Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Orange & Cinnamon French Toast

Let's talk breakfast. It's kind of my favorite meal. Y'know, besides dessert. That counts as a meal right? (I mean it should the way I do it.) I gravitate toward the sweet things personally: pancakes, waffles, French toast.

And no matter how many fancy-schmancy ways I make French toast, I still like my mom's the best. White bread, simple egg/milk mixture, and syrup. But if I can't have my mama's, this one will surely do in a pinch. It's got a nice tang from super-good buttermilk and orange zest and a hint of warmth from a sprinkling of cinnamon.

I used: semolina bread, cinnamon, orange zest, eggs, buttermilk, and salted butter. 

You need a nice shallow dish that will hold the bread. Pour in the milk and crack the eggs in.

A fork works for breaking up the yolk and incorporating the eggs into the buttermilk.

Cinnamon and orange zest add extra flavor.

I chose this semolina bread partly because I had it on hand and partly because it was a nice bread for French toast. Even though it was sliced on the thinner side, a little staleness made it sturdy enough for soaking.

I let it sit a few minutes on each side. French toast is commonly made with thick slices of challah or other sturdy bread that are probably a little stale. Because fresh bread will fall apart in the liquid mixture. So really, French toast is economical. Also, I definitely had enough liquid left to do another slice, so I made another slice. Because that's how I roll.

I melted a little butter in a cast iron skillet. You could use another sort of non-stick skillet, but you want to make sure your toast pieces will fit.

Getting the heat right can be tricky. You want it warm enough to, y'know, cook the toast, but not so hot that it just cooks the outside and leaves the inside soggy. My preference is to start it on medium-low to cook both sides through and then turn the heat up to medium to get a nice crust on the very outside.

Kind of like this. I like the crispiness the edges get and the little caramelized spots on the bread.

And can we just agree to use real maple syrup? Like the for real for real stuff. Because this is kind of why syrup exists.

Oh who am I kidding, this is why syrup exists.

Orange & Cinnamon French Toast (serves 1 very hungry lady or maybe 2 sensible people)

2 large eggs
1/2 c buttermilk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp orange zest
2-3 slices of sturdy bread (staler is better in this case)
Salted butter, for sautéing
Maple syrup, for serving
  • Whisk together eggs and buttermilk in a shallow dish. Add cinnamon and orange zest and stir to combine.
  • Lay the pieces of bread in the liquid mixtures. Let them soak 3-5 minutes on each side. While bread soaks, heat a cast iron skillet on medium-low heat. Add a hunk of butter and let it melt. 
  • Gently place soaked bread pieces in the warm skillet. Let cook until lightly browned on one side and flip. Let cook until lightly brown on the other side and increase heat to medium. Let the toast crisp around the edges and develop darker brown spots and flip. Crisp the other side and remove from skillet.
  • If you're making a big batch of French toast, I advise heating your oven to 300º and turning it off. Place cooked French toast on a plate and set in the oven to keep warm.
  • Serve French toast with extra butter and syrup. And bacon. Or bacon substitute if you don't partake in the pig.


  1. Yummy! Breakfast is my favorite meal and french toast is pure comfort food. This looks delicious! ♥

    1. I'm a big fan of breakfast too! I probably spend more time figuring out breakfast than I do lunch or dinner, and French toast is one of my favorites.