French Toast. It is a staple in our household. I fix French toast at least twice a month, sometimes more. Any recipe that feeds our family for under $5 AND I can get my toddler to eat is a win in my book. Over the years my recipe has transformed from using basic white bread and eggs to something a bit more elevated. I hesitate to use the term elevated because let’s be honest, this is a recipe that is hard to mess up but the quality of the ingredients can take the end result to a whole new flavor level.
The biggest factor in upping the flavor of French toast is the bread choice. Several recipes floating around the Internet use sourdough bread and I also opt for this choice. There is a definite difference in sourdough breads so choose your brand wisely. From time to time I use Kroger ClickList, which is awesome if you have little ones...HIGHLY recommend (or King Soopers Clicklist which is the same company here in CO). I had added Kroger brand sourdough bread to my online cart and when I got to the store to pick up my order, the bread I chose was out of stock. The store subbed out a more premium brand at no additional charge and that’s when I was introduced to Izzio Rocky Mountain Sourdough bread which is made in Louisville, CO. The bread is priced at $4.99, which is a bit higher than I normally pay for bread, but I only use half the loaf. I freeze the rest to use for another batch later so I am essentially paying about $2.50 per meal. The package boasts of being crafted from four traditional ingredients: high plains wheat, rocky mountain snowmelt, Utah rock salt, and Boulder county wild yeast. This bread is DELICIOUS and very porous which makes it a great choice for soaking up the batter.
The other ingredients cost me pennies. Eggs, a splash of vanilla, milk, cinnamon and butter are used to make the batter. I whisk all of them together in a shallow baking dish and use tongs to dip the bread. Since the bread is so porous, I don’t soak the pieces in the batter, just dip them to coat with some tongs. Too much batter will leave you with overly eggy French toast.
Next to the type of bread you use, the amount of butter you use can greatly affect the flavor. The more butter, the better but that’s with anything, right? If I had a gif of a kid using a glue stick on paper, that would be me with a stick of butter and bread! Smear it on thick! I have tried using melted butter in the batter but your eggs and milk have to be at room temperature for that method to work. Otherwise, you end up with globs of butter in the batter. So instead of putting it in the batter, I use a good amount on the skillet or griddle and then add more on top once cooked. I also sprinkle the cinnamon on after placing the bread on the griddle because it also globs up when incorporated into the batter. With the price of vanilla rising, I may have to cut back the amount I use in this recipe but a half of teaspoon goes pretty far for the overall flavor. Imitation vanilla has never tasted good to me so I always splurge for real vanilla extract.
Before cooking the battered bread, make sure your skillet is hot or your griddle preheated. I preheat my Presto griddle to 375 but if your griddle is five years old like mine, some parts of the griddle are hotter than others. The plastic rim broke about two years ago and we glued it together a couple of times.
I gave up on piecing it back together and just use it as is. I am looking at replacing it soon but just haven’t got around to it! Once the bread is placed on the hot griddle, cook for about 3-4 minutes before flipping and then let it cook another two minutes or so until slightly browned. Serve with butter and your favorite syrup. Real maple syrup is best but if you’re on a budget like me, I buy Hungry Jack microwavable butter flavored syrup. It’s cheaper and adds more of a butter flavor because again with the buttery-ness (never too much butter!). Some of you may disagree but I am a southern girl at heart.