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~ Mel's French-Vanilla French Toast (Pain Perdu) ~

French Toast #1 (Intro Picture #4)The French words for French toast are "pain perdu", meaning "lost bread", because it is a way of reviving bread which becomes dry after a day or two.  The basics of any French toast recipe are pretty simple:  Thickly-sliced, 2-3-day old bread is dipped into a flavored egg/cream mixture, then fried in a skillet containing a coating of oil.  When executed correctly, it emerges from the skillet crisp and golden brown on both sides with a creamy, almost pudding-like center. 

French Toast #6 (In Pan, First Side)It is served immediately topped with butter, maple syrup, fruit preserves or powdered sugar (although, aside from it being pretty looking, I have never quite figured out the fascination with powdered sugar, as I find it overly, almost sickeningly, sweet).  Almost any type of bread can be used, but in my opinion, there are only two types that produce superior French toast:  brioche and egg challah (ha-la).  Both are yeast breads that are enriched with eggs and sugar, with brioche being the sweeter and more flavorful of the two, which makes brioche my first choice and recommendation.  This being said, almost any type of thickly-sliced white bread, like the kind used to make Texas toast, will work quite well too.  That being said, I've made it a few times using my ~ Bread Machine Basics and Cinnamon-Raisin Bread ~ and that is awesome too!

IMG_8257In Melanie's Kitchen, my French-Vanilla French Toast, for some reason, gets served between Christmas and New Years, then occasionally pops up  again for Valentines Day.  I think it is probably because at this time of year, Joe and I have some extra time to wrap ourselves around a leizurely breakfast... coffee, bacon, the Centre Daily Times, CNN, ESPN, The Sopranos, The West Wing  and maybe even some conversation (or not).  I am proud to report that I make kick-a** French toast.  Before getting started on this recipe, you really should read my recipes for ~ Bread Machine Basics & My Brioche Recipe ~, found in Categories 5, 15 & 18, and, ~ Warm Cinnamon-Orange Berry-Blend Sauce ~, found in Categories 6,7,8 & 20.

Beside using great bread and making an easy berry sauce to top my French toast, I've developed a luscious, unique, egg/cream mixture, that knocks this recipe out of the park:  In place of one cup of cream, I use one cup of flavored coffee creamer -- French vanilla is my favorite flavor, with Irish cream and hazelnut cream coming in a very close second and third!!!  

French Toast #2 (Ingredients) 6,  3/4"-thick slices, 2-3 day old brioche or challah

4  jumbo eggs, preferably at room temperature

1  cup International Delight, French vanilla-flavored coffee creamer, or 1 cup heavy or whipping cream

1  tablespoon Grand Marnier (an orange-flavored French liqueur)

1  teaspoon pure orange extract, not imitation

1  teaspoon pure vanilla extract, not imitation

1/8  teaspoon each:  ground allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt

butter, pure maple syrup, preserves, powdered sugar or your favorite topping

peanut or corn oil, for frying

French Toast #4 (Sliced Bread) ~ Step 1.  Slice your bread.  This is a picture of my Bread Machine Brioche.  If you have a bread machine, I obviously encourage you give this recipe a try.  If you are not using my brioche:

I recommend that whatever bread you are using be sliced to the thickness of 3/4".  If it is thinner or thicker, it will affect the frying time I'm going to give to you later on.  In my opinion:  French toast starts with properly sliced bread!

French Toast #3 (Two Cups of Whisked Liquid)~ Step. 2.  In a 2-cup measuring container, using a fork, whisk the flavored coffee creamer, eggs, Grand Marnier, extracts, spices and salt together.

Feel free to be creative and experient by adjusting the egg/cream mixture to suit your palate, but:

Note:  For six slices of 3/4" sliced bread, the "magic measurement" is 2 total cups of liquid.

French Toast #5 (Bread Soaking in Dish)~ Step 3.  Transfer the egg/cream mixture to a 13" x 9" x 2" baking dish.  Place 3 slices of the bread into the liquid. 

Allow the bread to soak for 3 full minutes, then flip it over and allow it to soak for 3 full minutes on the second side.  For 3/4"-thick sliced bread, 3 minutes of soaking time per side works perfectly!

French Toast #7 (In Pan, Second Side)~ Step 4.  Place 3 slices of bread into a 12" skillet to which a coating (1/16") of oil has been placed over medium heat.  Waves will appear across the surface of the oil when it is hot enough to add the bread.  To test the oil temperature, drop 1/4 teaspoon of the egg/cream mixture into skillet.  If it sizzles immediately, the oil is hot enough.

French Toast #8 (All Bread Frying)~ Step 5.  The moment you place the first 3 slices of bread in the skillet, start soaking the second 3 slices of bread, 3 minutes per side, in the remaining liquid.

Cook the first 3 slices of bread 2 1/2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown, turning only once.  Remove the first 3 slices of bread from the skillet and place on a warmed serving plate.  Add a small amount of oil to the pan (1-2 tablespoons) and repeat the process with the second 3 slices of bread.

French Toast #9 (Just Toast, Finished Closeup)Mel's French-Vanilla French Toast (Pain Perdu):  Recipe yields 6 slices of French Toast or 3-6 servings.

Special Equipment List:  cutting board; serrated bread knife; 2-cup measuring container; fork; 13" x 9" x 2" baking dish; 3-minute egg timer; 12" skillet, preferably nonstick; spatula

Cook's Note:  While French toast really does need to be cooked and served immediately, a couple of steps can be done in advance:  Pre-slice and wrap your bread in plastic wrap 1-2 days in advance.  Whisk your egg/cream mixture together and refrigerate 1 day in advance.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2010)


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Thank-you for the kind comment Sajib.

Just a awesome food and also one of my favourite iteam .Thanks to author for shareing this with us .

Wow ! Your French toast sounds delicious. I wouldn't mind having some :)
I would just add some maple syrup... Yummy !


Jeanne!!! Perrrrrrrrfect Christmas morning breakfast!!! Have a wonderful holiday!!!

Yumo! Iam making this for my family on Christmas morning! Thanks Mel.

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