Joshua Weissman’s cinnamon French toast doesn’t have to apologize
Maybe it was the pandemic that forced our hand, but competence is cool. Not so long ago, a collective frustration with all the rigors of adulthood seemed slightly charming. Now mastering a skill set is the new “I can’t even”. And cooking is the new take-out.
There are few better examples of culinary ability than Joshua Weissman. At his very popular YouTube channel (nearly five million subscribers), the 25-year-old chef demystifies cooking, ambitiously creating homemade versions of fast food dishes, “but cheaper” interpretations of classics like sushi rolls and gourmet burgers, and ambitious projects from scratch like croissants. His character is curious, reassuring and a little firm – the encouraging teacher who gives you confidence in telling you that yes, you can do it.
His debut album, “An Unapologetic Cookbook”, offers a similar attitude. “If you want a specific outcome, whatever it is,” Weissman observed in a recent phone call, “it could be something in your professional life, it could be if you play a video game, it will require a certain level of effort. Now does good food take effort? Yes. Does it have to take a long time? Not always. But I just want people to realize that if something is taking a long time, that’s perfectly normal. “
Beginning with “basic baking” recipes for things like breads, cheeses, and broths, Weissman’s book then moves the reader into both simple and more elaborate applications for these building blocks. After all, if you’re learning how to bake bread, imagine how much of a game-changer it will be for your grilled cheese sandwiches. Or cinnamon toast. Or French toast. There are recipes for each of them in “Unapologetic”.
I love French toast because it’s objectively sensational, and also because it’s quick and dumb-proof. Are pancakes intimidating you? French toast is your best friend. And if you’ve ever done it, you already know it – the propaganda from the industrial brunch complex that it’s expensive, only on weekends is a giant lie. You can, of course, take Weissman’s challenges and make your own bread and butter – and feel great about your success. Or you can just, as he also suggests, use the store-bought versions of your ingredients and still find yourself very satisfied. Here, I tweaked his recipe a bit to suit his cinnamon toast, a delicacy he rightly describes as a “perfect food.” The result is rich, gourmet, incredibly nostalgic – and far too good to wait until Sunday to enjoy it.
Recipe: French toast with cinnamon French toast
Inspired by “A Shameless Cookbook” by Joshua Weissman
For 2 people
- 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 cup of half and half (or 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup whole milk)
- 4 slices of your favorite bread, preferably cut into thickness yourself (I used challah here – little stale is ideal.)
- Softened butter for the pan and more for the garnish
- In a small bowl, combine your cinnamon and sugar.
- In a medium bowl or pie dish, whisk together eggs, yolk and salt until blended.
- Add your half and half and whisk again.
- Heat a pan over medium heat and melt your butter.
- Add two slices of bread to your egg and milk mixture, letting them soak well.
- With a slotted spatula, add the bread to your pan and cook for 2 to 4 minutes, until golden and set. Flip and cook for about 2 minutes more.
- Remove your first two slices of bread from the pan and lay them out, then repeat the process with your next two slices.
- When all your French toast is done, cover each slice with a knob of butter and spread it all around. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar. Garnish with whipped cream, if you feel it.
Faster and dirty:
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