Saturday, April 17, 2010

Puffed French Toast

Oh. My. Goodness. 

I am in love.

Oh don't worry, Mr. Vittles, it's not what you think...  I wouldn't do that to you on our half-year anniversary (yes, that's today!)

But I am in love with a slice of bread that's been fried until its crisp on the outside yet soft on the inside, and then rolled in cinnamon sugar.


Now this is a very special friend, because if I ate this on a regular basis I might not fit out my front door.

But on a special occasion, like today, this french toast is AMAZING.

I saw this recipe a while ago on one of my favorite food blogs, Our Best Bites, but I was having trouble finding Texas Toast at the store.  (For those of you who are not familiar, its basically just thick white bread)

Then this week, not only did I find it, but it was actually on sale.  Which was clearly a sign that I needed to make this.  Immediately.

And Mr. Vittles only has one day (Saturday) off work now that the weather is getting warmer (he manages a golf course) so luckily our half-year anniversary coincided with his off-day :)

I even dragged myself out of bed at 8:15 AM, which is almost unheard of for me on a weekend!  Mr. V is an inhumanly early riser by nature, he gets up at 3:45AM for work, and 5:45AM on a day off.  (Crazy, right?)  But I have always hated waking up, and usually sleep til 9 or so when I have nothing to do.

I have enough friends with kids to know that I have to appreciate sleep while I can.

But... I got myself up, and boy am I glad that I did.

Now I will confess, I don't really love french toast.  Mr. V does, but he likes it soft... which is precisely why I don't like it.  I like the taste but not the texture.  It's usually all ... bleh.

You probably won't find "bleh" in the dictionary but you know what I mean.  Rubbery and limp.  Ew.

So this recipe is a good compromise for us - it has a nice crispy crust for me, but still a soft middle for Mr. Vittles.

And we both love cinnamon sugar :)

Puffed French Toast

  • 1 egg
  • 4 t. sugar
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C. milk
  • 1/2 C. half & half
  • 1/2 C. flour
  • 1 1/4 t. baking powder
  • 6 slices Texas style toast, cut in half diagonally (you could also cut them into strips for french toast sticks!)

Preheat oven to absolute lowest setting (you will only be using oven to keep cooked toast warm until you eat it).  Line a baking sheet with 2 layers of paper towels.

In a large skillet or frying pan, heat about 1/4" of vegetable oil over medium heat. In a shallow bowl or pie plate, whisk together eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla, milk, half & half, flour, and baking powder. 

Test oil heat by flicking some water into the frying pan. If it pops, reduce the heat. If hardly anything happens, turn up the heat. If it sizzles, it's just right.  (This is important - too hot oil will burn toast before it has a chance to cook, and too cool oil won't cook fast enough & too much of the oil will soak into bread)

Working quickly, take each 1/2 slice of bread and soak it both sides in the liquid mixture. You want the bread to be saturated, but not soggy. Gently shake to remove excess batter and place in hot oil. Cook until puffed, golden brown, and a nice, crispy crust has formed on each side  - probably 3-5 minutes per side. (Monitor them closely!)

When cooked, remove from oil and place on baking sheet lined with paper towel in oven.  

Then when all slices are done, remove baking sheet from oven and roll each slice in cinnamon sugar. Serve warm.

Note:  Mr. V and I ate them plain and they were awesome - but you can use a little syrup too if you like!

Recipe Adapted from Our Best

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