French Toast

This French Toast is the perfect breakfast, brunch, or dinner…it’s fun to have breakfast for dinner!

white plate with slices of cooked french bread French Toast

The beauty of French toast is how simple it is to make, It requires few ingredients, often items you already have on hand, and additionally, it’s versatile in that it can be paired with sweet or savory items–it can even be turned into one of the best breakfast sandwiches! 

We are going to explore this popular menu item and how you can elevate it by simply adding some amazing options! Let’s get started…

Let’s start with bread options. You can use whatever bread you have on hand, but my favorite, and for this recipe, we’ll be using French bread–it makes the best bread for French toast! But you can use Texas toast for a thicker white bread option, or even croissants for a decedent and butter experience. Another great option is making French toast with sourdough bread, it also makes amazingly crispy French toast. This is due to it being a firmer bread, which dries out easily. And that brings me to an important point; whatever bread you decide on, fresh isn’t best!

 You almost always want your bread to have dried out. If bread is too fresh, it will absorb too much of your egg/ milk mixture. Making the toast soggy. Dryer bread will render a crisp French toast. Fresh bread will be more soggy. So, allow your bread to dry out overnight. You can even refrigerate it uncovered, or lightly toast it in the oven.

The next big part of making delicious French toast is the dip. Traditionally, milk and egg have been used since the 5th century A.D. However, now with so many milk varieties, you can switch it up! You can choose from any one of the many assortments of plant-based milk, if almond milk is your thing you can absolutely make French toast with almond milk. Or you can easily turn this into Bailey’s french toast and have yourself a boozy brunch- just replace the milk with Bailey’s for a fun twist! Want a little tang? Add some lemon to the egg and milk mixture. And of course, you can keep it simple and do just egg french toast and add a little water. You can even dress it up a bit by adding sugar and cinnamon to the French toast batter. 

Now, some people love French toast as is with a little bit of butter, some drizzled syrup, and some,,, sprinkled powdered sugar. And I agree, it’s my favorite way to eat French toast. It is a classic way to enjoy it, but sometimes it’s nice to add some topping for a truly decadent breakfast.

toppings for french toast createdbydiane.com

Below are some ideas to elevate your French toast:

  • Butter and powdered sugar
  • Syrup–not just maple either! Try blueberry syrup, apple-walnut, maple walnuts,  strawberry syrup, or try one of these other syrup recipes.
  • Peanut butter
  • Honey
  • Add some slices of almonds, roasted walnuts, or pecans.
  • Make it savory! Serve with mozzarella cheese, tomato, fried eggs and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.
  • Add some yogurt, coconut, and fruit like blueberries and if you have a real sweet tooth add chocolate chips!

 

And then, of course… you can take your French toast out of plate-and-fork territory and turn it into a delectable breakfast sandwich!

Take two pieces of French toast, bacon, and cheese, add in a scrambled or fried egg and you can take it on the go for the best breakfast sandwich! Or for a sweet treat, if you like Nutells, go right ahead and place that in between two pieces of French toast to make an amazing sandwich…

And one of the bonuses is when the french toast is warm, it’ll melt that silky smooth Nutella for an ultimate indulgence.

sliced heated apples with cinnamon sugar and cut up french toast

Finally, french toast doesn’t have to be served alone. You can add virtually anything as a side dish. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Add protein like eggs–I have some fabulous egg recipes here. You can also add bacon, ham, sausage
  • Cottage cheese
  • Fruit- peaches, strawberries, blueberries, apples, bananas, cantaloupe
  • Yogurt- any kind you like!
  • Jellies, jams, or even lemon curd!
  • Peanut butter and honey or fresh fruit tastes amazing!
  • Avocado–this is one of my favorite savory items
  • And if you’re looking to add a savory vegetable to the plate, try broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini, squash, spinach, cabbage, and tomatoes- okay technically a fruit,  but delicious especially grilled or roasted in a pan!

 

Okay, now comes the good part–cooking this delicious bread!

In a bowl mix the eggs, milk, and vanilla well until silky smooth.

Slice the bread ½ “ thick. If your bread is fresh, place it standing on end in the oven for a minute to dry it out a bit, I often put it on the center rack of the oven and set the oven on high broil. Do not walk away–a minute is all it takes, any longer, you may over-crisp or burn your bread.

Dip the bread slice by slice into the egg mixture until you have 4 slices.

Preheat a 12-inch skillet to medium heat.

Add the 4-6 slices of bread to the pan. Your pan may be smaller or larger–the key here is not to overcrowd the pan. 

Cook on one side until firm on the edges and golden

Turn over and place a lid on top, cook until the other side is crisp and the center is cooked through.

Put the cooked french toast into a pan, bowl, baking sheet, tortilla warmer, or a low-temperature oven to keep warm until all french toast is cooked to serve all at one time.

syrup on french toast createdbydiane.com

Should french toast be dipped or soaked?

The egg mixture must be allowed to soak into the bread; you want a soft, custardy middle. Apply strong but mild pressure while allowing the bread to soak for at least 15 to 20 minutes.

Can I just use milk and no eggs?

You need the eggs. Too much milk will result in soggy French toast because the milk will be absorbed by the bread first, leaving the egg on the bread’s surface.

Is the center of French toast intended to be oozy?

The perfect French toast has a browned, crispy exterior and a creamy interior. It is neither dry nor too wet.

What bread is best for French Toast?

Dryer bread is better than fresh soft bread. French bread, sourdough, croissants, and Texas toast all are great options. Allow the bread to become stale by leaving it out on the counter overnight, or to quickly dry it out, place it on a baking sheet and place it in a 300° oven for a few minutes turning the bread so it dries out evenly or place it on a pizza screen.

My favorite way to enjoy French toast is slathered with butter and powdered sugar, has been since I was a kid and still is today.

french toast recipe from createdbydiane.com

 

French Toast

Thick dry bread soaked in an egg and milk mixture is cooked to perfection, making it lightly crisp with a great chew. Perfect for breakfast or when you'd like to serve breakfast foods any time of day.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: Bread, Breakfast, Egg, Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Diane Schmidt, Created by Diane

Ingredients

  • 1 lb loaf of French bread or thick Texas toast-style bread
  • Sliced ½” thick
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Notes on the bread! If the bread is fresh it’ll absorb a lot of the egg/milk mixture making the French toast soggy, We want to avoid soggy French toast.
  • I prefer the bread to be either refrigerated or slice the bread and allow to dry just a bit at room temperature it can be sliced and placed on a baking sheet and toasted in the oven for a few minutes on each side to dry it out a bit if necessary.

Instructions

  • In a bowl mix the eggs, and milk vanilla well until silky smooth.
  • Slice the bread ½ “ thick. (if it’s fresh bread place it standing on end and place it in the oven for a minute to dry it out a bit, I often put it on a high broiled in the center of the oven.
  • Dip the bread slice by slice into the egg mixture until you have 4 slices.
  • Preheat a 12-inch skillet
  • Add the 4-6 slices of bread depending on how many will fit nicely without overcrowding the pan.
  • Cook over medium heat.
  • Cook until firm on the edges and golden
  • Turn over and place a lid on top, cook until each side is crisp and the center is cooked through.
  • Put the french toast into a pan, bowl, baking sheet, tortilla warmer, or a low-temperature oven to keep warm until all french toast is cooked to serve all at one time.

 

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