Zucchini Bread French Toast
As I explained in the last post, a plethora of zucchini will force any zucchini lover into creative ways to use zucchini. I mean, I love zucchini but how much pasta primavera, zucchini succotash, and zucchini involtini can one make before they're begging for summer produce to be over? (Oh I'm going to regret that in the middle of winter when I'm surrounded by nothing but beets and root vegetables!)
So we've made our zucchini bread (see the last post if you're wondering how!) and we're ready to wow our friends and family with the best French toast they've ever had. Because our zucchini bread is packed with the sweet flavors of cinnamon, brown sugar, and vanilla, we really won't have to do too much to it to transform the bread into sweet, delicious breakfast.
I made this dish in the farm kitchen at Rainshadow Organics, a beautiful organic farm in Central Oregon. I had the privilege and pleasure of spending four days on the farm to begin writing a cookbook with the most talented ladies, including our photographer and food stylist Charlotte. We walked through the garden seeking inspiration and cooked some amazing family-style meals together.
I took the photos in this post my iPhone, but the food styling was done by Charlotte. Check out her blog, her food styling and photography is amazing! I can't wait to tell you all more about our cookbook as it develops over the next year.
At it's most basic, French toast batter is simply a ratio of egg to cream (3:1). You can use milk or half-and-half it that's all you have, but I like cream best if I have the option because the fat content of the cream helps to coat the bread, creating a layer of batter instead of simply soaking into the bread.
For each serving (approx 2 slices of bread):
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup heavy cream (or milk or half and half, see note above)
- pinch salt
A note on bread
The best French Toast is made with day-old bread. I like to slice it and leave it exposed to air for at least an hour before making my toast, as this process drys out the exterior of the bread creating a better crust on the finished product. If you don't have time to let it dry, you can slice it and lightly toast it on a dry griddle or cast iron (dry meaning: no butter, no oil). This will help to quickly dry out the exterior.
I made this French toast with zucchini bread, but Challah bread or Brioche breads make excellent French toast. Both breads have a similar texture to each other, and have a very rich flavor by themselves. The crucial difference being that brioche bread is made with lots of butter and milk, which makes it extra rich, whereas challah is similar is kosher so it is made without any dairy.
I don't see why you wouldn't be able to make a delicious French toast with other sweet breads, such as banana bread or walnut loaf. If you make some, let me know how it turns out in the comments!
**If you're cooking for a party, pre-heat an oven to 350 degrees F. As the toast is cooked, remove it to a cooling rack sitting on top of a sheet pan and place it in the oven. This will hold it warm while you cook the rest of the toast, and the rack will help keep the texture of the toast without allowing it to get soggy.
- Slice your bread. If you have time, allow it to sit at room temperature for one hour (see note above about a quicker method if you don't have time)
- Prepare your batter.
- Heat a cast-iron pan or griddle to medium heat. You want it to be hot enough to sizzle when you add the bread, but not so hot that it will burn
- Dip your bread slices into the batter, coating well on both sides. Using tongs, hold the bread up to allow excess batter to drip off
- Place the bread in the pan/griddle. You should hear a sizzle as the batter on the outside of the bread is cooking
- Cook until golden brown and delicious (GBD), about 2-3 minutes
- Flip and repeat on the remaining side
- Slice in half if serving individual portions, or slice into quarters if serving with other items as a family-style meal.
- Serve with butter, maple syrup, honey, whatever you wish!