Saturday, November 1, 2014

French Toast Death Match

Now that our hens are laying eggs at a pretty good clip, one thing we've been eating more (in an effort to keep up with the eggs) is french toast.  We've been making regular french toast, stuffed french toast strata, and now, baked french toast (which is kind of a hybrid between the other two).  This morning, we had two of those recipes square off: it was a death match between the incumbent standard french toast and the newcomer baked french toast.  It was a good fight, but we both ended up preferring the baked version.  For the blow-by-blow recap, keep reading.

In one corner: the incumbent!  With a snazzy stove-top sizzle, lightning-fast cook time, and years spent perfecting the recipe, it's Standard French Toast! [applause and cheering.]

And in the other corner: the challenger!  An upstart that boasts a slow-roasting, house-filling aroma and hands-free preparation with no standing over a hot stove or flipping individual slices, it's Baked French Toast! [smattering of polite applause.]

They'll face of here! The hallowed venue of The Homestead Laboratory's Dining Room Table! They've got the best accoutrements available, with homemade Marys (bloody or virgin), freshly-made, vanilla yogurt-glazed fruit salad, piping hot tea and real maple syrup!  Who will win? It's bound to be an epic battle!

In the end, we both thought that the baked french toast, even with its unoptimized recipe, was the better of the two.  The main thing was that the extra soaking time in the batter made the end product more custardy, which we liked.  Plus, while it was baking, we could make a fruit salad, steep some tea, and set the table without risking a burnt slice.  The process for making the baked version was just to dip the bread in the batter and lay it in a baking pan as shown in the picture above (we added some extra cinnamon, should remember to grease the pan first, and will do it in a bigger pan next time!). Same batter as the regular version.  Bake at 375 °F for 20-25 min covered, then 15-20 min uncovered.  We got the idea from Martha, but decided not to be as fancy.

And, just in case you're wondering, our standard batter recipe is approximately the following, all beaten together:
6 eggs
0.25 c. milk
2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon

It's usually enough to batter 8-10 slices of bread.

What's your favorite french toast recipe?  Let us know in the comments section below!


  1. I used to be a French-toast-on-the-stove person, but I've always been way more impressed by French toast from restaurants. I set about doing things differently to see if I could recreate the restaurant style French toast at home. Anyway, the TWO tips I walked away with were these:

    1. Use French bread. We previously used a loaf of Brownberry or regular pre-sliced sandwich bread. French bread is so much better.

    2. Combine baking AND frying. YES! That's the trick. Read on:


    1. Nice! We'll have to try that for the next death match. :-)

      Thanks for the link (I liked the video especially...totally agree about the powdered sugar), and thanks for stopping by!