I really do make the very best French toast, sorry if that's bragging. The key to good french toast is: don't be stingy with the ingredients! I read these recipes that have just a few eggs, and I just don't even think that is worth my time.
I start with really good bread - ordinary bread won't do. My favorite is either brioche or challah - something that is already rich and eggy to start with. (I made one recently with a raisin challah, and it was amazing!) It's easiest to work with if you can slice it ahead of time and leave it out to dry a little over night. You can do it without that step, it just gets a little hard to handle. And that is because I like to really soak my bread in the custard. None of this quick dip business - I put it in and really let it soak it up. I want the custard to get all the way to the middle of the bread, I don't want to cut into my toast and find dry bread in the middle.
For the custard - here's what I usually add:
- A lot of eggs - probably a full dozen for 1 loaf of bread.
- a little milk or cream
- some kind of liquor - a little brandy, or an orange liquor. just a splash, for flavor.
- orange zest - from one or two oranges
- vanilla - a teaspoon or so
- cinnamon - I like a lot.
- maple syrup. yes, in the custard. I think it needs to be fully flavored and delicious without even having to top it with anything. And a little sugar in the custard helps give it a nice crust.
Mix it all together, soak your slices of bread for a couple minutes each, and then cook on a well buttered griddle.
These are just so good, I don't make it too often because I would eat too much! The one here was served with a little syrup and some fresh diced strawberries.