French Toast with Orange and Brandy

    Everyone seems to have his or her own idea about which type of bread makes the best French toast. I prefer French bread sliced on the diagonal, but whole wheat bread is a close second. Both are delicious topped with warm maple syrup.

    SERVES 4

    5 eggs

    в…” cup milk

    в…“ cup sugar

    Grated rind of 1 large orange

    ВЅ teaspoon cinnamon

    2 tablespoons brandy, or 1ВЅ teaspoons vanilla extract

    12 to 16 slices slightly stale French bread (sliced diagonally Вѕ inch thick), or 8 slices regular bread

    Butter for frying

    Warm pureВ maple syrupimage

    1. Beat the eggs thoroughly in a large bowl. Add the milk, sugar, orange rind, cinnamon, and brandy, and mix well. Pour into a shallow dish like a pie plate if your bowl doesn’t have a good flat bottom.
    2. Add a few slices of bread and let soak, turning occasionally, for at least 5 minutes if it’s French bread, or 2 minutes if it’s regular sliced bread.
    3. Put a little butter in a large skillet and heat over medium heat until hot. It should sizzle when a drop of water is flicked on it. Fry the bread on both sides until golden brown and piping hot. Serve immediately or keep warm in the oven (300В°F) while you prepare the rest. I like to serve these with a pat of butter on each toast and pass the maple syrup at the table.