A few months ago the cable company called and asked if we wanted to try out cable and a PVR for 6 months for free. I thought of Food Network for 2 seconds and said yes. I’ve set it up to record all my favorite Food Network shows and then at night when I am too tired to do anything but stare blankly at the wall, I watch Food shows. Regan had come home one night after the kids were in bed and found me snuggled up on the couch in my coziest pjs watching recorded cooking shows. He sat down beside me in the dark and watched for a few minutes, before asking “Don’t you ever think, why I would need to watch a show where she was talking about making a chocolate cake, when I could easily do that?” He got bored relatively quickly and moved on to doing some of his never-ending doctorly paperwork. I kept watching and started a new episode that happened to have french toast in it. Well I watched, even though I know how to make french toast. Or so I thought!

I have never really loved french toast. It’s okay. In my mind, it’s just above cold cereal and way below good waffles and other tasty hot breakfasts. (To me cereal is like eating old, tasteless, soggy, cardboard….not to say that my kids don’t eat it pretty much every day….) French toast is a I-don’t-want-cereal-but-i-dont-have-much-time kind of breakfast. The thing I don’t like about french toast is the sogginess and the egginess. When you cook the bread, but the inside is still a soggy, eggy sponge. No thanks. (I bet you can guess how I feel about bread pudding…)

Because I watched a Cooking show that showed lowly french toast, I will never make french toast my old way again!

3 things about this french toast:

  1. The Bread matters. Thickly cut, old, dry Bread. Not that I’ve had this in my cupboard for 2 weeks and it’s got a bit of a green ting but I can’t quite see any green growth…. Not that bread. But maybe you’ve got a loaf in your freezer that’s been there a little too long and it’s a bit dried out. Or you made a rustic loaf a few days ago and you have some thickly cut slices. Yum.
  2. Lemon Zest. My first thought was “really…. isn’t that a bit over the top!” Nope. It’s not. I couldn’t believe the difference the little punch of lemon added. Do it.
  3. Just Yolks: One of the reasons I never really loved French toast was the fear of having one of the slices that ended up with the big clump of egg whites, know what I’m talking about? No thank you!

So. Give this recipe a try. French toast has officially climbed the taste latter at my house thanks to Ree Drummond!

The Pioneer Woman's French Toast

Course Breakfast


  • 1 loaf Crusty Bread: Baguette, French Loaf, Etc.
  • 4 whole Egg Yolks
  • 2 cups Half-and-half
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla
  • Zest Of One Lemon
  • Maple Syrup For Serving
  • Sifted Powder Sugar, For Serving (optional)


  • To make the french toast, cut bread into slices 1/2 inch thick. In a dish, mix together egg yolks, half-and-half, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla. Whisk to combine. Dip bread slices in mixture, coating both sides, then remove from dish and set aside. Repeat until all bread is coated.
  • Heat iron skillet or griddle over medium heat. Sizzle butter in the pan when hot. Cook French toast on both sides until golden brown, being careful not to burn.

You can find her witty-as-always original post here.