We love french toast and often eat it weekly. French toast was created as a budget-friendly breakfast using a couple of eggs, some dairy, and whatever stale bread you had. It has now become a highly customizable and decadent breakfast treat. Below are some tips on how to make french toast.
French Toast Tips
- Avoid pre-sliced bread. Slicing your own bread allows you to control the thickness of the slices. Ideally, your slices should be ½ to 1 inch thick.
- Use dry bread, it will soak up the custard better. If your bread doesn’t seem dry enough I like to lay the slices out on a wire rack the night before. If you are in a hurry you could also place the bread on a sheet pan in a 275-degree oven for 10 minutes.
- Use room temperature ingredients for your custard.
- Before I cook my french toast I like to fry some bacon so that I have the bacon grease to coat my pan.
- Keep your french toast warm by placing it on a sheet pan in a low oven.
- Dairy: Skim, 2%, Whole, Half and Half, Heavy Cream, and even Eggnog all make delicious options depending on how rich you want your custard to be.
Here is my basic recipe:
- A ¼ cup of dairy and one egg for every two slices of bread
- Sweetener: You could use granulated sugar but using powdered sugar instead will give you a really smooth custard. Or try using brown sugar which will add a delicious caramel flavor.
- A pinch of salt
- Cinnamon and Nutmeg: I like to make sure every slice is evenly dusted so rather than adding cinnamon and nutmeg to the custard I like to sprinkle it on to each slice after I have placed them on the electric griddle or pan.
- Preheat your griddle to 350 degrees or a large skillet on medium heat.
- In a square baking dish, whisk the eggs and sugar together until smooth.
- Add the vanilla, salt, and dairy, Whisk to combine.
- Dip each slice of bread into the custard mixture. Times will vary based on the thickness and dryness of your slices. You are looking for the sweet spot of maximum custard absorption without soaking so long that your bread begins to fall apart.
- Coat the griddle or skillet with the fat of your choice. (non-stick spray, a 50/50 mixture of butter and neutral oil, or bacon grease)
- Place each slice on the electric griddle or pan and top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Flip each slice once the bottom has become nice a toasted. This will take about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Cocoa Powder or Peanut Butter Powder
- Your favorite liqueur: My favorites include, Grand Marnier, Disorono, Chombard, or spiced rum.
- Citrus Zest and Juice: I love the refreshing citrus flavor and it helps to combat the sweetness.
Standard French Toast Breads
These are some of the best types of bread for classic homemade french toast.
- Brioche: Brioche is enriched with butter and eggs, which gives it a rich buttery flavor. It maintains its shape well and makes french toast that has a creamy center and crispy sides.
- Challah: Challah has been enriched with eggs but contains no dairy. It is often sold as a loaf which makes it perfect for slicing into thick slices for your french toast.
- Potato Bread: Potato bread is sweet and spongy. The potato starch helps the bread to suck up the custard while maintaining its shape.
- Sourdough: Sourdoughs tartness helps to counterbalance the sweetness of french toast.
- French Bread: French bread has a chewy texture and can soak in the custard for a long time without becoming soggy.
New French Toast “Breads” To Try
I like to shop the discounted section of the bakery at my local store. I can save a little money and most of the loaves of bread have already started drying out which makes them great for french toast.
- Glazed or Cake Doughnuts: Slice each doughnut in half and make sure to dip them quickly. I also suggest using heavy cream to make a thicker custard.
- English Muffins: All of those nooks and crannies do a great job of soaking up the custard while maintaining its shape.
- Flavored Loaves of Bread: There are so many delicious options; apple, cinnamon raisin, blueberry, lemon, chocolate, banana and so many more. Often these loaves are presliced so make sure to dip them quickly.
- Muffins: I recommend using muffins for baked french toast. Tear the muffins into pieces and place them into a square baking dish. Pour the custard over the muffins making sure each piece is saturated. Cover the dish with foil and bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes until the french toast is firm.
- Bagels: Slice each bagel into 1-inch slices like you would a baguette.
- Croissants: Slice each croissant in half and dip quickly.
Toppings for French Toast
- Cream Cheese
- Ricotta Cheese
- Fresh or Cooked Fruit
- Chocolate Sauce
- Fruit Sauce
- Whipped Cream
- Peanut Butter
- Toasted Nuts
- Breakfast Cereal
- Powdered Sugar
One of my favorite things about french toast is it freezes so well. Once the french toast has cooled place the slices in a zip-top bag and freeze. The french toast should be eaten within a couple of months. To reheat, place the french toast on a sheet pan and cover with foil. Bake it in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes.
What are some of your favorite ways to customize your french toast?