Classic French toast, very rarely someone dislike it, right? A easy and simple food served mostly as tea time snack in our region, is mainly a breakfast dish in rest of the world. A simple classic french Toast is nothing but a mish mash of eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla. The flavoring is not used in our place, even if they do, its powdered cardamom.
We can see endless versions of French toast now. Stylish, gourmet, with several twists and make overs. Since this is my first post on French toast, I’m starting off with the classic original French toast. French toast, though named as it is, is not originally from France. Then where did it originate. It is believed to have been in making during the roman empire. The Romans used to dip bread in milk, sometimes in eggs too and fry it in butter, which was called Pan Dulcis.
The name French toast was given by the British in the 17th century which was later adapted by American settlers. Pain perdu was the name it got hallmarked during this era. Pain perdu which literally means lost bread, as stale bread was used for making French toast. According to legends, it was an Albany, New york, inn keeper, named Joseph French who created this dish and advertised it as french toast who an inept in grammar.
Different types of breads are used in different parts of the world. We Indians use normal white sliced bread often. Some use the bakery bread aka challah bread which can be sliced according to your preference. In some parts, they slice the bread and keep it overnight so that it becomes a bit dry and hard. This is done so that the egg and milk mixture does not absorb much of this mixture and becomes soggy.
Sour bread is popular in the United States, Challah bread is the preference of Jewish community. Brioche is considered the best option as it is very rich and will taste super yum. French bread and Pullman loaf are the other two versions of bread customary for this recipe. All these have tight packed crumbs which can hold the shape after the egg wash.
You can serve this with different toppings like maple syrup, icing sugar, berry compotes or couli, or with a variety of fruits like bananas, plum ,peach, apricot or any other fruit of your choice. Since strawberries are in season, I made a compote with it. Ripe blood red strawberries are the best for this. Balsamic vinegar, sugar and vanilla creates a fusion of flavors which perfectly maintains the balance of the whole dish.I’ve used sourdough bread for making this french toast. Its up to you what bread you want to use. This bread gave the apt shape, texture and an added flavor for this french toast. A simple morning brekkie which can be whizzed up quickly and without much effort. Do give it a try and let me know how it worked our for you.
For the Strawberry compote:
Boil everything together. Stick the lid on.
Give a stir when half cooked. Put the lid back on.
Cook till well blended and turns into a puree. Mash up if the strawberries are not broken up, add vanilla and cinnamon powder.
Keep warm till the french toasts are ready.
For the Toast:
Whisk the eggs lightly but well combined. Add rest of the ingredients except bread.
Combine and keep ready.
Cut out the ends out of the loaf.
Slice into 1″ slices
Dip the bread pieces in egg mixture
Keep for 30 seconds
Flip and keep for another 30 seconds
Drain away the excess egg mixture
Heat a pan with Butter and Oil
Place the dipped bread slices
Cook till browned
Flip and brown the other side too
Serve hot as plain French toast or with icing sugar or the with the strawberry compote.