French toast is a fantastic, mouth-watering, sweet treat that is firmly nestled amongst the great breakfast foods. A common and popular breakfast in homes, cafés, and restaurants across the globe.
A beautiful dish that gives off an alluring aroma, that tantalizes the taste buds and will have you almost floating into the kitchen to eat.
Read on to discover all about French toast, learn about its origins, variations from around the world, and perhaps most importantly, how to cook this incredible dish in only 5 minutes!
So What Is French Toast And Where Did It Come From?
Simply put, French toast is sliced bread that’s soaked in eggs and milk, then pan-fried in butter or oil, typically with the addition of usually sweet but sometimes savory toppings.
The French name for the dish is pain perdu, meaning “lost bread”, symbolizing that the bread was lost before it was added to this dish.
This name also reflects the common use of older bread for this dish, as it is no longer suitable for conventional uses, it ‘finds’ purpose when included in the French toast recipe.
Rather fascinatingly, there is a recipe identified as French toast that dates back to the times of ancient Rome. Found in the book Apicius, from the First Century AD, a collection of recipes dating from the Roman Empire.
The instructions for the recipe are as follows, “Break [slice] fine white bread, crust removed, into rather large pieces which soak in milk [and beaten eggs] fry in oil, cover with honey and serve”.
It’s also commonly known as “eggy bread” and “poor knights”, the latter of which stems from the German dish arme ritter (poor knights) and comes from the 14th century.
It is believed the first use of the term “French bread” came from England in the 17th century, perhaps concerning the French dish tostees dorees or “golden toasts”.
What’s The Difference Between “Eggy Bread” And French Toast?
Although the same idea in principle, many see “eggy bread” as including savory fillings or toppings for the pancakes, as opposed to sweet toppings for French toast. Though this of course is not set in stone, as there are regional and national variations of the dish and
Which Bread Is Best To Use For French Toast?
You can use almost any bread for French toast, it really comes down to personal preference. However, it’s important to consider that for this dish, the bread needs to be sturdy, thick, and dense so that it’s suitable for absorbing flavors and won’t break down when being fried.
Some popular choices include traditional white bread, french bread (baguette), brioche, and sourdough. If planning to make this dish more than once, why not play around and try different kinds of bread each time?
How Long Does It Take To Cook French Toast?
Like with many recipes, French toast can be delicious when cooked quickly when short on time, or one can take a bit more time to cook the dish if they have the luxury of more time (who has that in the morning?!).
There are numerous variations in ingredients, cooking methods, and allocated cooking time, though in this article we are looking at how to cook this fantastic dish in only five minutes! A quick and easy technique to ensure a scrumptious snack every time.
Recipe For French Toast (serves 2)
The recipe also requires a couple of minutes of preparation time. Total time including preparation and cooking is 7 minutes.
For Vegan Readers
Switch out the egg for chia seeds soaked in water (and remove the butter). They are a stunning substitute for eggs in all kinds of dishes!
Preparation Time: 2 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
- 2 medium free-range eggs
- 2 large slices of preferred bread
- 60 ml whole milk
- 1tsp butter
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- Fresh fruit – blueberries and strawberries (any fruit will do!)
- Maple syrup or honey
- Icing sugar
- A large pan or skillet
- Mixing bowl
- Whisk or alternative mixing tool
- A spatula
Whisk the eggs, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon together in a bowl. Dip the bread slices into the mixture on both sides, allow the bread a minute soaking each side to ensure an ample amount of the mixture is absorbed. They want to be absolutely smothered!
Heat 1tbsp of cooking oil and 1tsp butter in a large pan over medium heat until the oil is bubbling and the butter is bubbling. Place the soaked bread into the pan and fry on each side for around 2 minutes until it looks crisp and golden.
Remove from the heat and take the bread out of the pan. Serve on a plate, then apply a generous dusting of icing sugar. Top with the blueberries and strawberries before pouring over maple syrup or honey. Alternatively, serve the syrup or honey on the side and add according to taste.
French toast tastes fantastic, whatever toppings one decides to include! Let’s look at some of the most common, as well as some fascinating ideas from around the world.
Bacon And Eggs – These go as well with French toast as they do with pancakes, exquisite savory or sweet with a little syrup for the bacon.
Fresh Fruit – Berries such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are particularly yummy! Banana is also a classic accompaniment, whilst mango or pineapple will provide a particularly vibrant and tropical flavor.
Salt & Pepper – A simple seasoning to allow the flavors of the toast to stand out prominently on the palate.
Avocado & Parmesan – Add grated Parmesan to the bread before frying to create an aromatic and intensely flavorsome toast. Topped with a healthy intake of protein from the tasty avocado.
Nuts & Seeds – For a health-focused energy boost in the morning, consider topping the toast with a combination of nuts and seeds. Packed tight with nutrition, these ‘super foods’ will give you a lift without weighing you down.
Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese – A classic combination that brings a little class to the breakfast table, delicious with chives, red onion, and spinach
Mushrooms – A versatile ingredient that works wonderfully with French toast, another plant-based protein source. Choose your favorite mushroom variant, fry them off in a little oil or butter and generously top the toast.
Yogurt – This makes a truly magnificent topping on French toast, the neutral or subtle tastes of the yogurt highlight the intense flavors of the toast. Works well alone or on top of fresh fruit.
Cheese – Many enjoy French toast with cheese. A dense and flavor-filled savory dining experience
Peanut Butter Or Nutella (Chocolate Spread) – These may both be tasty on regular toast, however on French toast they are on a whole new level of full, rich flavor.
A classic, iconic and mesmerizing dish, French toast is bursting with the flavor of its vibrant ingredients. A versatile meal that’s adaptable to all kinds of flavor as well as various dietary requirements and needs.
This article has given you the foundation to cook your own mouth-watering meal, with some suggestions for toppings to help you along the way. Have fun and enjoy experimenting with the recipe and of course, bon appétit!