Monday, September 14, 2009

Food: Five Spice French Toast

Although my typical breakfast is a bowl of cereal or fresh fruit and yogurt, my favorite types of breakfast foods fall into the "weekend" category (i.e. the things you probably shouldn't eat every day since they're heavier in fat and calories...but we won't mention that part, will we?). I place these "special occasion" foods into two categories: savory and sweet. On the savory side I love Greek-style omelets, huevos rancheros, grandma's buttermilk biscuits with sawmill're getting the picture, right? But on the sweet side, besides my mom's whole wheat, blueberry pancakes, my favorite food is French toast.

I would describe the perfect French toast as piping hot, crisp on the outside and slightly doughy in the middle, with a custardy constitution reminicent of bread pudding. It's a food that is most definitely completely about texture and warmth with a touch of sweetness and spice. Thinking about this, several weeks ago I decided to modify my normal recipe adding some orange extract and five spice flavor to give it a warm and citrus-infused flavor. We found it to be a nice departure from the traditional cinnamon and vanilla version. Also, if you're wondering about a trick to make the toast both flavorful and crispy, I've found that using a combination of both butter and oil in the skillet works the best.

This recipe holds up well if in case you have leftovers and decide to freeze some slices. Just heat them up in the toaster oven when you're ready to finish them off. Jonathan and I had a couple of slices in place of toast last weekend with our cereal...and they were perfect even without adding any sort of toppings.

five spice, french toast, oil, butter, bread, motown maiden, detroit, breakfast
five spice, french toast, oil, butter, bread, motown maiden, detroit, breakfast
Five Spice French Toast



  • 4 large eggs, beaten until slighly frothy
  • 1 c milk
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1/2 t five spice powder
  • 1/2 t orange extract
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 3/4 loaf french or vienna bread, cut into thick slices
  • 1T butter
  • 1T light-flavored cooking oil (I used Smart Balance)


  • Place 1 T butter and 1 T oil in a skillet and pre-heat stovetop to medium heat
  • In a large, shallow bowl, stir together eggs, skim milk, sugar, five spice powder and orange and vanilla extract
  • One slice at a time, dredge the bread through the egg mixture soaking approximately 5 seconds per side until it is soaked through
  • Place the bread in the pre-heated pan and cook for 2-3 minutes a side on medium heat until cooked completely and nicely browned on both sides
  • Plate and serve

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