French Toast Two Ways

May 7, 2011 § 1 Comment

I love breakfast food. I could eat breakfast food any time of the day, which is probably why I decided to make myself some french toast for an early dinner this week.

I know I sound like a broken record at times, and on this blog in particular, but I really do love salty and sweet things together. The combination of french toast and bacon is the ultimate climax of food happiness for me.

I was inspired by smittenkitchen’s latest post on french toast, and I was too impatient and hungry for the recipe she provided so I modified and made two versions, one that I baked in the oven and the other, thinner slices of bread that I fried on a frying pan with butter. BOTH ARE INCREDIBLE.

1. I usually don’t care about this stuff, but in this recipe, the orange zest it totally essential.  It’s so good.

2. Please support your local maple syrup maker and maple farms! The cheap stuff from Aunt Jemima in your grocery store is not real maple syrup.  Even though it’s not really “local”, I got my maple syrup from Morse Farm in Vermont, and it is SERIOUSLY delicious and worth the extra money. They also have a maple butter that’s so out of this world.

French Toast Two Ways Recipe


  • 1 loaf of bread, unsliced
  • 1 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1/3 cup of white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 4 tablespoons of butter, and more as needed
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). In a large bowl, combine milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, orange zest, and salt and mix well. Grease a cookie sheet liberally with butter. Slice half the bread bread into 1 1/2 inch slices and the other half into 1/2 inch slices.
  2. In a 9×9 pan, arrange slices of bread in a single layer and pour custard over them. You may need to do this one batch at a time if the pan doesn’t fit all the slices.  Let it soak for about five minutes, and then flip over and let it soak a few minutes more, until all the slices are soaked.
  3. Move the 1 1/2 inch soaked slices to the greased cookie sheet around 1-inch apart and put into the oven. Bake for about 30 minutes, flipping once half-way through.
  4. For the 1/2 inch slices, heat your large frying pan to medium-high heat and melt a 1/2 tablespoon of butter per slice. Toast until golden-brown on each side.  The second side will take less time.
  5. Remove toast from oven and set aside while you work on the caramel sauce. Heat 1/2 cup of sugar in a dry saucepan on medium-heat until the sugar has melted and becomes a light honey color.  Immediately take off heat and spoon one tablespoon of caramel onto each slice of toast and spread it evenly. BE CAREFUL BECAUSE THE CARAMEL IS CRAZY HOT.
  6. Cook bacon, starting off on a cold frying pan, until golden on each side. The thicker slices of toast with the caramel topping DO NOT NEED ANY maple syrup.  The thinner slices do need maple syrup.  Both taste awesome with bacon.

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