The 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.
What is French Toast?
French Toast is a recipe made of bread soaked in a custard base made of eggs and cream, sometimes milk, that’s fried fried in a pan. Preferably with lots of melted butter.
Also known as “eggy bread”, “Bombay Toast”, “poor knights”, or “gypsy toast”, it is not quite French but a name Americans gave the dish when French immigrants began making it in America. In France, it’s known as “Pain Perdu” which translates to lost bread.
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 perfection 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.
The Best Bread for French Toast
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. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried homemade Brioche French Toast….really.
How To Make French Toast
Now, I have seen overnight 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 recipe I’m going the way of the casserole like this 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 gives your 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 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? 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.
Ingredients You Will Need
Again, I can’t stress enough the importance of high quality ingredients to achieving the recipe ever.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Bread – Sturdy, day old bread will work best here….I like to grab a a loaf of brioche or challah french toast is amazing, too.
- Eggs – Large eggs are best because I love the yolk to egg white ratio for this recipe the best.
- Dairy – To keep the french toast calories kinda in check I like to use half and half but you can use heavy cream if you’re looking for something a little more decadent.
- Maple Syrup – Real maple syrup is the way to go here, don’t skimp…..just don’t do it.
- Spices – I like to use cinnamon, vanilla and salt but you can use whatever you like. Nutmeg is great in this recipe, too!
Variations on French Toast
You can mix up the flavors in this fluffy french toast recipe easily to match your tastes:
- 1 tablespoon orange juice in place of the maple syrup
- Brown sugar in place of maple syrup gives it a caramel flavor
- 1 tsp ground ginger for a peppery, sweet bite
What To Serve It With
More French Toast Recipes
- Berry Stuffed French Toast Casserole
- Monte Cristo French Toast Casserole
- Overnight French Toast Casserole
- French Toast Sticks
If you want to see ALL my happy accidents (and even the not so happy accidents) be sure to follow me over on Instagram!
Get the Recipe: The Very Best French Toast Recipe
- 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.