Until I was 35 years old I had always heard this called “French Toast”. Then, I saw being made on a British TV show and they called it “Eggy Bread”. I asked a neighbor in England about it and she called it “Gypsy Toast”. Of the three I thought that Gypsy Toast was the most wonderful name for it! I mean, WTF makes it French anyway? Since then, I’ve looked it up and it’s actually got quite a few more names. But no matter what you call it, my version is lightly spiced, not too sweet, super comforting, custardy, and definitely fit for the queen of gypsies herself.
- 1 cup half and half or whole milk
- 4 large eggs
- 1 TBSP light brown sugar
- 1/8 tsp of fine sea salt
- 1/8 tsp of freshly grated nutmeg (see notes)
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 8 thick slices of stale bread (see notes)
- light tasting oil and butter for frying
- Toppings to serve (butter, syrup, fruit, whipped cream)
- Preheat your oven to 200f, and put a cooling rack on a baking sheet and put that in the oven.
- Put the eggs, egg yolk, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla in a blender. Blend for a few seconds until smooth, then pour the mixture into a shallow baking dish that is large enough for 2 slices of bread.
- Soak each piece of bread for around 15 to 20 seconds per side.
- Place a large frypan over medium heat. When hot, add a few teaspoons of a light tasting oil and a few teaspoons of butter. When the butter is foamy, add two pieces of the soaked bread.
- Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden and crispy. Then place those pieces in the oven to keep them warm.
- Repeat with the rest of the bread, and discard any leftover egg mixture.
Makes 4 Servings – Serve topped with butter and syrup, or fruit and whipped cream… or whatever you like!
- You could leave out the nutmeg, in fact, you’re better off leaving it out if your only option is preground.
- Don’t use crappy cheap bread! I know people like to use schmancy breads with this but I tend to just go for the “Texas Toast” you can find in most USA grocery stores. If you can’t get to a USA grocery store, just ask the bakery to cut a loaf of white bread into 2cm slices. It makes good cheese toast too!
- If your bread isn’t stale, just put it on the cooling rack in the warmed oven for 10 minutes, turning half way. It shouldn’t brown at 200f, just become dried out. Which is what you want so it will soak up the custard.
- Don’t dust with powdered sugar! I find that so annoying, I don’t care if it looks nice, just don’t do it! Ok, you can, but you’re a rebel… an annoying powdered sugar rebel.