Perfect (for me) French Toast

French ToastI usually eat breakfast alone. If that sounds lonely, a quick peek at Simply Breakfast can teach you that solo breakfasts are an art form- intimate, meditative moments where coffee and toast become the stuff of ceremony. (Sometimes solo breakfast is a floppy packet of microwaveable oatmeal, but i’m not going to go there).

My normal routine is as follows: I turn on the coffee machine and make a cup of coffee, which I drink while making breakfast (oatmeal, rye toast, or yogurt, or a hybrid I like to call “toastmeal” or “toastgurt”). When I sit down to table there’s half a cup of coffee left, and just enough time to enjoy before I make the mad dash to the bus stop.

The other morning, though, I wanted something different. With two stale loaves of Zingerman’s challah on hand, it seemed a crime not to make French toast. But, I wasn’t sure where to begin, because my idea of French toast has evolved considerably since it sprang into existence on a plate in my parents’ kitchen. I didn’t want the kind of French toast that is essentially a piece of bread with an egg fried on the outside- I wanted the creme brulee French toast from my beloved (and now closed :() Cafe Mozart.

Sadly, this French toast is not that French toast*. It is, however, the perfect French toast for me right now. Made with half-and-half, it’s not quite as guilt inducing as the “Bell-less, Whistle-less Damn Good French Toast” from food52, and the recipe has enough (easy) steps that you feel like you’re actually making something special, not just dunking a slice of bread in some egg. Because the toast gets a last-minute bake in the oven, it ends up with crisp edges, which are a lovely contrast to the custardy interior. My first batch came out a little dry, so I recommend taking liberties with the soaking time, and adding plenty of maple syrup or fruit topping.

(*please tell me I did not just reference an Old Spice commercial while discussing French toast…)
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