Cooking with Cast Iron-How to Make the Perfect French Toast!

Since my cast iron cooking tips were so popular in the past, I am back with more today! (In case you missed the others click HERE for the perfect Grilled Cheese, and HERE to learn how to clean and season your cast iron skillets.)  Cooking with cast iron is especially good for breakfast foods and breads.  In fact, cast iron skillets make the best French Toast ever!  No joke 🙂  So today I am going to share my personal recipe for the best french toast ever (not just in my opinion, but according to the rave reviews from the fiance Matt and all of my family that has tried it as well) and all of the little tips I have picked up along the way.

 

2 reasons why I love making french toast in cast iron :

  • No more soggy bread!  Have you ever had soggy or mushy French toast?  Maybe some people like it, but to me soggy bread is just gross.  The cast iron gets your french toast perfectly browned and crisp on the outside, but soft and chewy inside. Yum!
  • Cooking in cast iron is healthier-infuses your food with a little extra iron and no toxic non stick stuff in the pans.

 

So let’s get cookin’.  Here is what you will need: (note, I created this recipe for a family sized portion of about 10 slices of French Toast.  I will give adjustments in parentheses for serving 1-2 people also).

 

  • Let’s talk bread.  For this recipe you will need 10 slices at least  (2-4 pieces to serve 1-2 people) One of my tips to perfect french toast is that you must start with the perfect bread (you can use any bread, but bread DOES matter for making it the best 🙂 )   I have experimented with all types of bread, and by far the best I have used is Pepperidge Farm Italian Bread in the plain White variety.  The reason I find it to be the best (at least so far) is that it is a nice thickness of not tooo thick, but not thin.  It is also soft and “spongey” (not like other white breads that are pumped full of air and rip easy).  You want a more substantial bread that will soak up the egg nicely.  FYI Pepperidge Farm did not pay me to say this ;).

  • 6 large eggs ( I always use organic cage free)
  • About 1/4-1/3 cup milk.  I used 1/3.  (only a little splash of milk for 1-2 people).  Too much milk also tends to make the bread too soggy and the french toast is not as rich in flavor.
  • Cinnamon.  I kind of eyeballed the cinnamon, but if I had to guess I would say maybe 1/2 tsp.  (a dash or 2 for 1-2 people)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract.  (I would forgo the vanilla if making for 1-2 people) This one is totally optional.  This recipe tastes great without the vanilla, but if you want a little richer flavor you can add a little like I did for the family size recipe.
  • Butter for greasing the pan
  • Powdered Sugar for dusting
  • Real Vermont Maple Syrup.   Which brings me to another tip.  Regular high fructose corn syrup laden maple syrup is not only not good for you, but the flavor isn’t as good because it isn’t the real stuff.  I know Pure Organic Maple Syrup can be expensive though.  I use the real stuff for best results.

 

 

Directions:

  1. In a wide, shallow bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, cinnamon, and optional vanilla until all are well combined.  
  2. Lightly grease a warm Cast Iron Skillet with butter.   
  3. Dip pieces of bread one by one, making sure to immerse and coat both sides.  Don’t leave in long to soak though.  I just dip it in so it gets immersed , then flip it over to the other side to repeat and take right out.  Soaking too long makes it mushy.  Next you will place the bread in the skillet to cook.
  4. I love the flavor of cinnamon , so I actually sprinkled a light dusting of cinnamon on the tops of the bread in the pan as they were cooking.  Cinnamon flavor goes well with the sweetness of the syrup and in my opinion is what makes French Toast taste best.  Sometimes the egg mixture doesn’t get enough cinnamon directly on the bread for me 🙂 Cook the bread on both sides until a light golden brown.  I like to cook my bread enough to where it forms a slight crust and isn’t mushy (the inside will be tender and spongey still)   
  5. As soon as you remove the French Toast from the pan, arrange on plates and give a dusting of powdered sugar , followed by however much maple syrup you want.  And Voila!  The Finished Product:

The Best French Toast

 

More French Toast Inspiration for you! :

  • Cinnamon bread and cinnamon raisin bread also make a great french toast for a little something different.  You could even use banana bread.  Look for breads that are home style, a little thicker, and slightly spongey for best results
  • Switch it up!  Instead of Maple Syrup, try topping with berries.  Think strawberries in juice poured over the top, still dusted with powdered sugar and maybe topped with cool whip or whipped cream. (you could use chocolate cool whip for a twist)
  • Valentine’s Day- Ladies (or men) Why not serve your special person the perfect French Toast, breakfast in bed style for V day?  Include a little love note or those candy hearts if you want.  If cooking for men, add in some bacon- you know they love that haha!

 

Enjoy and let me know what you think when you try it ! ~ Rebekah

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