Sunday, February 19, 2012

French Toast a la Wizenberg

Molly Wizenberg's book A Homemade Life contains a recipe for French toast. It's her (late) father's recipe, and it's great.

We received an unexpected gift of a loaf of challah yesterday. So, naturally, I let it sit out, sliced it into 3/4 inch pieces, and fried it up:

3 large eggs
1 cup of milk
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla (I used the homemade vanilla we've been ripening since October)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly-ground nutmeg

Vegetable oil
Slices of egg bread, about 3/4 inch thick


Whisk the first 6 ingredients in a shallow dish.

Heat a lot of oil over medium-high heat in a cast-iron pan. (Molly's instructions on this stick in my head. She wrote that you *don't* want to pour in oil, then swish it around until it coats the pan. You want to pour in oil and keep pouring until it covers the bottom. THAT'S A LOT OF OIL, FOLKS.)

When it's hot (toss in a flick of the egg/milk mixture. If it sizzles, you're good), put a couple of pieces of the bread in the egg/milk mixture. Soak 30 seconds on each side, then put them in the hot oil. Cook about 1 minute on each side. It'll get lovely brown crispy bits.

My challah was about 4 inches across and 3 inches tall. I could do three pieces at a time in my 10" pan. If you are using bigger bread, change your approach accordingly. You don't want to crowd the pan.

When the toast is done, remove pieces to a rack (I use my cake cooling rack) and let them cool a tiny bit before eating with maple syrup. My small challah made enough for two adults and one not-very-hungry toddler. They're crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and really very good.

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