Holidays are wonderful events filled with food, family, food, fun, food, food. And leftovers. Lots of leftovers.
Don’t get me wrong. I really do like leftovers, because after all the effort that went into preparing the holiday dishes, the last thing I want to do is cook more. Popping something into the microwave at that point is right up my alley.
Eventually, you end up with two conundrums: you don’t have enough leftovers to make another full meal, or you just can’t make yourself eat it as is anymore. The reality is that stretching out leftovers to make a full meal is easy, but some leftovers demand a little more assistance.
Bread of any kind is a case-in-point example. It gets stale. It gets dry. “Easy fix!” you may say, make croutons, make meatballs or meatloaf. True. What if it’s a sweet bread, like Tsoureki, Panetonne, Brioche? “Easy fix!”, I say, make French toast.
Sweet Bread French Toast Recipe
- The basic formula for the egg and milk mixture is 1/4 cup milk for each egg used, make an amount suitable for the quantity of bread you have (I had double this amount and made 8 slices, but this may vary due to the moisture content of your bread)
- Bread, any kind of yeast bread will do, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
- Salted butter, for cooking the toast
Scramble the eggs in a bowl until they are almost a little foamy. You need the mixture to be as smooth as possible. Add in the milk and mix in completely.
Pour this mixture into a shallow dish. A pie-dish works great for this. Preheat a skillet on high heat with a couple of chunks of butter until it just begins to bubble, then turn the heat to medium and make sure the bottom of the skillet is coated with the melted butter. While the butter is melting, dunk in a couple of slices of the bread (or whatever will fit in your dish) into the egg mix. If your bread is very dry it may take a little more time for the liquid to be absorbed. Fresher bread may only need a second or two. Turn the bread over to coat the other side. I find it helpful to do my bread dunking at the stove so I can keep an eye on the butter at the same time.
Carefully lift out the pieces of wet bread from the dish. If they absorbed too much of the mixture you will want to let the excess drain out until liquid isn’t dripping out. Place each piece in the skillet and cook until lightly browned on that side. The heat needs to be set so that your toast doesn’t get scorched the moment it hits the pan, but still hot enough that the liquid sizzles and the eggs set quickly.
Once the first side is set, carefully flip each piece over. I like to use two spatulas: the first scoops under a slice then tips it onto the second, which then gently lays it down into the hot butter. This helps prevent dangerous grease splatters! Continue to cook until the second side is set and no liquid is seeping out if you pierce it with a knife. In the end, the toast should be moist but not squishy wet. While the second side is cooking, you may want to get the next set of bread slices soaking so you can have a smooth transition from one batch to the next. Be sure to add more butter to the skillet as necessary.
French toast is traditionally served with a sprinkling of powdered sugar, but we also like syrup, or even some type of jam warmed and thinned with just a little water. And butter. Of course. Enjoy!