French Toast Is Better With Oven-Roasted Bread

French toast is delightful, but it can also turn stale bread into a pillowy, sumptuous dinner.   

You don't have to wait until your old loaf is almost gone to make this famous dish; the finest version uses oven-roasted bread.  

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and arrange bread pieces on the wire rack for perfect French toast. First bake each side for eight minutes, then make your standard French toast.   

Oven-roasting slices beforehand manages moisture in the bread, giving it a fluffy (but not mushy) interior and a crispy, toasted surface for the final meal.  

French toast's origins are surprising and uncertain, but the science underlying the perfect product is known.  

What matters most is the slices' wetness and egg batter absorption. Bread gives French toast its main flavors and textures. For maximum flavor and texture, oven-roasting slices first can change the game.  

As bread turns stale, moisture escapes and starches shift, making it dry and crumbly. Starch retrogradation occurs over a long time, depending on the loaf.  

The oven dehydrates bread, but the texture isn't damaged like with stale bread, thus French toast can become moist without falling apart on the platter.  

The type of bread and its dryness matter. French toast can be made with any slice, including whole wheat and seeded for an earthy flavor or crispy texture. Both greatly affect how much egg batter is absorbed while frying.  

For the softest French toast, choose brioche, challah, or an artisanal Pullman loaf. Sugar, eggs, and milk make these batters rich. The microscopic holes in these breads act like air bubbles formed by the yeast while the dough rose; with more closely packed holes than in sourdough, the bread will absorb more batter.   

French toast's custardy texture depends on bread thickness and batter soak time. Some experts recommend letting bread sit in batter for 15-20 minutes for maximum results.  

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