Serves 14 In Brazil, this sweet French toast is served as a Christmas dessert or an afternoon snack. For Denise Browning of Easy and Delish, Christmastime meant enjoying these sumptuous custardy treats at her grandma’s house. The dish is made differently than its American cousin to give it a much sweeter, crunchier outside.
24 slices stale French baguette, ¾" thick (about 1½ baguettes)
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla
½ to ¾ cup granulated sugar 4 large eggs, lightly beaten and homogeneous Vegetable oil for frying
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon Honey or maple syrup for
1. Line a large baking sheet with a double layer of paper towels. Set aside.
2. Divide bread slices between two large, shallow baking dishes, arranging them in one single layer each.
3. In a jar or pitcher, mix well the milk, vanilla and sugar. Pour the milk mixture over the bread slices, distributing the liquid evenly over all the slices. Let the bread slices soak for about 20 minutes, allowing them to absorb as much of the milk mixture as possible.
4. In a large heavy skillet, heat about 2" of vegetable oil over medium-high heat until the oil is hot enough that it sizzles.
5. By hand, pick up each one of the milk-soaked bread slices (handling them gently) and dip into the beaten eggs, coating both sides and allowing the excess to drip back into the egg bowl. Place the bread into the hot oil, and fry until wellbrowned on one side, about 1 to 1½ minutes. Flip the bread and cook until both sides are golden brown. Carefully transfer rabanada to the sheet lined with paper towels.
6. Repeat with the remaining slices of bread, frying several simultaneously if the skillet is large enough. Be sure to work in batches and do not overcrowd the pan. You may have to lower the heat for remaining batches or cook slices in less time since the temperature will be higher.
7. In a medium bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon together. Dredge all sides of the bread slices into the mixture. Any excess cooked egg threads can be removed before dredging bread slices into the sugar-cinnamon mixture.
8. Serve warm or at room temperature, by itself or with honey or maple syrup. Top with berries if preferred.
In the early 20th century, rabanada was very common in the taverns of Madrid, where it was served with jugs of wine.