Yet another misnomer from the slow cooker: French Toast in the Crock-Pot. I think some of my Facebook friends through I was off my crock when I posted yesterday about how good my French Toast in the slow cooker smelled. I guess, like stir-fry in the Crock-Pot, they couldn’t conceive of how one could take a griddle- or pan-specific dish like French Toast and make it in the Crock-Pot.
Well, first off, kudos go to Stephanie O’Dea from A Year of Slowcooking. She’s the one who first introduced me to the concept of making French Toast this way. (In case you’re not familiar with Stephanie’s blog or book, she spent a year making dinner every night in the slow cooker.) I tried her recipe in 2009, and ended up with a mushy version of bread pudding that I loved but everyone else in the family did not. For them the texture of mushy French Toast was too much to handle.
When I decided to try the recipe again yesterday, I figured I need to do some tweaking in order to avoid a repeat of the mush disaster. So I modified it, mostly by using half of the liquid requirements that O’Dea’s original recipe called for. Here’s what I used this time around:
3/4 cup skim milk (you can use whichever kind of milk you like; we only get skim or fat-free milk)
1 loaf of bread
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 T cinnamon
canola oil, butter or cooking spray
Coat the inside of your slow cooker with canola oil, butter or cooking spray. Since the French Toast has the tendency to stick to the sides, grease it liberally.
Place the loaf of bread in the slow cooker. (My slow cooker is on the smaller side, so I ended up only being able to fit about 3/4 of the loaf of bread inside.)
In a bowl mix the eggs, milk, brown sugar and cinnamon.
Pour the liquid mixture over the bread. It should be enough to cover the loaf halfway.
Turn the slow cooker on low for four to six hours.
(You’ll use the powdered sugar as a dusting when serving the French Toast.)
Verdict: The brown sugar was starting to caramelize about three hours into the cooking time, but at the same time, the bread was getting mushy, with extra liquid in the bottom of the slow cooker. So I used a spatula and flipped the bread over (to avoid burning), and then cooked for the remaining time without the top on. This allowed the extra liquid to burn off.
While the French Toast was still a bit mushy when we ate it, dusted with powdered sugar, my daughters gave it a thumbs up–then went back for seconds. They didn’t even use any maple syrup on it. Instead, they said it was like eating a gigantic cinnamon bun for dinner.
While this probably wasn’t the healthiest option to serve for dinner, it was cheap, easy and quite yummy. Even when our kitchen is put back together again (which it should be by the end of February), I would still make this recipe again.
P.S. In case you’re interested in purchasing Stephanie’s book…