The Very Best French Toast Recipe
A breakfast staple, the very Best French Toast recipe starts with the very best ingredients. Hearty bread, fresh eggs, cream, vanilla, cinnamon and a little secret I like to keep up my sleeve to make mine better than everyone else’s. This is the back pocket recipe you need to win over even the pickiest overnight guests.
A funny thing happens at the grocery store when a snow storm is imminent. Everyone seems to go to the store and buy the essentials….the essentials being bread, milk and eggs. But if you’re me….it’s bread, milk, eggs, heavy cream, five pounds of butter, bacon….lots of bacon….fresh squeezed orange juice and Pirate’s Booty. The essentials. The must have items you will find in my house if Mother Nature decides that she’s going to pull a fast one and throw a silly Nor’easter over the entire tri-state area on the first full day of Spring. That’s our current situation and although I had all those items in my kitchen today….that’s not exactly what I planned to use those ingredients for. I have a ton of brunch-y, springtime dishes I want to share but I realized something….I make the BEST French Toast recipe ever….and I never shared it with all of you.
The Best French Toast seems like an overstatement, I know, but hear me out on this one. I have had plenty of bad French toast….like the kind that’s overly soggy and just plain nasty. Or the French Toast that is not really French…it’s more just toast…like toast that’s toasted in a pan with a mess of butter but is otherwise dry in the middle. To achieve the perfect French toast one must follow a set of rules….or, more professionally, a certain technique. AND to add to your quest for French Toast perfection…you MUST use the best ingredients you can find. Starting with the bread. Don’t just grab a loaf of plain white bread from the pile and piles of commercially produced white bread we use for old school peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Seek out something sturdy, hearty…and dare I say, buttery. Like this amazing Brioche that I make on the regular….or your own homemade white bread recipe would work well, too. If you’re not really the bake your own bread kind of person….check out your grocery store’s bakery department and I can guarantee they’ll have exactly what you need for this recipe.
Now, I have seen French Toast recipes where there’s an overnight soak but let’s be real here….if you want French Toast…you kinda want it now. And if I’m doing an overnight French Toast I’m going the way of the casserole like this Fruit and Nut Brioche French Toast Casserole that is absolutely dreamy and perfect for guests but I’m totally getting way off track so let’s get back to the task at hand. Now, to dip your bread….we’re going to whisk together a few things….like half and half or heavy cream, I prefer the half and half because it still give your French Toast a lovely, silky, custardy texture inside but still keeping it kind of light. Heavy cream is dreamy, too, but so rich….I’m getting full just thinking about it. (I’m not…but wouldn’t that be the BEST diet plan!) Again…off track.
So, we whisk together the eggs and cream….sprinkle in a bit of cinnamon and vanilla. Don’t skimp on either of those…get a really great quality cinnamon and vanilla extract. You only use a little bit so you’ll have it around for awhile. The better your ingredients the better your recipes….remember that rule.
Now…to make my French Toast the VERY BEST French Toast Recipe I add a secret ingredient….that may not be so secret but I don’t know a ton of others that do this so…I drizzle in a bit of maple syrup. Why you ask? Because the maple syrup flavor gets into all those nooks and crannies in your bread making it taste simply spectacular eliminating the need to maple syrup at the table. But, I do it anyway…I drench mine in maple syrup because maple syrup is the best thing ever. Whisk it again and then dunk your bread one piece at a time in the batter. Fry it up on the griddle and serve hot.
I love to serve the Very Best French Toast recipe with a side of this killer fruit salad. But again, if you’re looking for something to feed a crowd and don’t really want to stand over the stove flipping and dipping….you will LOVE this Berry Stuffed French Toast Casserole OR this Monte Cristo French Toast Casserole which was the happiest accident ever. If you want to see ALL my happy accidents (and even the not so happy accidents) be sure to follow me over on Instagram!
- 8 - 1/2 inch slices hearty sturdy bread (I like a buttery brioche or challah)
- 1 cup half and half
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons butter
In a wide shallow bowl (I like to use a pie plate), whisk together the half and half, eggs, syrup, cinnamon, vanilla and salt.
Dip each bread slice in the egg mixture and allow to soak for 30 seconds on each side. Transfer to a baking sheet to allow the mixture to soak all the way through the bread.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a non-stick griddle pan over medium high heat. Place four slices of the bread in the pan and cook until golden brown, approximately 2-3 minutes. Flip the bread over and continue cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Repeat with remaining bread slices.
Serve immediately with powdered sugar, fruit or maple syrup, if desired.
To make a double or triple batch, preheat oven to 300 degrees and warm a baking sheet in the oven. Transfer cooked French toast to the baking sheet to keep warm until the whole batch is ready.