Martha Stewart’s Controversial French Toast Technique Has Me Stunned

published May 29, 2024
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overhead shot of two pieces of french toast on a white plate with a blue rim, topped with a pat of butter and drizzled with maple syrup
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Kelli Foster

Weekday mornings are not the time for big breakfasts. In my typical morning rush, I often just grab the easiest thing I can find, like a slice of toast, and keep it moving. Weekends, however, allow me the time and space for a more thoughtful meal. Sunday brunch is when I break out breakfast potatoes, maybe a nice hash, or a classic French toast. 

I’m always on the lookout for a good brunch recipe, which is why I was intrigued when I came across Martha Stewart’s recipe for French toast with Grand Marnier. It looks like the perfect weekend treat. A little bit extra — it does call for freshly squeezed orange juice and Grand Marnier in the custard — but still a comforting brunch classic. 

I was surprised, however, when I scrolled through the comments of her recent Instagram post about the recipe and saw how shocked people were at the amount of fat in the pan when cooking the toast.

Now, to be fair, this does look like quite a lot of fat for your typical French toast. Our recipe for classic French toast only calls for 3 to 4 tablespoons of butter, for example, while Martha’s uses 3 tablespoons of butter plus another 6 tablespoons of sunflower oil.

It seems to me that this is just a case of a slightly less expected approach to French toast preparation. I’d call it a “maximalist” French toast. Martha seems to be going for a shallow fry, rather than the typical stovetop sear where the pan is only lightly greased. While this isn’t typical, it’s hard to believe it would be anything but delicious. Think about how many dishes you love that are fried. A little swim through some hot oil never destroyed anything I’m looking to eat

The recipe also specifically mentions to transfer the cooked French toast to a paper towel-lined wire rack, rather than a plate or baking sheet. In the accompanying video on her site she mentions that the toast shouldn’t be greasy. Will this approach to French toast replace my typical method? No — it’s a once-in-a-while, decadent treat, and I can’t wait to try it.