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Coco&Me » Blog Archive » Bite-size french toast using everyday pre-sliced bread

May 9th, 2013

Bite-size french toast using everyday pre-sliced bread

NB: Please note, this recipe is especially created for when using everyday pre-sliced bread from the supermarket that is not stale.
Coco&Me - www.cocoandme.com - Coco and Me - Quick french toast recipe with process pictures
(Bite-size French Toast! No need to fuss with knife! ^^)
Desperately seeking ‘something’
Picture this – bang in the middle of the night, you’re working on the computer. Then the train of concentration loses its steam & thoughts of snacking invade the mind. You ponder what goodies you might’ve lurked in the kitchen cabinets, but a pang of desperation throbs you when the realization of anything everything sweet is missing from your life. Cue the stomach & its whining growl…  
… This French Toast recipe actually came about at such moment. I desperately wanted a sweet ‘something’ to snack on in the middle of the night. But it needed to be:
  • very quick & simple to make (will not want to wait for my sweet fix)
  • easily can make for just for one person (it’s just me)
  • use ingredients that’s always at hand at home (it needs to be a reliable recipe to fall back on every time)
  • no need to fire up the oven (too fussy)
  • does not use the hand mixer (too noisy at night)
Hmmm, French Toast! As a mid-night feast! Ah…, yes-yes, ofcourse it’s normally consumed for breakfast or brunch, I know that, but it’s ingredients – eggs, sugar, milk, bread & butter, I always have at home & who cares about formalities when no one is watching in this nocturnal hour? It should be simple enough to put together – just dip the bread in eggy milk then pan-fry it with butter, & hey voila!
And so my quest starts.
But…, hang on, the first time I made it, it didn’t taste great. The result was unforgivingly too soggy in the middle. Why? Then I analyzed this:
= I’m using cheap thinly-sliced bread from the supermarket & the bread is not stale like it ought to be. 
Stale? Yes,typically you’re supposed to use stale bread that’s gone a bit tough & lost a bit of moisture. I guess it must be a universal rule for it. I mean, it’s even called ‘pain perdu’ in French, which means “lost bread”, suggesting that the bread in question is of a wasted, or forgotten one.
But realistically, how often do you have a perfectly stale bread at hand when you need it? I certainly don’t. Besides, the supermarket bread rather goes mouldy than stale when old. And so my solution to this was to… lightly toast the fresh bread (then cooling it) before dipping in the eggy mixture. That should mimic stale bread by taking some of the moisture away!
To remedy the sogginess, I propose five solutions:
  • Put less milk in.  
  • Cut the bread in to smaller pieces so that it soaks the mixture quicker, & cooks to the core quicker. Smaller is also easier to flip over in the pan without fuzzing the shapes.
  • Fry the bread at very low heat to cook through to the core.
  • Use the lid as you fry so that it steam-cooks the bread. It’ll get fluffier & bouncier.
  • Warm the milk in the microwave prior to combining with egg mixture (I got this idea from the way creme patisserie is made). This in effect will make it quicker to cook as it is already warm when it hits the pan.
Crust or no crust
When I was a child I used to just tear out & eat just the innards of the bread, which totally annoyed my mother. – Even now at age 37, I secretly still prefer to chop away the crust especially when making sandwiches, but my Mr.D ~ who is German & proper (Lol!) ~ would scorn, which totally makes me feel like a silly child again, so I daren’t do it nowadays. And now that we are supposed to set a good example in front of our children, I can never kiss goodbye to ‘le crust’.
BUT! French Toast is an exception. This is a sweet dessert! It’s an indulgence. Might as well have it the way we like it huh? :) Besides, jokes apart, I personally think that the egg-sogged crust lends a slight wet cardboard-y texture, & takes half the fun out of eating the main super soft part anyways!
Aesthetically pleasing French Toast shape? = 8:5 ratio
Upon cutting the bread, call me pedantic or just plain old silly, but I thought to myself: I wonder what the ‘most pleasing rectangle’ is?  
The answer I settled on was to cut it to the golden ratio, which the special number is approximately 1.618. Meaning, I will cut the length to 1.618 times of the width. Or to round it up simply, the ratio of length to the width will be 8:5. I’m sure the ancient Greeks would approve of this french toast shape! Lol!
NB: If you cut the toast in to 4, it’s pretty much 8:5 each, so no need to get the ruler out! 
(Please take this whole measuring thing with a pinch of salt though, it’s all a bit of a pa larva that I’m making here…! You can ofcourse cut it in any way you like!)
So how long should the bread soak in eggy milk?
Some say over-night, some say 3o seconds & hey pronto. I’m more in the latter camp. I like the idea of this to be a quick dessert that can be made by whim ~ impromptu with things that can be found in your everyday kitchen. Besides, the pre-sliced white bread from the supermarket sucks the mixture up like a kitchen sponge in no time anyways!
Dressing up the French Toast
Please please try it with plain yogurt on the side. And a drizzle of maple syrup which won’t go amiss. And ah, perhaps even a sprinkle of cinnamon powder! The play between the cold yogurt & the hot french toast is so fine~♪, it’s so good~♫. The slight tang of the yogurt beautifully sets against the sweet toast too. 
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Coco&Me Quick French Toast Recipe
  • 2 slices of white bread (preferably thick)
  • 1 egg
  • 15g sugar (vanilla sugar if you have it)
  • 60g milk (full fat if you have it) 
  • A knob of salted butter (for the frying pan)
  • Maple syrup (optional)
  • Plain yogurt (optional)
  • 1. Toast the bread lightly. (Here, don’t brown it, as you’d have the burn taste coming through the French Toast.)
  • 2. Cut the crust off the bread. Then cut to smaller size. (It’s easier to cut without squishing the ends if you cut the toast when it has cooled down.)
Coco&Me - www.cocoandme.com - Coco and Me - Quick french toast recipe with process pictures
  • 3. In a bowl, whisk 1 egg until it loses its bounce, then add the 15 grams of sugar. Whisk until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  • 4. Measure 60 grams of milk in a mug & microwave until hot.  
Coco&Me - www.cocoandme.com - Coco and Me - Quick french toast recipe with process pictures
  • 5. Slowly pour in the hot milk to the eggs, whisking all the time. (The hot milk will not cook the eggs as the sugar will act as a barrier.)
  • 6. Put the toast pieces in the eggy milk. Swish the bowl around to gently coat the toast on both sides. (Don’t handle by hand as the toast is very fragile when soggy, it will lose shape or tear.)
Coco&Me - www.cocoandme.com - Coco and Me - Quick french toast recipe with process pictures
  • 7. Heat the frying pan with medium-low heat. Dissolve the knob of butter. Then align the soaked rectangular bread.  
  • 8. Pop the lid on & lower the heat to minimum.
Coco&Me - www.cocoandme.com - Coco and Me - Quick french toast recipe with process pictures
  • 9. Wait for about 3 minutes or until the bottom side is nicely browned, then flip to the other side.
  • 10. And fry with the lid on top again.  
Coco&Me - www.cocoandme.com - Coco and Me - Quick french toast recipe with process pictures
  • 11. When the bread is nicely browned, transfer to a plate & eat it straight away while it is hot! (preferably with a big dollop of plain yogurt & a generous drizzle of maple syrup!)
Coco&Me - www.cocoandme.com - Coco and Me - Quick french toast recipe with process pictures
Bon Appétit! T xx  
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  1. Hello Tamami! Finally a recipe is posted! Thank you! It looks very simple to make – I will definitely have a go. Many thanks!

    Comment by Louise - May 9, 2013 2:09 pm

  2. Thank you Louise!!! :) :) :)
    A ha ha, yes, a recipe finally…!!! ;) I don’t post much recipes so I’m so happy that it finally is! Phew! :) Please do have a go ~ it really is simple like you say! Best, T x

    Comment by Tamami - May 9, 2013 3:12 pm

  3. T, you have taken a simple thing that most of us love and taken it up several levels. I have never thought to cover the French toast while frying it, and will try that technique and make this as a special treat when I have my friend’s kids over to spend the night. I also would have never thought of yogurt with French Toast, but the flavors sound so delicious, especially with Greek yogurt. Thank you for posting!

    Comment by Heidy - May 9, 2013 5:08 pm

  4. Yay! Hello Heidy! Yes, I do like to over-complicate things… Lol! I hope it goes well with your friend’s kids’ sleepover! There’s nothing like a special treat at night. Especially if somebody else makes it & serves it to you! xx As for the yogurt that’s what I had in the fridge! xx

    Comment by tamami - May 9, 2013 5:59 pm

  5. That looks delicious! Your blog have always been an inspiration to me, I just admire all the food you make, yummy and beautiful, it makes me want to be able to cook too! I always kept track of your new post from bloglovin ;)

    Love from Indonesia!

    Comment by Sarah - May 12, 2013 2:04 pm

  6. Lovely! I hadn’t thought to cut the bread nicely. Will certainly do so from now on as my main complaint with French toast is that the center of a full slice cooks slower than the edges. This should fix that problem nicely.

    Comment by jonquil - May 12, 2013 2:38 pm

  7. Oh wow, hello Sarah! How lovely to hear from you in Indonesia!!!! Thank you for your amazing comment!! xx

    Comment by Tamami - May 12, 2013 6:57 pm

  8. Hi-ya Jonquil!! ^^ I suppose because the edges soak diff. amount of liquid than centre!? Please please have a go at this! Hope you like it!! xx

    Comment by tamami - May 12, 2013 6:59 pm

  9. Hi! Back from a year away from blogs, busy taking care of new baby…!
    This recipe takes me back to childhood! Maybe it’s my turn to make some for my kiddie. Baby will have to wait until he gets a bit older.

    Comment by Rita - May 16, 2013 4:09 am

  10. Ah!!! How lovely to hear from you again Rita!!!! :) :):) You have a new baby?! MANY CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! How wonderful!!! That’s great news!!! Enjoy! ;) xx

    Comment by Tamami - May 16, 2013 8:05 am

  11. I’m probably the odd one out saying this but… I actually HATED French toast as a child. That is, until I went on holiday to Spain several years ago and one evening I ordered a dessert called torrijas. I had no idea what it was but it was delicious… once I was back home I looked up what it was and you guessed it – it was French toast! :D Despite this conversion, I still (5 years later!) haven’t attempted making my own, but I think you’ve just spurred me on to do it! I love the idea of eating it with yoghurt, I wouldn’t have thought of it but the combination sounds lovely. xx

    Comment by Rachel - May 19, 2013 3:28 pm

  12. Hi Rachel!!! Torrijas! I’ve never heard of that one! Thank you for letting me in the know! Just had a quick google on it, & you’re right, it’s same as french toast! Some recipes prefer to use olive oil for the frying, which I am not sure about wether the olivey flavours would match the eggy dish, but still, very interesting! T xx

    Comment by Tamami - May 19, 2013 5:23 pm

  13. Oh you should try it with maple syrup and dare I say this with bacon if you have it for breakfast ;-)

    Comment by Alicia - May 24, 2013 10:42 pm

  14. Hi Alicia! Ahhhhh! B.a.c.o.n…!!! The golden combo with French toast!! :) I’m salivating as I write this…! x

    Comment by Tamami - May 24, 2013 11:02 pm

  15. Hi Tamami san,

    I’ve seen your stall in the market few times.
    Just wondering if it’s possible to place an last minutes order for a birthday cake?
    It will be for apprx 18 people and I can come pick it up from you around 3pm tomorrow in the stall?
    If making one big cake for 18 is too much, I can order 2 smaller cakes instead.
    Hope you can still take the order!

    Please email me back to the mail address supplied.


    Comment by Yoko - June 7, 2013 9:03 am

  16. I have sent you an email!!! Many thanks!!!

    Comment by Tamami - June 7, 2013 10:03 am

  17. Hi Tamami,

    I don’t want to spam your comments but you don’t have a contact form, so apologies for piggy-backing on your delicious-looking French toast recipe.

    I wanted to offer your lovely blog readers a discount voucher for a site I am working on.

    Just contact me if you think they might like that!


    Comment by Jon Ewing - June 27, 2013 11:07 am

  18. Hello Jon!
    I have just sent you an email!!! x

    Comment by Tamami - June 27, 2013 11:41 am

  19. Dear Tamami San

    I understand you have a new baby but i am desperately trying to find an Egg free nut free dairy free soya free cake for my sons 5th birthday party sunday 6th December 2015.

    I am near to hackney and would be so grateful if you wouldnt mind contacting me if you are able to offer your chocolate cake service or even a basic sponge cake with happy birthday on it.

    Kindest regards

    Comment by sabrina - November 29, 2015 4:41 pm

  20. Hello Sabrina, first of all, sorry for the delay in replying back to you. Somehow the comments from my blog went in to my junk folder automatically so I never got to see this.

    I am guessing you are the same person who have contacted me through twitter? I hope you have found someone who could make the cake for you.

    My recipe that I mentioned to you at: http://www.cocoandme.com/2008/05/15/egg-dairy-nut-free-chocolate-cake-recipe/
    is actually very easy to make, so please also have a go at it!

    All the best for your son’s birthday party this Saturday!! xx

    Comment by tamami - December 3, 2015 7:27 pm

  21. Hi Tamami,

    I just found your blog and I’m so in love with your wonderful creations and am planning to visit your stall the next time I’m in London for sure :) I’ve just made this recipe for movie snacks with my fiancee and it looks exactly like the image ;-; (the first time I’ve followed a recipe this well) thank you so much for publishing this and for being such a wonderful person ^w^,

    Best wishes,

    May Huxley

    Comment by May Huxley - May 29, 2016 7:42 pm

  22. Hello May!!!!!
    Ahhh, so nice of you to leave a feedback after trying the recipe!!!!! Thank you so much!!!!

    I’m glad to hear that your french toast went well – I could just imagine this to be a fantastic movie snack since it’s so easy to make. You’ve reminded me that I haven’t made this in ages! I’m tempted to make it tomorrow now, but, right now I am on a fully-blown bake-research on yeast based doughnuts, as well as yeast-croissants…!

    Hope to see you in London one day!! :)
    T xx

    Comment by tamami - May 29, 2016 10:51 pm


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