If Pete offers to make food it will be either popcorn or breakfast. But his popcorn is perfect, and he is the breakfast king — both in terms of eating and cooking. That’s a good thing because I love popcorn and I don’t do breakfast. His specialty is a yeasted waffle, crispy on the outside and melt in your mouth creamy on the inside. (Yes, yes, I’ll have to share that recipe sometime).
But this morning I came downstairs to this heavenly bit of goodness.
Being the resident food tester, I taste every new recipe we try — usually just a bite if it’s anything of the pancake/waffle ilk. I ate a whole piece of this crunchy French toast — unadorned, of course, since that’s the real taste test. It was that good.
The crunch is in the cornflake coating, which transforms ordinary french toast into something more like an exquisite French pastry. In fact, I’m willing to bet this would make an excellent dessert, topped with cream or mascarpone cheese, berry compote, and a dusting of confectioner’s sugar. Or even as is.
So here’s the recipe:
- 1 loaf challah (our preference) or French bread, sliced into 1″ thick slices, preferably day old
- 6 eggs, beaten*
- 1 1/2 c milk*
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/2 t cinnamon
- 2 t vanilla
- dash of bourbon (optional)
- 3 c cornflakes, crushed very slightly (we used Trader Joes organic corn flakes which are a bit sturdier than Kelloggs, making for a better crunch, I think, but this isn’t critical)
- 3 T butter or coconut oil, melted
- oil for coating baking sheets (we used coconut oil, but you can use butter or any other oil)
*You may be able to get away with 4 eggs and 1 c milk if you use French bread. Of course, loaves vary in size, but it’s not a science. You can always mix up more egg and milk if you need it.
Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
Coat 2 baking sheets with oil.
Set aside crushed cornflakes in a shallow bowl wide enough for your largest slice of bread to lay flat.
Beat eggs, milk, salt, and vanilla and pour into another shallow bowl (a pie plate works well).
Dip each slice of bread into the egg mixture, coating both sides.
Press the egged bread into the cornflakes to coat both sides.
Assemble on the baking sheet.
Drizzle everything with butter and bake for about 15 minutes until the cornflakes begin to brown.
Serve hot with the traditional butter and maple syrup, or try any of the above suggestions. If I were eating this for breakfast, I’d try a dollop of whole milk vanilla yogurt (at room temperature), a sprinkle of pecans, fresh berries, and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup.