Publication date December 13, 2023
The Secret to Making the Best French Toast Recipe Ever
The Secret to making the best French toast starts with the best ingredients as a breakfast staple. With the best bread, fresh eggs, cream, vanilla, cinnamon, and a little secret touch, anyone can make a perfect French toast.
To be honest, at first, I truly thought I didn’t like French toast, it just felt so eggy and there are so many ways it can go wrong, soggy, undercooked eggy centers, or overcooked, but all that has changed now. How? Because I’ve found the secret to the best French Toast recipe.
In this blog, I’ll show you how to make this easy recipe by using a few simple ingredients. So ready to ditch your boring breakfast routine and try the hottest French toast recipe ever? Let’s get started!
What is French Toast?
In simple terms, French Toast is a dish made of bread soaked in a custard base which is often made of eggs and cream, sometimes milk, that’s fried in a pan, usually with lots of melted butter.
There are many types of French toast and is also known as “eggy bread”, “Bombay Toast”, “poor knights”, or “gypsy toast” Surprisingly it’s not quite French but Americans gave this name to the dish when French immigrants began making it in America. In fact, in France, call it “Pain Perdu” which translates to lost bread.
I’ve had plenty of bad French toast in my life, the kind that’s overly soggy and just plain nasty. To achieve perfection, one must follow a set of guidelines as I did. This set of rules is easy to follow so you don’t need to worry and aside from these rules, you’ll also need to use the best ingredients.
What is the best bread for French toast?
Starting with the most important ingredient, bread. When you’re searching for the best bread for French toast, look for something sturdy, hearty, or buttery. Avoid using a loaf of plain white bread from the piles and piles of commercially produced white bread we use for old-school peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
I love using challah bread, brioche, or thick slices of Sally Lunn bread for my French toast But, if you’re not the bake-your-bread type of person, or don’t have those on hand, check out your nearest grocery store’s bakery department, and I’m sure you’ll get exactly what you need for this recipe.
Anyway, here are some of the best breads for French toast:
- Challah bread
- Texas Toast
- Sourdough bread
- Sally Lunn bread
- French Bread
- Sandwich bread
What Milk to Use for French Toast
Another important question people often ask is whether you need milk for the best French toast, while milk is a common ingredient in most French toast recipes, it’s not the essential one. You can make French Toast without milk by using water, plant-based milk, or melted butter.
Although you may love having French toast that has been made with heavy cream or butter, it’s also fine to use milk that you have in your fridge. Including:
- Heavy Cream
- Half and Half
- Whole Milk
- Skim Milk
- Butter Milk
Dairy-free French Toast Recipe
Even though generally all of the French toast recipes include dairy products, especially milk and butter, you can also use dairy-free options for making this recipe. I often use different ones depending on who I am serving. For example, when one family friend doesn’t or can’t have dairy products, I use oat milk for them. And of course, they always love it! However, the flavor may change slightly depending on the milk option that you choose:
- Almond Milk
- Coconut Milk
- Oat Milk
What Sweeteners to Use for French Toast
I have tried making this recipe with multiple types of sweeteners, and I generally received positive results. You can make toast with delicious using maple syrup, honey, and coconut sugar, as well as confectioners and granulated sugar. The flavor again will change slightly depending on what sweeteners you use. For instance, using maple syrup will give a hint of maple flavor to the recipe. Here are a few common sweeteners that can be used in French Toast recipe:
- Maple Syrup
- Coconut Sugar
- Granulated Sugar
- Confectioner’s Sugar
What is the best way to make French Toast?
Now let’s come to the main delightful part of this blog, the recipe. Buttery French toast with a custardy center, this is the best French Toast recipe you’ll ever make.
By simply following a few simple steps, you’ll have restaurant-quality French toast to impress your friends and family.
- 8 – 1/2 inch slices of hearty, sturdy bread, I like using challah or buttery brioche
- 1 cup half and half
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons butter
- To begin, take a wide shallow bowl and whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt.
- In the second step, dip each bread slice in the egg mixture and allow to soak for 30 seconds on each side. Then transfer to a baking sheet to allow the mixture to soak through the bread.
- Now, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a non-stick griddle pan over medium-high heat. After this, place four slices of the bread in the pan and cook until golden brown, approximately 2-3 minutes. Flip the bread over and let it cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until golden. Once it’s done transfer to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Repeat this process with the remaining bread slices.
- Serve your delicious French toast recipe immediately with powdered sugar, fruit, or maple syrup, if desired.
Do you know the best part about my recipe? It’s super easy to cook! It takes the pressure off of me from worrying that I have to have exact ingredients in my house to be able to make a family favorite breakfast or brunch. With just a few simple ingredients that I always have in my kitchen, I know I can make delicious and best toast that my family will enjoy having.
When making a double or triple batch, preheat the oven to 300 degrees and warm a baking sheet in the oven. Always, transfer the cooked French toast to the baking sheet to keep warm until the whole batch is ready.
Make-Ahead French Toast
To make the best French toast recipe or best cinnamon French toast recipe
ahead of time, consider the following points:
- For up to 30 Minutes: Make the cooked French toast, place it in a single layer onto a baking sheet, and hold it in a 250º F oven for approximately 30 minutes.
- For up to 24 Hours: Make the French toast batter and place it into an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When it's time to cook, stir the batter to combine well and proceed with the recipe as written.
- For up to 3 Months: It’s best to see the freezer instructions to follow.
How to Freeze French Toast
To Freeze your French toast, arrange it in a single layer on a baking sheet and place it into the freezer until it's firmly frozen approximately 30 minutes. Now store the slices in a freezer-safe zip-top or airtight container.
Now when you want to serve it, use either of the following methods to reheat French Toast.
- Oven Method. Place the French Toast in a single layer on a wire rack-lined baking sheet and cover it with foil. Then bake in 350º F oven for 10 minutes until hot.
- Air Fryer Method. Reheat the toast in a single layer in an air fryer until heated throughout.
- Toaster Method. Reheat your toast in a toaster oven until heated throughout.
What is the most common mistake in making French toast?
The best French toast recipe is browned and crispy on the outside while incredibly custardy and rich on the inside. In fact, a really good French toast can make you reconsider ever making pancakes and waffles again. But there are some common mistakes that people often make while cooking a perfect French toast. On that note here are a few things to watch out for:
- Adding too much sweeteners and dairy to the custard
- Not mixing the custard properly
- Not choosing the right bread for French toast
- Under-soaking the bread
- Using not enough or too much heat
- Only using the butter
- Not preheating the pan
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is French toast French?
You may be surprised to know that the French didn’t invent French toast. Instead, it was Americans who gave the name “French Toast” to this dish because French immigrants in America started making and eventually popularizing the dish. In fact, many say that French toast was invented long before France even existed.
Q. What is the secret to good toast?
Well, there are many secrets to making good toast, including, choosing the right bread, getting your pan preheated, don’t overheat the toast, buttering generously, and using the good-quality toppings
Q. Is toast a junk food?
A toast is a junk food or not, depends on a variety of factors, including how you eat it or what you eat with it. However, to enjoy toast as part of a balanced diet to maximize its nutritional value, it's best to choose whole wheat or sourdough bread and limit sugary toppings.
Q. How to make French toast crispy?
The first thing you need to keep in mind to make French toast is to choose thick and slightly stale bread because thicker and day-old bread absorbs the custard slowly, leaving the exterior slightly firmer for a better crisp. Aside from this, always use medium-high heat to ensure the pan is hot enough for the batter to sizzle immediately. This will create a quick sear and help develop a crisp exterior.
Q. How to make French toast without milk?
To make French toast without milk, you can use a milk substitute such as Coconut Milk or Almond Milk, this will give good results as well.
Q. What is the best bread for French toast?
Brioche or Challah is considered to be the best bread for French toast, because these egg-based breads have a high butter content, meaning their crumb is tender and rich but light. In other terms, they're an ideal foundation for super decadent yet airy French toast.
Q. Can you make French toast without eggs?
Yes, you can absolutely make French toast without eggs, while they’re traditional and one of the most common French toast ingredients, you can still replace it with many egg substitutes such as Custard Powder, Cornstarch, Flaxseed Meal, Applesauce, and Silken Tofu.