Perfect French Toast

Whenever we go to a bed and breakfast inn, we have high expectations for breakfast. I don't necessarily expect something exotic and it certainly does not need to look like 10 chefs got together to assemble it. We like common dishes prepared uncommonly well. That is the criteria we use here at Crippen Creek when we plan meals for our guests.

We start with the best local ingredients possible and then prepare it with heart and soul. Whenever I am dissatisfied with a particular dish, it sets me on a search for a better technique or recipe. That was the case with French Toast. For months now I have been searching for the Perfect French Toast. My criteria for French Toast consists of thick slices of bread saturated in a sweet batter, a golden and slightly crispy exterior with a moist custard-like interior. The finished product should fall somewhere short of bread pudding.

Most recipes call for some sort of hearty French or Italian bread but I find their
crust to be too tough and the crumb too chewy. After all we are trying to come close to the bread pudding stage.

My internet search became a daunting task. Lacking the time and resources of America's Test Kitchen, I needed to become proficient at perusing a recipe and deciding whether a particular recipe might fit the bill. After dismissing hundreds of recipes, I bookmarked several that seemed to have potential.

There was one in particular that called to me and I finally got around to trying it out last weekend. Voila! The Perfect French Toast! I discovered the recipe on a blog called Breakfast At Tiffany's.

She calls it Coast Toast and near as I can tell, it comes from a restaurant in La Jolla, CA known as The Brocton Villa Restaurant.

I followed the recipe exactly except for the bread. Our friend Jon Peterson is fond of saying, "there's not a lot of traffic on the highway of the 'extra mile'." So we went the extra mile and made brioche, which turned out to be the absolutely perfect bread for French Toast. Here is the recipe for the French Toast and if enough readers post a request for the brioche recipe, I will do a future blog on that.

A Golden Loaf of Homemade Brioche


batter soaked brioche

Brioche French Toast with maple syrup

Brioche French Toast
Brioche French Toast with a custard-like interior

But what about you? What qualities do you like in French Toast and do you have a favorite restaurant that makes a great French Toast?