Many of our favorite recipes have come about as a way to use up leftovers. Nowadays we are so used to an overabundance of food in large parts of the world, that eating too much is more of a problem (in those parts of the world) than having too little too eat. Not so long ago, this was not the case, which meant that all food was precious and leftovers were always used up to the last crumb. If not for human consumption, than for the pigs or chickens.
There are many recipes to use up stale bread, such as these wonderful gnocchi made from stale bread and served with beans. One of the best known recipes to use up stale bread is French toast. The bread is soaked in a mixture of eggs and milk, fried in butter, and then served with sugar and cinnamon. This post takes French toast to the next level by cooking the bread with eggs and milk sous-vide before frying it in butter. This gives the bread a luxurious texture, a bit like a thick pancake. Sous-vide French toast is perhaps a bit complicated for breakfast, but it would also make a nice dessert. Please note that for the sous-vide preparation, more eggs are used than for regular French toast. The eggs are needed to get the special texture.
4 slices of stale bread
125 ml (1/2 cup) milk
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
butter for frying
sugar to serve
Combine the eggs and the milk in a bowl.
A gratuitous sliced bread shot.
Dip each slice into the egg mixture. Make sure to use up all of the egg mixture. For best results, they should be very soggy.
Vacuum seal. If you don’t own a chamber vacuum sealer, use a ziploc bag and the water displacement method to vacuum seal, as a ‘clamp’ vacuum sealer would suck out the eggs and milk.
Cook sous-vide for 1 hour at 64ºC/147ºF.
Most of the egg mixture should have been absorbed by the bread.
Fry the French toast in hot butter on both sides.
My presentation wasn’t that great, but this riff on tiramisù from Puglia is very tasty with crumbled amaretti cookies, espresso, amaretto, and homemade ricotta. If you’re ever in Puglia, make sure to eat at Antichi Sapori in Montegrosso, which is where I had something similar for dessert.
13 thoughts on “French Toast Sous-vide”
Ha ha. The gratuitous sliced bread shot!
I suspect I would never, ever have thought of this as a post subject. Brilliant.
Thanks, Conor. Glad you noticed the gratuitous sliced bread shot, which I included just for you 🙂
Oh my god! I want this now!!!
Sounds fantastic! So yummy!
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I would have never thought French Bread could be cooked sous vide? Who knew??? I don’t own the appliance but very interesting.
It’s the eggs that work very well when cooked sous-vide, and 64C/147F is the ‘magic’ temperature at which the egg becomes like custard.
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One of my favourite weekend breakfast! Dennis and I could eat plates and plates of french toasts! Try making your toast using brioche if you can find some or bake it yourself (I will post a brioche recipe on the blog today 😉 ) you will see it’s so delicious!
You are right that French toast made from brioche is great! Cooking regular bread sous-vide like this actually makes it more similar to brioche (as the eggs are ‘integrated’ into the bread).
I remember a long time ago commenting on whether you could sous vide cake – I think I was pissed and didnt know what sous vide was. You politely said possibly as I recall. Having seen this I think you could actually do it?!
I’ve never tried it nor seen a recipe, but it may be possible to get a nice result. It would definitely work with sponge cake or something like that.
French toasts are so delicious! And this is the new way to cook it(even thou I don’t have this machine). 🙂
Stefan, I received my Joule from ChefSteps last week and I’ve been considering making creme brulee custard in a bag instead of individual glass jars. That thought led me to think of doing French Toast in a sous vide bath. I Googled and guess who popped up? You!
In the US, the way we do it, at least those of us who do it right ;), put a little sugar in the egg/milk mixture. Then let it soak so long that the bread becomes sopping wet. When it’s fried in a HOT cast iron skillet with bacon grease, or butter, it crisps the outside and the inside is like smooth custard. The finishing touch depends on how you were raised. Some people’s mama used powder sugar and some people’s mama use maple syrup. I’m a powder sugar girl.
Finally, it should be served with crispy, salty bacon to offset the sweetness.
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