LLG Cooks: Recipe. French Toast or Eggy Bread for Rainy Day Refuelling

by Sasha Wilkins on November 4, 2012 · 25 comments

French toast eggy bread

I first posted this recipe in January 2010, when I was without a home, living a peripatetic life between America and London. There was snow on the ground, I was broke, cold and in dire need of comfort food. My sister was letting me camp out with her, and I made my favourite eggy snack in her kitchen. (It’s still one of the most popular recipes in the LLG archive.)

Today I was woken at 730am by the rain  - and the dog, and all I can think about is French Toast for breakfast.

Here’s my beyond simple recipe again (with my secret ingredient at the bottom):

I may well be a fashion editor, but I do eat. And eat properly. I utterly refute Kate Moss (& Weightwatchers’) cry of ‘Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels‘. God life would be so unutterably boring without eating delicious things. I find it hard to like people who pick at food or remain resolutely opposed to eating. One legendarily unhinged editor told me at our first meeting that she didn’t like eating, cooking or food. I should have listened more carefully & run fast in the opposite direction when I still had the chance.

Don’t get me wrong – I watch my weight as much as the next woman (there’s a fine dividing line between perky & porky) but, in this misbegotten weather, all I want is yummy, carb-orific, filling & hot food.

So I give you my incredibly easy French toast, pain perdu, or eggy bread* as it is known in my household. This is the savoury version. Not being an American, I cannot abide sweet food at breakfast. (But if you do want the sweet version, here’s my take on it.)

For three pieces of French toast take two eggs, then change your mind and make it three (count on one egg per piece of bread):

French toast

Break them into a bowl and beat with a fork. If you like savory eggy bread add salt now. If sweet, a heaped teaspoon of white caster sugar. There is also the stratospherically wonderful Indian version where the egg is beaten with milk, salt, green chili and chopped onion.

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Cut three pieces of bread (it can be stale as the egg softens it up). I used part of a delicious Bloomer loaf.

French toast

Hack off the crusts (& take to park to feed the ducks)

French toast

Dip the bread a piece at a time in the egg,

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making sure it is saturatedly soggy with beaten egg

French toast eggy bread

Add a couple of tablespoons of neutral cooking oil (sunflower/groundnut) to a large frying pan and heat it until it smokes (but not too much or your house will burn down).

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Turn the extractor fan onto high. This dish is going to spread frying smells everywhere otherwise.

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Slide two pieces at a time into the frying pan (too much cools down the oil & your toast will be soggy):

French toast eggy bread

I like mine quite browned & very crispy, but if you want a lighter colour, keep checking the bottom of the bread and then flip it over when done to your liking to cook the reverse side.

French toast eggy bread

Flip it out of the frying pan & on to kitchen paper to drain off some of the oil.

French toast eggy bread

Arrange beautifully on plate:

French toast eggy bread

And – the piece de resistance – I then add a fine layer of Marmite to my eggy bread.

Marmite

I do realise that some of you will now think that I am the wrong-est person in the world for doing this. All I can say is: don’t knock it until you have tried it. The mellow, umami-rich saltiness works perfectly against the crispy bread.

Otherwise try it as an accompaniment to an English breakfast or, if you’ve gone down the sweet route, try fresh fruit, icing sugar and whipped cream. Or clotted cream & raspberry jam (Like my version here.)

French toast & clotted cream

*This post is dedicated to my wholly American friend Steve who thinks that eggy bread is the most ludicrous name for food, and yet another example of English madness.

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Victoria Wildman November 4, 2012 at 04:43

This is where I regret only having brown bread in the house. Although I favour sweet with this in the form of berries and maple syrup the chilli/onion sounds amazing, I’m thinking it would be especially good with a fresh tomato salsa.

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Jocelyn November 4, 2012 at 05:21

Your secret ingredient hits the spot. Will most definitely try it!

Jocelyn

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didyoumakethat November 4, 2012 at 05:43

I do love your food blog posts. They always send my tummy growling! Now, when is a publisher going to give you a cook book deal…

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Angela November 4, 2012 at 05:58

I have to confess that eggs are my least favourite food! However, after reading this I am seriously considering trying….. :-)

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Hannah November 4, 2012 at 08:20

And this is exactly what I had for brunch this morning, with bacon and maple syrup. Made for a perfect Sunday morning with the papers whilst the rain came down outside.

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Jayne Mortimer November 4, 2012 at 09:24

Chunky bread is so good for this. I didn’t even know eggy bread existed until my first camp with Guides. I made it every Saturday for about a month after I came back. Condiment of choice is red sauce though. Or brown on special occasions. A little bit of milk can help the eggs go a little further but it can also make the bread soggier. Can’t win!

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Kit November 4, 2012 at 10:17

Thank you for this, I’ve just made one and added all the spices in for flavouring (Chinese 5 Star, Cumin, garlic flakes, etc)….the eggy bread really sums up my dull afternoon.

p.s Marmite is the best.

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Rebecca November 4, 2012 at 12:02

Mmmm. I like cinnamon and syrup or powdered sugar on my French toast. I LOVE sweet breakfasts. Pancakes, oatmeal, fried dough dipped in sugar, beignets covered with sugar. Of course, I also like salty breakfasts. Omelets with hash browns and English muffins! Breakfast is my favorite meal! In fact, a special treat in our family is “breakfast for dinner”. And some of my favorite memories from college and my clubbing days are having breakfast out at 4 am before going home to bed. Yeah, breakfast rocks.

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Catherine November 4, 2012 at 12:37

Can also recommend using challah bread, esp. for the sweet version.
Have been putting Marmite on lots of things – buttered toast, then top with grilled, baked or fried tomatoes. Also good on pasta, but mix with butter and a bit of pasta cooking water beforehand.

Have you tried Egg in the Hole? Lightly toast large piece of bread, cut hole out of middle. Butter and then cook in frying pan. Break egg into hole. Let white almost cook and then flip over so yolk cooks. So satisfying on cold day.

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Angie November 4, 2012 at 13:19

I think I now need to have this for tea tonight – with Marmite of course. And who’s for baked beans with mature cheddar grated into it along with a large dollop of Martime, all on very buttery thick white bread?

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Catherine November 5, 2012 at 06:19

@Angie:
Me! Except I would put the Marmite on the toast along with the butter!

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