Basic French Toast

1 day-old baguette, cut diagonally into slices 3/4 inch thick
6 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups half-and-half
1 Tbs. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
2 Tbs. firmly packed light brown sugar
Unsalted butter for cooking
Confectioners? sugar for dusting
Blackberries or other berries for garnishing
(optional)
Maple syrup for serving


In a shallow baking dish, arrange the bread slices in a single layer. In a bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar and whisk until blended. Pour the mixture over the bread and let stand for 1 to 2 minutes so the bread can absorb the liquid. Turn the slices over and let the bread absorb the remaining liquid, 1 to 2 minutes more.

Preheat a griddle according to the manufacturer?s instructions and coat generously with butter. When the griddle is hot, cook the bread in batches (do not overcrowd) until golden and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Transfer the French toast to a warmed platter, dust with confectioners? sugar and garnish with berries. Serve immediately with maple syrup alongside. Serves 4.
from Williams Sonoma.