For the past week, I've seen something pop up over and over online: French toasting leftover pizza. It's a method of reheating those slices by dipping them in an egg-and-milk mixture and treating pizza like it's French toast.
I was intrigued, so I had to check it out.
I've tested methods for reheating pizza before. The best way to make it as close to the original as possible is to use a skillet. That way, the crust gets crispy. During the last minute of reheating, add a couple drops of water to the skillet and throw a lid on top. The steam will melt the cheese.
I wanted to see if the method of French toasting pizza was any good and also test it against my usual method of bringing pizza back to life, so I tried both ways side by side.
I followed the instructions for French toasting pizza in the video above, except I used whole milk instead of cream. I whisked together an egg, a couple tablespoons of milk, a pinch of salt, a grind of black pepper and a couple shakes of smoked paprika and then dredged the slice of pizza in it (pictured above left). Then I put it on the same preheated, non-stick griddle where I cook French toast. I put another leftover slice — as is — in a preheated cast iron skillet.
Once the crusts of both slices seemed sufficiently cooked through, I flipped the pizza that was soaked in the egg and put a few drops of water in the skillet and a lid over the other slice. I waited about a minute and then took them both off the stove.
The result? Two very edible, but very different, slices of reheated pizza.
The skillet-reheated pizza was crispy on the bottom. The cheese had melted nicely and the slice was dripping with grease from the cheese and pepperoni. It was good and close to how it tasted right after it had been delivered.
The French-toasted pizza was altogether something different. It was not crispy, but it wasn't soggy. It was soft on both sides. I could taste the egg a little with the first bite, but then my mouth would fill with a savory, comfort food-like deliciousness like you'd get from a good lasagna or other red-sauced, cheesy pasta dish. It wasn't better than the skillet method; it wasn't worse. It was just different.
Will French-toasted pizza change your life like Internet Shaquille suggests in the video? No, but it may change the fact that some leftover pizza languishes in the back of my fridge. What this method is best for, he says, is cheap doughy brands. I bet it's probably good on leftover store-bought frozen pizza, too. That's the only kind of leftover pizza that my sons don't finish. But, maybe if I teach them how to French toast the remaining slices, they'll change their minds.