I love everything French. Their fries, their toast, their kissing.
My favorite thing about the French is that they eat French toast every morning. When in Rome and all that. I don’t know what they call regular toast, but I don’t care. Give me French toast or give me death! (Also, the kissing.)
French toast always seemed extravagant to me. And so sweet with all that maple syrup (from Canada, a French-speaking country, even!). It seems like a special-occasion breakfast. The addition of vanilla bean and nutmeg makes it taste sweeter than it actually is. You can substitute 1⁄4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract for the vanilla bean pod; it just won’t taste as rich. If you can’t find challah, substitute brioche.
5 extra-large eggs 1⁄2 teaspoon (2 g) kosher salt 1⁄2 vanilla bean 11⁄2 teaspoon (1.5 g) freshly grated nutmeg 2 challah rolls, sliced 1 inch thick, lengthwise 4 tablespoons good butter, such as Kerrygold
For serving: Good maple syrup (Grade C is more flavorful than Grade A, strangely enough) Peanut butter, warmed slightly to make it easier to spread Butter (my favorite! Note: either salted or unsalted is fine here.) Maldon sea salt (I love the sweet-salty combination of maple syrup and sea salt.)
Crack eggs into a small bowl. Add the salt. Beat with a fork until there are no longer any large globs of egg white visible. You want a homogeneous mixture.
Use a paring knife to cut a whole vanilla bean in half. Cut across the width of the bean. Reserve the other half for another use. Make a slice down the length of the remaining vanilla bean half, being careful not to cut all the way through the bean. Use the tip of the paring knife to pry back the sides of the bean along the cut you just made, exposing the seeds. Run the blade of your knife down the length of the pod, scraping out the tiny seeds. Add the seeds to the eggs.
Grate nutmeg into egg mixture, a little less than one half of a nutmeg seed for two servings, and beat to combine.
Pour egg mixture onto a large plate or casserole dish and add the challah roll slices. Soak for 10 minutes, turning the bread over after 5 minutes.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium. Add butter.
Add soaked slices to pan containing butter and fry until lightly browned, about 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, flip each slice, and cook for an additional 4 to 5 minutes.
Move the slices to two plates, with the browner side facing up. Top with butter, melted peanut butter, maple syrup, Mint Simple Syrup, or Spruce Simple Syrup. Or go wild and make your own combination of all the above!