National French Toast Day 2023: Chefs share origin stories, interesting facts about French toast; how to make it
National French Toast Day is observed on November 28 every year to celebrate French toast, a delightful dessert that originated in the medieval age.
French toast, the delightful dessert, born in medieval Europe, continues to find approval by foodies across the world in its different avatars from sweet to savoury. It is traditionally made by soaking bread slices in a mixture of beaten eggs, milk, sugar and other spices, and frying till it turns crispy brown. The comforting breakfast dish has many origin stories associated with it. While some believed it originated in Rome, the other say it was born in Europe. French toast is eaten differently in different parts of the world. In Scotland, apparently sausage is sandwiched between two French toast slices. In America, it is made using Jewish challah bread as it’s thick enough to soak up all the custard and then it's served with butter, maple syrup and powdered sugar. The name French Toast first featured in Encyclopaedia of American Food and Drink in 1871. It is also known as German toast, eggy bread, French-fried bread, gypsy toast, Poor Knights of Windsor, Spanish toast, nun's toast, and pain perdu or 'lost bread' in French. (Also read | Recipe: Bring smiles to breakfast table with this scrumptious vegan French Toast)
"French toast is a dish of sliced bread soaked in beaten eggs and often milk or cream, cinnamon powder and sugar it’s has alternative names and variants include eggy bread, Bombay toast, freedom toast, gypsy toast. It's served as a sweet dish and sugar, vanilla, cinnamon are commonly added to it. It can be topped with fruits, Nutella or whipped cream and most commonly with maple syrup, icing sugar, and butter on top. French toast was invented by Joseph French in 1724. It got its current name through a grammatical error. He wanted to name it French's toast, but he forgot to include an apostrophe. He inadvertently left out the apostrophe and S. the phrase French Toast, first appeared in print in 1871," says Feroz Khan, Head Chef, Cray Craft.
"French toast is a classic toast made up of bread soaked in beaten eggs, milk, cream, butter and then pan fried. It has two versions - sweet and savoury. Sweet version includes sugar, fruits and syrup and the savoury version has salt and sauces. The savoury version is called the Bombay toast. French toast has many variations and is prepared differently in various countries. In India, it is also called as a Bombay toast since it was sold on the streets of Mumbai by the hawkers," says Chef Ganesh, Koa.
"Typically, you are supposed to use a day-old bread (while making French toast) because that is dry and will soak up more batter and won't crumble. Our version of French toast at Neuma, we use homemade Brioche bread which we dry for about one day and we served with vanilla ice-cream, pistachio cream and blueberry compote. We have a lot of variations worldwide. It's actually called the Bombay toast and there are two versions - savoury one where all the masala added in the egg batter and the bread is dipped and fan-fried and the other version is sweeter very similar to the crepe batter except the flour. The bread is dipped into it and is sweetened with honey. People tend to add jaggery also. It's a street food. Back in the day it was one of the easiest thing to make and that's why it is called the Bombay toast. A lot of people also say it's called so because it was available on the streets of Bombay 24/7 and 365 days a year," says Chef Hitesh Shanbhag, Neuma.
Recipe of French toast
Chef Feroz Khan shares an interesting recipe of French toast:
Egg - 2
Whole milk - 100ml
Double cream - 50ml
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Cinnamon powder - 1/2 tsp
Slices Brioche bread - 4
Oil - 3 tbsp
Icing sugar as required
Maple syrup 4 tbsp
1. Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Lay the brioche slices in a single layer on shallow dish and the pour the mixture over them. Allow to soak for 1 minute, then carefully turn over and soak for 1 minute.
2. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil and butter in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat until foaming. Carefully lift 2 slices of the soaked brioche out of the dish and add to the frying pan.
3. Fry for 3 minutes on each side, until golden and crisp, and keep them on a wire rack over baking tray in a preheated oven to make nicely cook.
4. Serve it with maple syrup, butter on top and icing sugar garnish with berries. Don’t forget to share with your loved ones.