French Toast Day began, but we will be discussing the origin of French toast in today’s article. Read to the end for a couple of French toast recipes that may inspire you.
The term French toast is quite a misnomer. French toast did not come from France since variations of this dish are seen in several European countries, such as Italy and Germany, dating as far back as the 4th century. At any rate, in France, “French toast” is known as pain perdu. The literal translation means lost bread, which is fitting since they traditionally use stale bread in this recipe. If you think about it, stale bread is the perfect kind of bread for French toast since it can soak up the eggy mixture without becoming too soggy like fresh bread.
In the 17th century, the term French toast started taking off in England. Years later, in 1871, the United States began using the term French toast. This delicacy may have started as a marketing ploy in U.S. restaurants since many people view French cuisine as refined or sophisticated. The recipe itself is easy to make from home, but restaurants often make theirs more decadent and rich by adding more butter and heavy whipped cream on top.
Arguably, some of the best types of bread to use for French toast include brioche, baguette, and challah. Brioche is best suited for this recipe since it results in a sweet yet buttery flavor once cooked. Baguette provides a chewier texture on the inside and a crispy crust on the outside. Lastly, challah is the densest out of all of these top types of bread, so it may take longer to soak in the egg mixture. Sure, French toast is not the healthiest breakfast you can eat, but there is nothing wrong with treating yourself every once in a while.
Here’s a recipe for a baked French toast casserole that you may want to try:
1 loaf of your preferred type of bread
8 large eggs
2 cups of whole milk
½ cup of heavy cream
½ cup of granulated sugar
½ cup of brown sugar
2 Tbsp of vanilla extract
½ cup of all-purpose flour
½ cup of brown sugar
1 tsp of ground cinnamon
¼ tsp of salt
1 stick of cold butter cut into pieces
Grease a 9 X 13 baking pan with butter. Tear your bread or cut it into chunks and evenly spread it in the bottom of your pan. Get a large mixing bowl and whisk the eggs, milk, cream, sugars, and vanilla. Pour your egg mixture over the bread, then cover the pan and leave it in the fridge overnight.
The next day when you are ready to bake your casserole, preheat an oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and mix the cinnamon topping in a small bowl. Use a pastry cutter to incorporate the butter until the consistency of the topping looks like small pebbles. Remove your casserole dish from the fridge and sprinkle your cinnamon topping evenly over the bread mixture. Bake your casserole for 45 minutes to an hour and serve warm with your favorite syrup, fruit, and whipped cream. This casserole makes enough for 12 people and is perfect for large gatherings.
If you don’t have time to wait, try this stuffed French toast recipe instead:
12 slices of thick-cut bread
4 large eggs
1 cup of whole milk
1 ½ tsp of ground cinnamon
1 tsp of vanilla extract
3 Tbsp of butter
8 oz. of softened strawberry cream cheese
¼ cup of powdered sugar
½ tsp of vanilla extract
Begin by heating a griddle on medium-low heat. Whisk the eggs, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla in a shallow dish and prepare your bread. Beat the filling ingredients with a hand mixer and spread it onto half of your slices. Leave about ½ inch of space on the outer edges and place another piece of bread on top to create a sandwich.
Melt the butter on your griddle, dip your stuffed French toast in the egg mixture, and let it cook for about 4 minutes per side. Serve warm with your favorite syrup and enjoy.
From all of us at The Lintonian, we wish you a very happy National French Toast Day! Be sure to celebrate this unofficial holiday with those you love.