Compleat Idler

Idler’s kitchen — French Toast

(c) 2012  Earl L Haehl

Permission is granted to redistribute this in whole as long as credit is given.  Book rights are reserved.

French toast was rare when I was growing up. My grandmother preferred to throw a small can of corn into a few eggs, scramble them and call it an omelet. I do something similar but that’s another meal and another blog I may or may not get around to.

French toast is one of the few times I will get out the teflon* coated electric fry pan. I set the temperature and let it warm up to a constant 320-360 degrees, then start on the prep.

Ingredients are (for two people): Sourdough bread (the staler the better), five eggs, half and half and nutmeg. Butter or spread is also helpful in the pan to get that brown on the eggs.


Sourdough bread is what we use because it has lower glycemic index than the “Texas toast” stuff which appears to be only white bread. I have several recipes to make it myself, but in this instance fresh is not better. And leaving bread out to go stale is not a good idea if you have a Labrador. You can use raisin bread or cinnamon swirl if you like.

Five eggs is what I use, but you can get by with four.

The standard dairy product in our refrigerator is no-fat-no-lactose. You really need milkfat for taste and texture. My preference would be dairy cream, but my cardiologist does not agree. I just pour in what feels right.

Nutmeg was a controlled item at the penitentiary where I retired after serving a number of years in the administration. So that tells me it is a pleasure spice. I keep the spice to one and keep it simple. You cannot overdo the nutmeg—use plenty.

I mix with a fork because it is easier to clean than the whisk. Because I’m using a non-stick pan I use a plastic spatula that will not nick the surface.


While the pan warms up break the eggs into a square, shallow Pyrex baking dish—or whatever you have that fits. Discard the shells. Pour in the half and half and beat until smooth. Then as at least a teaspoon of nutmeg and beat until it is all through the mix.

Grease the pan generously. This is not to lubricate but to add texture to the final product. Dip the slices of bread and toss them onto the pan or a cast-iron griddle if you have a gas stove. Wait a couple minutes and turn. You can add more nutmeg while cooking.

Serve with your choice of condiment: syrup, butter and brown sugar, or jam/preserves.


I put an asterisk after teflon because I have no idea what the latest non-stick is. Having one of those ceramic top electric stoves, I cannot use cast-iron which is the original non-stick surface that you can reseason if you screw it up.


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