Pin It Crippen Creek Chronicles: Perfect French Toast

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Perfect French Toast

Whenever we go to a bed and breakfast inn, we have high expectations for breakfast. I don't necessarily expect something exotic and it certainly does not need to look like 10 chefs got together to assemble it. We like common dishes prepared uncommonly well. That is the criteria we use here at Crippen Creek when we plan meals for our guests.

We start with the best local ingredients possible and then prepare it with heart and soul. Whenever I am dissatisfied with a particular dish, it sets me on a search for a better technique or recipe. That was the case with French Toast. For months now I have been searching for the Perfect French Toast. My criteria for French Toast consists of thick slices of bread saturated in a sweet batter, a golden and slightly crispy exterior with a moist custard-like interior. The finished product should fall somewhere short of bread pudding.

Most recipes call for some sort of hearty French or Italian bread but I find their
crust to be too tough and the crumb too chewy. After all we are trying to come close to the bread pudding stage.

My internet search became a daunting task. Lacking the time and resources of America's Test Kitchen, I needed to become proficient at perusing a recipe and deciding whether a particular recipe might fit the bill. After dismissing hundreds of recipes, I bookmarked several that seemed to have potential.

There was one in particular that called to me and I finally got around to trying it out last weekend. Voila! The Perfect French Toast! I discovered the recipe on a blog called Breakfast At Tiffany's.

She calls it Coast Toast and near as I can tell, it comes from a restaurant in La Jolla, CA known as The Brocton Villa Restaurant.

I followed the recipe exactly except for the bread. Our friend Jon Peterson is fond of saying, "there's not a lot of traffic on the highway of the 'extra mile'." So we went the extra mile and made brioche, which turned out to be the absolutely perfect bread for French Toast. Here is the recipe for the French Toast and if enough readers post a request for the brioche recipe, I will do a future blog on that.

A Golden Loaf of Homemade Brioche


batter soaked brioche

Brioche French Toast with maple syrup

Brioche French Toast
Brioche French Toast with a custard-like interior

But what about you? What qualities do you like in French Toast and do you have a favorite restaurant that makes a great French Toast?


Meg DesCamp said...

Don, I love making french toast with brioche, but use the brioche from New Seasons. Haven't yet attempted this bread at home, but I'm def. going to try your french toast recipe. And if you post the brioche recipe, I'll try that, too.

Anonymous said...

yumm that looks amazing. Can't wait for some perfect french toast next time I'm up there.


Theresa said...

MMMMMM Unfortunately, guilt makes me use whole grain bread instead of brioche. I usually use a little cinnamon, dash of nutmeg and maybe some vanilla. Brioche would be lovely!

Anonymous said...

Panettone makes a fantastic French (Italian?!) toast!

Anonymous said...

Cafe duBerry in Portland makes an amazing French Toast and it has many of the same qualities you describe. They use lemon with powdered sugar on top and bake it first.