French toast! I love it. Or should I say baby Unmanly Chef loved it, every time my Mom wanted to give me a special breakfast, she would make me french toast. Now let me caveat this by saying, my french toast as a kid was not the French toast you’re thinking of. First the bread, in lieu of a brioche or maybe even just a thick piece of white bread, my Mom used wheat bread. Next instead of powdered sugar and or maple syrup, my Mom used honey.
Despite all of these alterations to the traditional recipe of French toast, the core of the dish was still the same. Bread coated in egg, pan fried, and topped with some sort of delicious syrup. And mind you, I was just a stupid kid so I didn’t know what French toast was supposed to be anyways. That is of course until I had French toast out at a restaurant and then everything changed. It was like I went away to breakfast summer camp and I came back a changed boy. Mom’s old French toast just wasn’t going to cut it for me any more.
Fast forward 25 years and my relationship with French toast is strained and fraught with contempt. It’s probably because I’ve been brainwashed into thinking you have to eat something healthy for dessert or you shouldn’t really eat breakfast that’s just essentially carbs. Whatever it is, me and French toast haven’t spoken in a long time. Now before I go on, let’s do a quick rewind and give you a little history lesson on French toast.
First the actual name of French toast is pain perdu meaning lost bread. Why would it be called lost bread? Because it was most likely used as a way to make day old stale bread palatable in the 15th century. Remember, back then bread was usually baked daily and nobody liked to waste stale bread from the day before. If you think this phenomenon is limited to just the French you would be mistaken, the earliest evidence of this dish being made was actually in the fifth century during the reign of the Romans. In lieu of soaking the stale bread in eggs however, they would soak the bread in milk for a sweet treat.
Next, it’s often a misnomer that French toast is really a breakfast food. Despite the fact that we Americans eat it for breakfast, it is commonly eaten as a dessert and not for breakfast.
So how did French toast come to America you ask? By way of the French immigrants of New Orleans who brought their custom of resuscitating day old bread to the Bayou.
Now that we’ve given you some back story about French toast, we can move on to today’s dish. I decided to make French toast because I had a lot of leftover challah bread and I wanted to make use of it. Because I like my French peasant brethren hate food waste. If there’s a way I can use every last scrap of food in my house, I will. Having decided to make French toast I wanted to elevate it or at least make it a little more fun, that’s where the Golden Grahams come in.
If you haven’t had Golden Grahams lately (and why would you) let me remind you about how they taste. They’re sort of like a cross between a graham cracker and Chex cereal. Crushed up, they make for quite the delectable coating for French toast. So with my Golden Grahams in tow, I crushed them up and used them as the breadcrumbs in my French toast coating. The end result was a delicious and fun breakfast that I would do again.
One word to the wise, is that due to the sugar in the cereal you’ll need be careful not to burn the toast. I recommend pulsing the cereal so it’s a fine crumb as a opposed to the chunks that I have shown in my photos (that wouldn’t be as pretty!)
Recipe – Golden Grahams French Toast
Challah Bread Slices (full disclosure I used a challah bread hot dog bun that I cut longitudinally)
2-3 Eggs (depends on how much you plan to make, 2 is enough for 2 people)
1/8 Cup Whole Milk
1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp. Cardamom (optional)
2 Tbsp. Butter
1 Cup of Crushed Golden Grahams
1/2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
Step 1- Mix together your eggs and milk and beat together well. Then add in the spices and vanilla
Step 2- Make a separate bowl for your crushed golden grahams.
Step 3- Dip your bread into the egg wash mixture and then dredge in the golden graham crust mixture.
Step 4- Once you’re done, heat your butter in a large non-stick pan and add your toast pieces to the pan one at a time (2 max). Cook each side for about a minute or until it turns golden brown, be careful not to burn it as there is sugar in the bread and the crust so it will burn easily.
Step 5- Top with some brown sugar, powdered sugar, or maple syrup and enjoy!!
- Challah Bread Slices (full disclosure I used a challah bread hot dog bun that I cut longitudinally)
- 2-3 Eggs (depends on how much you plan to make, 2 is enough for 2 people)
- ⅛ Cup Whole Milk
- ½ Tsp. Cinnamon
- ¼ Tsp. Cardamom (optional)
- 2 Tbsp. Butter
- 1 Cup of Crushed Golden Grahams
- ½ Tsp. Vanilla Extract
- Step 1- Mix together your eggs and milk and beat together well. Then add in the spices and vanilla
- Step 2- Make a separate bowl for your crushed golden grahams.
- Step 3- Dip your bread into the egg wash mixture and then dredge in the golden graham crust mixture.
- Step 4- Once you're done, heat your butter in a large non-stick pan and add your toast pieces to the pan one at a time (2 max). Cook each side for about a minute or until it turns golden brown, be careful not to burn it as there is sugar in the bread and the crust so it will burn easily.
- Step 5- Top with some brown sugar, powdered sugar, or maple syrup and enjoy!!