Americans love french toast for breakfast almost as much as they love pancakes. French toast, also known as arme riddere in Norwegian, isn’t French at all – it’s an American interpretation of pan dulcis, a French recipe, that was first served in the US by a chef who’s last name was… you guessed it…French. No matter how this dish got its name, it livens up stale bread by soaking it in a milk and egg mixture before cooking it in either the oven or a skillet.
In my house growing up, french toast was reserved for celebration mornings that fell on the weekend. During those special times back in Tucson as a child, waking up to french toast meant that the morning was going to be a special one.
I’ve started making French toast for Mr. B here in Stavanger, not only because it uses up old stale bread, but because it’s an easy way to enjoy a long, lazy morning before trotting off to do Saturday errands. If you can get a hold of brioche or challah bread a few days ahead of time, allow it to go stale and dry out a bit. If you can’t find either, use sandwich bread.
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar (alternative substitute: 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- a pinch of salt
- 125ml (1/2 cup) milk
- 8 slices of brioche or challah bread, sliced thick
- butter for frying
- In shallow baking dish, combine the eggs, vanilla extract, cinnamon, salt and milk. Set aside.
- Bring a skillet to medium high heat and while it is warming up, lay a slice of bread into the egg mixture. Evenly coat the bread slice, then turn it over and evenly coat the other side.
- Once the skillet has been brought to temperature, add a pat of butter to the pan allow it to melt, then cook the bread slice until browned on both sides. You will need to turn the bread over half way through cooking, or after 3-4 minutes. Repeat until all bread slice have been cooked, adding more butter to the skillet as necessary to keep the bread from sticking.
- Top your arme riddere with butter, maple syrup, fresh fruit, powdered sugar or your favorite topping.