My late father deserves a lot of credit for this recipe. Not just because he taught me to cook, but because he used to make this amazing Mexican Vanilla French Toast.
The addition of vanilla creates the most GLORIOUS smell when you cook it!
Daddy would have used plain old white bread, but I love using cinnamon bread.
Check out this fantastic loaf I bought at my local farmer’s market.
Perfectly slicing fresh bread takes some practice. My first attempts years ago were a mess!
If you’re just too intimidated, Pepperidge Farm makes a cinnamon swirl bread that is also fantastic for French toast. That’s what I used the first several times I made this recipe.
Quick tips if you’re new to slicing fresh bread.
(Scroll to ingredients, if you’re already a pro slicer.)
The knife is key.
Pictures of huge knives can be a little scary, so I added a nice zinnia from my garden in a pretty little Waterford vase from my aunt. See? Not scary!
You should still be able to clearly see the edge of the knife. That is a proper bread knife. Check out the deeply serrated edge.
A back and forth sawing motion will keep you from squashing your bread. Mashing down like a sandwich will give you slices about half as tall as your loaf!
If you are really struggling with getting evenly spaced slices, you can also think about purchasing a slicing guide, which come in lots of styles from wood to plastic. If you’re not looking to spend a lot, something like this one from amazon for $8 with Prime is a good bet.
When I first started baking bread, my bread slicer was my saving grace!
splash of milk
2 Tb vanilla
NOTE: Yes, you read that right. Two tablespoons.No need to be afraid of vanilla!
Daddy always doubled the vanilla in a recipe.
“Have you ever heard anyone complain that something had too much vanilla?”
The man had a point!
Beat egg mixture with a fork. (And if you end up a little short on egg mixture halfway through, it’s not the end of the world, just add another.)
Melt some butter in your pan.
Another of Daddy’s tips. When it stops bubbling, that’s a sign your butter is starting to burn! You want to start adding the rest of your food immediately (which will cool the butter enough to stop the burning).
If you’re too late, don’t fret. Just rinse your pan and start over.
The CRAZY PART:
Only dip one side of your bread at a time. Leave the other side dry.
Brace yourself, friends. That soggy French toast other folks make is under-cooked egg.
I do enjoy an egg over-easy, but soggy French toast doesn’t do it for me.
If you like a moist French toast, you really have to make a casserole to have fully cooked egg.
The moisture in a casserole is actually the egg and milk turning to custard. But in the pan, well, that ain’t no custard, friends.
Add your dipped bread to the pan. Egg-side down, of course.
Keep your bowl of egg mixture handy by the stove.
When the eggy side is cooked, lift it out of a pan with a fork and dip the other side.
(Tricky to do without burning your fingers, so be careful.)
If you get a little bit of raw egg on the cooked side, no worries. You’ll flip to check the underside anyway, so that little bit will cook up almost instantly. It won’t sink through to the inside of your bread because of the cooked egg on the top.
Cook the other side of your eggy toast.
The final product!
It was pretty good!