French Toast & Hugs

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FTX Times Square

Shyam making French toast in Times Square

FTX Cops

NYC Cops love their French toast

Shyam Yadav and his dog Daisy started the gang French Toast and Hugs.  They've held events in Santa Monica, New Zealand, Downtown Los Angeles, New York and India. His next FTX event is July 4 weekend in Philadelphia at Love Park.

French Toast

For best results, choose a good challah (egg bread) or a firm, high-quality sandwich bread, such as Arnold Country Classics White or Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse Hearty White. Thomas’ English Muffin Toasting Bread also works well. If you purchase an unsliced loaf, cut the bread into 1/2-inch-thick slices. To prevent the butter from clumping during mixing, warm the milk in a microwave or small saucepan until warm to the touch (about 80°). The French toast can be cooked all at once on an electric griddle, but may take an extra 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set the griddle temperature to 350° and use the entire amount of butter for cooking.


8 large slices hearty white sandwich bread or good-quality challah

1 1/2 cups whole milk, warmed

3 large egg yolks

3 Tablespoons light brown sugar

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter , melted, plus 2 Tablespoons for cooking

1/4 tsp table salt

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Maple syrup

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300°F. Place bread on wire rack set on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake bread until almost dry throughout (center should remain slightly moist), about 16 minutes, flipping slices halfway through cooking. Remove bread from rack and let cool 5 minutes. Return baking sheet with wire rack to oven and reduce temperature to 200°.
2. Whisk milk, yolks, sugar, cinnamon, 2 tablespoons melted butter, salt and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Transfer mixture to 13" x 9" baking pan.
3. Soak bread in milk mixture until saturated but not falling apart, 20 seconds per side. Using a firm slotted spatula, pick up bread slice and allow excess milk mixture to drip off; repeat with remaining slices. Place soaked bread on another baking sheet or platter.
4. Heat  2 tablespoon butter in 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat. When foaming subsides, use slotted spatula to transfer 2 slices of soaked bread to skillet and cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until the second side is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes longer. (If the toast is cooking too quickly, reduce temperature slightly.) Transfer to baking sheet in oven. Wipe out skillet with paper towels. Repeat cooking with remaining bread, 2 pieces at a time, adding a tablespoon of butter for each batch. Serve warm, passing maple syrup separately.
See a video for this recipe here.