Let's talk about French Toast!!!
On Tuesday night, I was preparing one of my favorite brunch dishes of all time: Peach French Toast. I was preparing said dish for my local MOPS group meeting (where, incidentally; I believe we picked up the aforementioned stomach flu, go figure), when I realized something:
I love this dish.
I love it for a multitude of reasons, but mostly because:
1) It has to prepped the night before.
2) It is so ridiculously easy.
3) It is so ridiculously delicious. Beyond delicious. Delectable, sweet, and rich beyond all of your wildest breakfast dreams. Decadent.
Are you dying for the recipe yet? Fear not; all in due time. But first, I must speak earnestly with you about french toast. Friend to friend. Complete honesty. Here we go:
I have never been a big fan of french toast.
As a child, I didn't loathe it. But I certainly didn't love it. My mom had all of the basics needed to produce a yummy french toast. Milk, eggs, cinnamon, a pinch of salt, and maybe a little vanilla. She used our sandwich bread, which was a good, respectable bread. But it just never sent me to the moon. Ditto for restaurants. I never had a french toast at a restaurant that thrilled my soul. But things were about to change. Oh, were they ever.
About a year ago, while studiously perusing through one of my favorite cookbooks, I stumbled across a most intriguing recipe for French toast that called for...wait for it...prepare yourself...using FRENCH BREAD for FRENCH TOAST!!!!
It was a revelation that was practically beyond the processing abilities of my mind. French bread for French toast? Why had I never thought of this before? I mean, REALLY? It just made sense! Besides the fact that the entire recipe was incredibly simple, I was so fascinated and intrigued that I simply had to try it as soon as humanly possible. I dashed off to the store for a French baguette. I followed the recipe exactly except one little thing...Molly Wizenberg swears by cooking the French toast in hot oil. Alas; I simply cannot bring myself to try that just yet. It has something to do with three small boys under the age of five running around the kitchen in circles, yelling,"I'm hungry? What are we eating? I'm hungry! What are we eating?" I find the idea of cooking batter-infused slices of bread in a sizzling cast-iron skillet a bit too terrifying at this point in my life. One day...one day. In lieu of the hot oil, I fired up my faithful electric griddle, slathered it with embarrassing amounts of butter, and went to it. Wow. What can truly be said of making French toast the way it was meant to be made?
You. Will. Never. Go. Back.
I mean it! To this day, I have never made French toast with anything but French bread. And that goes for the illustrious, most glorious, most beguiling Peach French Toast. Here's a handy tip: French bread freezes incredibly well. Toss a loaf into your freezer here and there, and you'll never be without the ammunition for a most effective French Toast. And so, without further ado, here is the recipe for Peach French Toast.
Peach French Toast from Danielle Cooper (thanks, Danielle!!)
-Start the night before!
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 can (29 oz.) sliced peaches in light syrup, drained
1 1/2 cups milk (at least 2%. Don't you DARE use skim!!)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
12 slices of day-old French bread (the soft, inexpensive grocery store brand kind)
-Bring brown sugar, butter, and water to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, and please, whatever you do, don't be an idiot like me and stick your finger in the pan for "just a little taste". Burning. Much burning. Stir the sugar and butter mixture often while simmering. Pour into a 9x13 pan; top with peaches. Arrange the slices of bread over the peaches. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, milk, and vanilla; slowly pour over the bread. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
Remove from fridge 30 minutes before baking. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake for another 25-30 minutes or until bread is golden brown. Serve with a big spoon.
See? Easy peasy. I promise this will be an absolute hit at your next brunch/luncheon. Enjoy, my friends, and remember: French Toast made with French Bread= The way it was meant to be!