This recipe is less fussy AND less messy than your typical French toast recipe.
HEAT AND GREASE: Adjust 1 oven rack to lowest position and second rack 5 to 6 inches from broiler element. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray baking sheet well with vegetable oil spray.
WHISK: In large bowl, whisk eggs, vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt until well combined and sugar is dissolved, about 30 seconds. Add milk and melted butter and whisk until combined.
SOAK: Place bread slices in 2 rows on baking sheet. Working quickly, flip each slice in same order you placed them on baking sheet. Let bread sit until slices absorb custard, about 1 minute.
Some say French toast gets its name from pain perdu, which is French for “lost bread” (since it’s a great recipe to help use up stale bread that otherwise might be “lost” or thrown away). But this custardy breakfast dish has been called all sorts of other names: everything from eggy bread to German toast to poor knights of Windsor! No matter what you call it, it’s one tasty breakfast.
We developed this recipe to work with a very specific kind of bread: supermarket presliced white bread that measures 4 by 6 inches and is ¾ inch thick. (The size of the slices is the key to soaking up the right amount of custard on the baking sheet.) If you want to use whole-grain sandwich bread, you will need a little more custard. The whole-grain breads are drier, so they absorb more of the custard.
Whole-Grain French Toast
To use whole-wheat, oatmeal, or multigrain sandwich bread instead of the white bread, use 4 eggs and increase the milk to 1⅓ cups. Make sure the slices measure about 4 by 6 inches and are ¾ inch thick to ensure that they soak up all the custard on the sheet before baking.