French toast is a popular breakfast item served across Europe, and America, and is known by various names across the globe. In UK, they are occasionally known as eggy bread, gypsy toast, or bread dipped in egg. In Australia and New Zealand it is known as Fairy bread. In Burma and Sri Lanka it is known as Bombay Toast. The Czechs call it Smaženka, Greeks call it egg slices, Spaniards call it torrijas, Portueguese call it fatias douradas or rabanadas, Brazilians call it rabanadas, and Germans call it Arme Ritter. The recipe for this toast is not same everywhere because almost every handy ingredient can be used in the preparation of the dish.
History of French Toast
As per the belief, French toast is not an export of France. The earliest mention of recipe can be found in Apicius, which was the cookbook published by Romans in 4th or 5th century. Apicus described it as: "Another sweet dish: Break [slice] fine white bread, crust removed, into rather large pieces which soak in milk [and beaten eggs] Fry in oil, cover with honey and serve." The original French name for this toast is ‘pain a la Romaine’, which refers to its Roman origins. The term “French toast” made its debut in a book called The Accomplisht Cook in 1660. Till then, it was known by different names in other countries. The French called it “pain perdu” which translates to “lost bread”. Also, French prepared their toast using stale bread. The Dictionary of American Food and Drink indicates that the term “French Toast” literally made appearance in 1871. In America, the French toast was known as “Spanish," "German," or "nun's toast". It is believed that English prepared the dish similar to this toast in middle ages. It is believed that the English might have mastered this technique from Normans who called it tostees dorees.
French Toast Recipe- Suggested Ingredients
The basic recipe demands the use of ingredients like milk, sugar, eggs and bread. Sometimes, spices like cinnamon and cardamom are also used. This toast can be enjoyed alone or can be topped with sugar, butter, honey, maple syrup, marmite, vegemite, molasses, beans, apple sauce, whipped cream, lard, chocolate, marmalade, bacon, syrup and fruits. Some French toast recipes may even compel us to use stuffed fruit mixtures. The stuffed French toast is garnished with maple syrup, powdered sugar and butter.
Variations of French Toast
- Sourdough: This is a popular French toast prepared and enjoyed in Jewish – American household.
- Gypsy Toast: This French toast recipe from Britain recommends the usage of ketchup and marmite topping. Gypsy toast is sometimes known as "Poor Knights of Windsor".
- Fairy Bread: This Australian toast recipe is prepared by dipping the baguette slices or bread slices in spices, egg, and sugar. The New Zealanders use milk, spices, and grated cheese and egg yolks while preparing Fairy bread.
- Jyutping or Pinyin: This is a Chinese version of the famous toast, which is normally served for breakfast and afternoon tea. The French toast recipe demands dipping sliced breads in beaten egg or soy. The toast is further served with a slab of butter and topped with golden syrup.
- BombayToast: This French toast recipe demands usage of egg, milk, butter, chili, salt, and green chili.
- Mozzarella: The toast recipe is stuffed with shredded mozzarella cheese and deep fried in butter after dipping it in egg.
- Smaženka: This Czech version of this toast is prepared by topping the bread with omelette, gherkin, mustard and onions and peppers.
- Torrijas: This Spanish French toast recipe requires that bread should be dipped in wine, egg and fried in butter. The bread is served after topping it with cinnamon and honey.
- Arme Ritter: The Germans modify their bread leftovers into this toast. They serve it with sugar and cinnamon, after filling it with vanilla sauce or plum jam.
- Arme Ridder: This Scandinavian French toast recipe demands the usage of sugar, milk and cinnamon. This bread is served with fresh whipped cream.
- Bundáskenyér: In Hungary the French toast is served as a breakfast item. They prepare this French toast by dipping the bread in the mixture of milk, salt, pepper, beaten eggs, and served after topping it with ketchup, mayonnaise, onions and tomatoes.
Popular French Toast Recipes
- Baked French Toast Casserole: This French toast recipe requires that bread should be baked instead of frying. The bread is usually served with raspberry syrup.
- Cinnamon Plums with French Toast: The toast is prepared from the left overs of stale bread. The stale bread is combined with sharp cranberry flavors, and cinnamon scented campote.
- Froot Loops French Toast: This toast is prepared by using Kellogg’s froot loops cereal, milk, and egg whites.
- Panettone French Toast: This recipe suggests the usage of panettone, with regular ingredients. It is served with fresh berries and powdered sugar.
- Bananas Foster French Toast: The recipe suggests the usage of heavy cream, butter and croissants. These ingredients are mixed with other ingredients and served with syrup mixture.