2Tablespoonscognacor Grand Marnier (or other liqueur) (optional)
Dry bread by laying on a wire rack overnight* or bake at 200˚F for about 15 minutes (then cool completely).
In a large measuring cup or medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, juice, sugar, zest, cinnamon, salt, and cognac if using.
Place bread in a single layer in a baking tray with sides. Pour egg mixture on bread. Flip slices a number of times, until bread is coated and soaked, about 15-20 minutes. There may be a small amount of egg mixture remaining in the pan, but most will have soaked into the bread.
***Preheat oven to 200˚F. Place a wire rack on a baking tray and set aside.
Over medium heat in a skillet, or on a griddle, heat equal parts butter and oil (about 1 Tablespoon of each for a skillet, and 2 Tablespoons of each on a skillet). Fry bread slices 3-4 minutes per side or until golden. Serve immediately or transfer to wire rack on the baking tray and place in oven to keep warm.
Wipe skillet or griddle, and repeat, adding butter and oil to fry remaining French toast.
Serve warm with maple syrup or your favorite toppings.
*Easiest to leave the bread out overnight to dry it. This helps it so that it doesn’t fall apart when soaking up the egg mixture.** Using butter and oil mixture helps keep butter from burning.***If not serving immediately, preheat oven to keep French toast warm.