Healthy Eating

Orange Cinnamon French Toast

Toast of the table

Editor's note: Little skeptics will never know they're eating an entire egg when they eat this crowd-pleaser! Chef Tom Douglas brings us a delicious variation on a brunch classic -- French toast with the subtle brightness of orange. Kids will love breaking the eggs and soaking the bread in the custard. Top with fresh berries for a great way to start any day.

The owner of five of Seattle's most popular restaurants, the Dahlia Lounge, Palace Kitchen, Etta's, Lola, and Serious Pie, Douglas was named the Best Northwest Chef by the James Beard Association in 1994. He's just announced a new project: developing a line of baby foods and a school lunch program featuring local and in-season ingredients, with part of the proceeds to go to charity. Tom and Jackie live in Seattle with their daughter, Loretta. Visit for more information.

Orange cinnamon French toast

Makes 4 servings
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 2/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • Grated zest from 1 orange
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup, plus more for serving
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 8 slices hearty bread, 1 inch thick
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for serving
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Combine the eggs, half-and-half, orange juice and zest, maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Soak the bread thoroughly in the custard mixture.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat and add 2 tablespoons of the butter. Once the butter is melted and beginning to foam, place 4 slices of the soaked bread in the pan. Fry the bread until golden brown, about 3 minutes, then flip and brown the other side. Remove the French toast to a baking pan and brown the remaining 4 slices in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. When all the bread is in the baking pan, put the pan in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes until the French toast is hot and cooked through.

Serve with lots of butter and warm maple syrup and garnish with fresh berries or sliced banana if you like.

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