Great French Toast is impossible to resist. Unfortunately, in restaurants we too often receive a limp, soggy and eggy excuse for the real thing.
It's just sad.
Well, if you want something done right, sometimes you just have to do it yourself! French toast is a perfect lazy Sunday brunch solution. It's quick and easy enough for a late weekend start in the kitchen, but still tastes special enough to merit a leisurely lingering at the breakfast table – the way weekend days are supposed to start off!
Since pretty much everyone already knows how to make a basic French toast, I won't include a recipe here – what I will do is offer up 5 tips that you can use to transform your everyday French Toast into a classic.
6 steps to better French Toast
1. Start with the right bread
Skip the wonder bread and get yourself started right with thick slices of Challah egg bread or brioche. Also, although the name might lead you to contemplate "French Bread" for your French toast, softer Challah or brioche is a much better choice.
2. Use stale bread
Dry bread provides a much better platform for a French Toast. Cut as many slices as needed before you go to bed on Saturday night for a Sunday morning brunch and leave them out on the counter to dry. The slightly dried slices will soak up the custard much better than freshly cut slices.
3. Use thick slices of bread
The best French Toast is crispy browned on the outside and creamy rich on the inside. It's hard to achieve this contrast if using thin supermarket breads. Cut your slices almost a full inch thick for the very best French Toast.
4. Skip the milk and use cream instead
When you soak the bread in the egg mixture, you infuse the bread with a custard. Custards taste better when made with cream. For your next French Toast, substitute Heavy cream or half and half for the milk and see what a difference it makes.
5. If you like crunchy French toast, use a little flour in your egg/milk mixture. Try:
- 1 egg
- 3/4 milk
- 2 Tbls of sugar
- 1/3 cup flour
- a pinch of salt
- a tsp of vanilla
- 2 Tbls of melted butter
- 6 slices of bread
6. Use butter to fry, and use a lot of it
There is no substitute for butter when frying up some French toast. Butter flavor is needed here, and you need enough melted butter in the pan to ensure that your toast gets fried crisped, and not soggy steamed. If you're on a diet, don't eat French toast. If you eat French toast, you might as well do it right – so don't skimp on the butter!
If you're frying for a crowd, keep slices warm in a 300 degree oven as you cook. Serve with good homemade jam, real honey or real maple syrup and a little powdered sugar sprinkled on top.
A great way to start the day!
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Carrie Lee Night from Northeast United States on August 11, 2018:
Sounds yummy. I have tried all sorts of bread including the ones you listed :) however they tend to be expensive so I frequently use discounted bread at the grocery store that is already borderline stale. Usually it is Itallian bread.. On sale for 0.64 cents. I use the bigger peices in the middle and it turns out great. Thank you for your suggestions !! Also rum in the batter gives it an edge.
Chris McKnight on April 10, 2015:
Best French toast ever
Leah Wells-Marshburn from West Virginia on July 03, 2013:
These are excellent tips for making French toast. I am going to make some this morning and I plan on using half-and-half and the flour. I've read about the flour a couple of different times now, so I want to see how it compares. I also have this specialty flavoring from King Arthur Flour called Fiori di Sicilia. They say it adds an extra special touch. I'll let you know how it turns out!
Miamia on February 05, 2013:
I love French toast, but these tips just made it a hole
RachieCakes on December 22, 2012:
What a well-written article! Highly informative - I'll definitely be using these tips for Christmas morning brunch with the family. Thanks!
seabright7 from Seattle Area on June 21, 2012:
Wonderful tips. I think I'm going to have to make new french toast for breakfast tomorroe morning. yum!
A on May 06, 2012:
Yum, toast. Challah.
Brookie cookie 123 on April 26, 2012:
best french toast ever!!!!!!!! thanks for the tips!
MissChristieLynn on April 09, 2012:
Great hub! I love making french toast, and I will definitely refer to this hub the next time I do so!
Lee Raynor from Citra Florida on January 17, 2012:
This reminds me of the good ol' days. Working in a hotel at the beginning of my career, we took leftover Bridgeford demiloaves. Egg and cream with a little cinnamon and vanilla, then the piece de resistance. We deep fried the bread in clarified butter. I can feel my arteries hardening just from writing about it
LULU SUE1987 on September 19, 2011:
Thanks for these recipe tips. I love french toast and will try them.
John D Lee (author) on February 21, 2011:
The cornflakes french toast idea sounds interesting
dusy7969 from San Diego, California on February 11, 2011:
I've given up on the flour in the recipe. I've decided that I don't like it. I dip them in a mixture of crushed corn flakes and almonds. It's tough to get it right, but when you do, it's really good.
KimberlyAnn26 on February 06, 2011:
Great Hub! French Toast is by far my favorite breakfast. These are some great tips. I will have to try some of these and see how they turn out next time!
John D Lee (author) on November 27, 2010:
OK - J Sunhawk - you're in; as long as you bring the real maple syrup!
J Sunhawk from South Carolina on November 19, 2010:
Adopt me. I'm neat, clean and don't leave my socks on hanging on the satellite dish. All I ask for payment is your french toast.
John D Lee (author) on February 09, 2010:
Marisue, the trick to crisp French toast is adding a little flour to the egg/milk mixture
marisuewrites from USA on April 14, 2009:
I LOVE really good crispy French toast, not the soggy kind...but I can't make it right. thanks for the tips!!!
jim10 from ma on March 30, 2009:
Thanks for the tips. For special occasions I make a baked french toast that I soak stale bread over night in milk, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. But, these tips will be great for every other morning. I make similar french toast on the weekend.