French toast is one of my favorite ways to experience that heavenly sweet-salty combo and it’s easy and perfect for a snow day brunch. I had brie and apples on hand, but pears and a slightly sharper cheese like a young manchego or mild cheddar would work equally well. A dollop of Pear Jam would also be delicious. Here’s my basic french toast recipe:
- Use any stale bread that can stand up to a good soaking. I used half of a day old baguette from Columbia City Bakery for this batch. Slice it up so the pieces are all the same size and thickness if you want to assure even cooking.
- In a shallow dish, mix: 2 cups of milk (I like to use a mixture of regular and coconut milk), 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (whole nutmeg is superior to preground nutmeg if you have it available) and a dash of salt. If you want to get crazy, you can use half-and-half instead of milk.
- Let your bread soak in the custard mix for about 15 minutes, making sure to flip it so both sides can absorb as much as possible.
- Heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat. Melt a tablespoon or so of butter, add more if your bread pieces are large or if you want your toast to end up with nice crispy edges.
- Once the butter gets a little foamy, add your soaked pieces of bread leaving plenty of space between the pieces so they cook evenly. Do not move, poke, peek under, or smush the bread with your spatula. Let it cook in peace for about 4 minutes, then flip. If it’s not as brown as you like it, you can let the 2nd side cook a bit longer, then flip once more to even things out.
- Top with slices of apples and brie, maple syrup, or whatever you love on french toast.
Stuffed french toast is a slightly more fussy but decadent option: Cut slices of bread lengthwise but leave them attached on one end. Stuff slices of your cheese and fruit in there, then do the custard soak. To be sure everything gets cooked through but not burnt on the outside, I cook thicker slices on medium-low heat for a longer time.