Sunday, January 10, 2010

French toast or eggy bread for winter refuelling


I may well be a fashion editor, but I do eat. And eat properly. I utterly refute Kate Moss (& Weightwatchers') cry of 'Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels'. God life would be so unutterably boring without eating delicious things. I find it hard to like people who pick at food or remain resolutely opposed to eating. One legendarily unhinged editor told me at our first interview that she didn't like eating. I should have listened more carefully & run fast in the opposite direction when I still had the chance.

Don't get me wrong - I watch my weight as much as the next woman (there's a fine dividing line between perky & porky) but, in this misbegotten weather, all I want is yummy, carb-orific, filling & hot food.

So I give you my incredibly easy French toast, pain perdu, or eggy bread* as it is known in my household. This is the savoury version. Not being an American, I cannot abide sweet food at breakfast.

For three pieces of French toast take two eggs, then change your mind and make it three (count on one egg per piece of bread):

French toast

Break them into a bowl and beat with a fork. If you like savory eggy bread add salt now. If sweet, a heaped teaspoon of white caster sugar. There is also the stratospherically wonderful Indian version where the egg is beaten with milk, salt, green chili and chopped onion.


Cut three pieces of bread (it can be stale as the egg softens it up). I used part of a delicious bloomer - I wish you get could bread like this in America.

French toast

Hack off the crusts (& take to park to feed the ducks)

French toast

Dip the bread a piece at a time in the egg,


making sure it is saturated and soggy with beaten egg


Ad a couple of tablespoons of neutral cooking oil (sunflower/groundnut) to a large frying pan and heat it until it smokes (but not too much or your house will burn down).


Turn the extractor fan onto high. This dish is going to spread frying smells everywhere otherwise.


Slide two pieces at a time into the frying pan (too much cools down the oil & yr toast will be soggy):


I like mine quite browned & very crispy, but if you want a lighter colour, keep checking the bottom of the bread and then flip it over when done to your liking to cook the reverse side.


Flip it out of the frying pan & on to kitchen paper to drain off some of the oil.


Arrange beautifully on plate:


And - the piece de resistance - I then add a fine layer of Marmite to my eggy bread.


I do realise that some of you now think I am the wrongest person in the world for doing this. All I can say is: don't knock it until you have tried it.

Otherwise try it as an accompaniment to an English breakfast or, if you've gone down the sweet route, try fresh fruit, icing sugar and whipped cream.

*This post is dedicated to Mr Avocado who thinks that eggy bread is the most ludicrous name for food and yet another example of English madness.