I am a big believer in having a hearty, healthy breakfast. I think that it really can set the tone for your entire day. My whole family agrees that a good breakfast is essential and, because of this, we love to try new breakfast foods to help keep our mornings exciting. We often grab new kinds of cereal when we see something interesting in the grocery store, we are always whipping up new egg dishes and you can often find a variety of bagels in my pantry.
However, one breakfast food that we all still go crazy for (even after having it hundreds of times) is French toast. We just can’t get enough French toast in the morning!
THE HISTORY OF FRENCH TOAST
While I have made many different versions of French toast over the years, the earliest, first evidence of French toast actually dates back to the Roman Empire. Of course, it wasn’t called “French toast” just yet, but there are records of a sweet, egg dipped bread food being eaten way back then. Written recipes from the 17th century, have been found for a dish called “pain perdu” which translates to mean “lost bread”. This name comes from the fact that the bread used to make the dish was old and stale- it would have been lost and trashed if not for this inventive recipe! The old bread was dipped in a whisked egg and milk mix and then fried. Sounds familiar? That is because that is still how we make French toast today!
Pain perdu was brought to the United States by English settlers and it was then dubbed “French toast” since the dish was, by then, a French institution. This name stuck! Now, it is one of the most popular breakfast foods in the country. It is also a very versatile dish and you can customize it in so many ways. You can top your French toast with fresh fruit, drizzle it with syrup and even toss a few chocolate chips on it if you want a sweeter breakfast treat. As long as the base of the recipe is comprised of bread dipped in an egg and milk mix, it is still French toast!
In a house where we eat French toast often, I am always playing around with how to make it new and interesting (but of course, my whole family would be perfectly happy with basic, delicious, classic French toast… but I like to switch it up!). Recently I started making overnight French toast which has completely changed my French toast game.
HOW TO MAKE OVERNIGHT FRENCH TOAST
To make the French toast, the slices of bread are lined up in a baking dish, overlapping them a little bit. I have found that a really crusty French bread works best. If you have an old baguette, that will be perfect!