I am pretty sure, that when you mention to someone French toast, they will imagine one Sunday morning, grandmothers kitchen and themselves, some age six or seven, cup of hot tea in one hand, slice of French toast in other and a big smile on their faces. Or maybe that is just me… Anyway, I was fairly surprised to find out that the French toast got his name, not because it originated in France, but because it is made mainly out of the French bread kinds. Most of the French breads stale quickly, but when they are sort of dried-out and little bit crumbly, they are just perfect for this breakfast dish. Although the exact origin is unknown, one of the oldest written recipes for this dish can be found in the Apicius, a collection of the Ancient Rome recipes from late 4th or 5th century AD. In those days, no food could be wasted, so this was some cooks ingenious way to turn old bread into a simple, beautiful and above all tasteful meal which is popular around the globe many hundred years later.
The concept of this dish offers a variety of versions, mixing and adding flavors to the basic idea, but the quality of bread is essential for the successful outcome. I have to mention that the bread should be at least two day-old, since fresh bread will turn out mushy when soaked into the egg mixture. If you do not have old bread, you can easily make fresh bread workable, by putting it on the oven rack and bake it for several minutes, then turn the oven off, open the door, and wait another few minutes, until the bread is nice and crunchy. Each bread you plan to use for the savory French toast recipe should have good texture and the slices should not be too thin, nor too thick. I prefer finger wide slices.
Although most of the people like their French toast sweet, my all time favorite kind is the savory French toast recipe from my childhood, with just a little bit of my adjustment. It is so simple and delicious, and all you need are a few basic ingredients, that can be found in any kitchen and a cup of mint hot tea when served.
- 4 slices of white bread
- 2 eggs
- 4 teaspoons water
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika spice
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- pinch of curry
- about cup of vegetable oil for frying (depends on your frying pan size)
- * The listed ingredients amount is approximate. It depends on the kind of white bread you use, as well size of the eggs.
- bread knife
- cutting board
- shallow pan
- heavy bottom frying pan
- serving plate
- Break the eggs in to a shallow pan, add the salt, pepper, curry and at the end sprinkle paprika all over the eggs. Beat the eggs lightly with fork, adding one by one tablespoon of water, until you got a homogeneous mixture. Heat up a pan with some oil on a medium heat. There should be good amount of oil in a pan (approximately to cover one half of the bread slice when put to fry).
- Now, dip the first slice of bread into a mixture from each side. You should do this quickly, so the bread will not soak too much egg mixture.
- Put it into hot oil. Fry approximately 2 minutes from each side, or until golden brown.
- I like to use larger frying pan, where I could easily fry together three to four pieces of bread together, it’s just quicker this way. But, when doing so, you should remember in which order you put bread into the oil, so they don’t burn. Place the fried french toast on a plate lined with paper towel, to soak up the excess oil. Serve warm.
- For additional flavor, sprinkle some grated cheese, or tomato spread, accompanied with seasonal vegetable, like radishes, cucumbers...