SVS: French Toast

Vacuum Infused French Toast

I love a good french toast. When properly done, it’s a thick slab of bread that’s crisp around the edges and rich and custardy in the center.

The challenge is to get the custard to entirely saturate the piece of bread, which usually requires planning a day or two in advance. Stale crusty bread in particular takes a loooong time for the custard to penetrate every nook and cranny of the bread. Even after a 24 hour soak, I’m often left with dry spots near the crust.

The other day, I awoke to a raging craving for french toast. Luckily I had the remainder of some crusty whole wheat bread sitting in the kitchen, unfortunately it was cardboard dry and about as tough. I started thinking about how I was going to remedy this situation when it occurred to me that the chamber vacuum in my sous vide setup might be perfect for getting the job done quickly.

French Toast in a Bag

I’ve been experimenting with using my VacMaster chamber vacuum to quickly infuse fruit with alcohol. The way this works is by reducing the air pressure around the food, which draws out all the air pockets between cells in the fruit. When the pressure returns to normal inside the chamber, any liquid that’s sitting around the fruit gets sucked into the spaces between the cells like an expanding sponge. This instantly impregnates the fruit with the booze of your choice. I figured if this works at a cellular level, why not try it with bread, which has much larger air pockets.

Ten minutes later I was sitting down to enjoy some of the best french toast I’ve ever made. Even the crust of the bread had absorbed the custard, and upon frying the french toast in butter, the edges crisped up due to the sugar in the custard caramelizing.

Vacuum sealed french toast

The only problem was that I put it in a bag, so when the bag got sealed and the pressure returned to normal, the inside of the bag remained under a vacuum. This left an indentation in the middle of each slice of bread. What I realized was that the bag is totally unnecessary, since the infusion happens as the pressure drops and then returns to normal. Next time, I’m going to just put the bread in a tray with the egg mixture in it and stick the whole thing in the chamber to infuse.

Equipment you'll need:


[svs]

  • Sarah

    That’s so neat! I’ve never really been interested in the Sous Vide until you made this post. The french toast looks amazing, truly. Since I’ve never commented before, I should tell you that I think your blog is stunning (and so are you). :)

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Thank you! That’s an adjective I’ve never been called before;-)

  • kiki

    From an ecological point of view…What is wrong with the old aged “soaking the bread in egg + milk an fry it the usual way” method? It is a medieval recipe or eaven older – I guess it is known since the invention of bread and using eggs (even Apicius had something similiar). It was invented to use up leftover bread. There is nothing complicated with french toast, just some baguette or brioche, milk, eggs, spices. And yes, if you press the bread it will soak up the liquid afterwards. Why using plastic bags for heavens sake.

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      There’s nothing wrong with the old way of doing it. But I made this suggestion because it speeds things up. For a baguette to really soak in the custard you need to leave it overnight. That’s not practical if you wake up in the morning and feel like eating french toast.

  • lucie1999

    This is a vacuum chamber. If you put the egg batter in without enclosing in plastic, it will be sucked out along with all the air. Very messy. Unless you can keep the suction low enough to not vaporize the batter.

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      I’m not sure what you mean. As long as the batter doesn’t have a ton of air incorporated into it, it won’t get sucked anywhere. The chamber will pull the air out of the bread(which is why the egg looks like it’s boiling) and when the vacuum is released, the egg gets sucked into the bread.

  • Chef Robb

    I use the marinade canister for my foodsaver, I put a sandwich size plastic container with the batter inside it and weigh the slices down with a small custard dish so each slice is fully submerged when I pull the vacuum. I get great absorption that way with no disfigured slices. I then bag the slices in ziplock bags and cook them sous vide to get the interior to the perfect custard stage, then pan fry them. The perfect French Toast.

Welcome!

I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!

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