On weekends, we usually take one day to have a good old-fashioned country breakfast. Usually pancakes or crepes but if we’re lucky enough to have some stale bread left over from the week, we make french toast. We’ve never found a better recipe than this. Because part of the cooking takes place in the oven, you can also serve everyone all at once.
We topped this with syrup for the kids and for us a dollop of the reserved rhubarb compote left from a round of rhubarbaritas. But we noticed strawberries are in season and inexpensive so they’d make a great topping as well.
If you make extra toast, it will keep in the fridge ready to be warmed for another breakfast or reheated and topped with a slice of ham and a slice of cheese and for a decadent open-faced sandwich. Our kids fought over the one we made for ourselves as an experiment.
1 cup half-and-half
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons sugar or 2 tablespoons honey, warmed in microwave for 20 seconds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
8 (1/2-inch) slices day-old or stale country loaf, brioche or challah bread (we used ciabatta)
4 tablespoons butter
In medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, sugar (or honey), cinnamon and salt. You may do this the night before. When ready to cook, pour custard mixture into a pie pan and set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Dip bread into mixture, allow to soak for 30 seconds on each side, and then remove to a cooling rack that is sitting in a sheet pan, and allow to sit for 1 to 2 minutes.
Over medium-low heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a 10-inch nonstick saute pan. Place 2 slices of bread at a time into the pan and cook until golden brown, approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and place on rack in oven for 5 minutes. Repeat with all 8 slices. Serve immediately with maple syrup, whipped cream or fruit.
Adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe on the Food Network