Learn how to make the BEST, easy French Toast recipe in less than 30 minutes with coveted crisp, caramelized edges, and fluffy, tender centers. This recipe uses a thicker custard with the perfect egg ratio (never eggy or soggy!) infused with cinnamon, vanilla and optional orange zest. TONS of tips, variations, topping ideas and how-to-video included!
Watch How to Make French Toast
- Bread: My personal favorite bread for French toast is brioche, but I’ve detailed the differences below so you can select what’s right for you. If the bread is sold in loves and not pre-sliced, slice it 3/4-inch thick.
- Eggs: The eggs are whisked together with half and half, sugar, flour and spices to create a custard-like mixture. The eggs act as a binder to firm up the liquid ingredients and “glue” the batter to the bread.
- Half and half: This is half milk, half heavy cream, so feel free to make your own. Half and half is preferred over milk for a richer, creamier mouthfeel, but you may use any milk or milk substitute noting it won’t achieve quite the same texture.
- Flour: This secret ingredient thickens the egg mixture to make a “batter” that clings the French Toast without making it soggy, yielding extra fluffy and extra crispy results.
- Cornstarch: This works with the flour to absorb moisture and make the homemade French toast extra crispy.
- Brown sugar: This adds very subtle sweetens and helps the French toast caramelize better than granulated sugar with those caramelized lacey exteriors.
- Vanilla extract: Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
- Spices: The recipe for French toast is infused with the aromatic flavors of ground cinnamon and nutmeg. A pinch of salt balances and enhances all the flavors.
French toast toppings
Classic French Toast Recipe FAQs
French Toast got its name because although it likely originated in 17th-century England, it was popularized in France. It originally was known as “pain perdu” or “lost bread,” which involved soaking stale or leftover bread in a mixture of eggs and milk before frying it. The dish made its way to America, where it became known as French Toast, reflecting its French origins and influence.
Some say that the dish was named after the French chef who introduced it to America, while others speculate that it was named simply because it sounded fancy and exotic. So while French toast may have a French-sounding name, it is not actually French in origin.
Yes, you can make French toast without milk. Use alternatives like almond milk, soy milk or coconut milk, for the soaking mixture, depending on dietary preferences or restrictions.
French toast has ancient origins and is not exclusive to France. Its roots can be traced back to ancient times, with variations appearing in different cultures. The dish likely originated independently in multiple places. In the 4th or 5th century, the Romans had a similar dish called “aliter dulcia,” which involved soaking bread in a mixture of milk and eggs before frying. The term “French toast” itself became popular in 17th-century England and was later brought to America, where it evolved into the dish known today.
French toast can become soggy if the bread absorbs too much of the egg and milk mixture during soaking. To prevent sogginess, it’s essential to briefly dip the bread into the mixture, ensuring it’s coated but not overly saturated – 3 seconds on each side is ideal. Additionally, using stale or slightly dried bread can help maintain a better texture.
Yes! Leaving bread out overnight can help it become slightly stale, which absorbs the egg and milk mixture without becoming overly soggy, resulting in a better texture when cooked. If you don’t have stale bread, you can also achieve a similar effect by toasting or baking fresh bread slices lightly before making French toast.
The trick to making good French toast is adding flour to the egg mixture.
This create a thicker and more stable coating, more like a batter, which prevents the bread from becoming soggy and contributes to a crispier texture when cooked. The flour adds structure to the batter, resulting in French toast with a delightful balance of tenderness and crispiness.
The most common mistake in making French toast is over-soaking the bread in the egg and milk custard. If the bread absorbs too much liquid, it can become overly soggy and may not cook evenly. To avoid this, it’s crucial to briefly dip the bread into the mixture, ensuring it’s coated but not saturated. Using stale or slightly dried bread and adjusting the soaking time can help achieve the desired texture.
The ratio of milk to eggs in French Toast is 4 eggs to 2/3 cup milk. This ratio provides the right balance between the richness of the eggs and the moisture from the milk, resulting in a flavorful and custardy mixture without being too “eggy.” Adjustments can be made based on personal preferences.
The soaking time for French toast is relatively brief, typically about 3 seconds on each side of the bread. This short dip allows the bread to absorb the egg and milk mixture without becoming overly saturated, helping to prevent the French toast from being too soggy. Adjusting the soaking time ensures a good balance, allowing the bread to absorb the flavors while maintaining a pleasing texture when cooked.
The trick to avoiding soggy French toast is to ensure the bread is only briefly dipped into the egg and milk mixture. Here are some tips:
1. Brief Soaking: Dip each slice of bread into the custard for a short period, approximately 3 seconds on each side. This allows the bread to absorb the liquid without becoming overly saturated.
2. Coating Thickness: Ensure that each slice is evenly coated with the custard, but avoid excessive soaking. The coating should be enough to cover the bread without making it too wet.
3. Slightly Dried Bread: Use slightly dried or stale bread. This type of bread absorbs the liquid better without becoming mushy, contributing to a better texture.
4. Flour in the Batter: Consider adding flour to the egg mixture. The flour creates a thicker and more stable coating on the bread, helping to prevent it from becoming too soggy and contributing to a crispier texture when cooked.
By paying attention to these factors, you can achieve French toast with a delightful balance of tenderness and crispiness, avoiding the common pitfall of sogginess.
Whether to use milk or heavy cream for French toast depends on personal preference and the desired richness of the dish. I like somewhere in between, and use half and half.
-Milk: Using milk provides a lighter option that’s less creamy.
-Heavy Cream: Heavy cream adds richness and a creamier texture to the French toast, making it more indulgent.
Half and Half: This strikes the perfect balance of decadence without being overly rich.
Tools Used in This Recipe
Classic French Toast Recipe
Save This Recipe To Your Recipe Box
You can now create an account on our site and save your favorite recipes all in one place!
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup flour (gluten free is fine)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2/3 cup half and half (may sub milk, see notes)
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest (optional)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Pinch nutmeg
- 12 slices thick (3/4-inch) bread (day-old preferred), (brioche -my fav, challah or Texas Toast)
- butter and vegetable or coconut oil for cooking
- *Day Old Bread: This is preferred but not essential. Remove the bread from the package and let it rest on the counter, uncovered, for one day.
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 200°F to keep the French toast warm in between batches. Place a baking rack inside a baking sheet and place in the middle rack of the oven.
- Prep Skillet: Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
- Batter Bread: Working with one piece of bread at a time, dip it in the custard for only 3-5 seconds per side (no longer or bread can become soggy), transfer to the HOT skillet and repeat.
- Cook: Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Adjust the heat as needed to cook thorough without burning. If your French Toast is soggy (and you’ve used the correct bread), then either you’re soaking the bread too long or not cooking long enough. Transfer French Toast to the baking sheet in the oven to keep warm until ready to serve. Repeat until the custard or bread is gone, adding butter and oil as needed.
- Serve: Serve warm with desired toppings.
- Half and half: This is half milk, half heavy cream, so feel free to make your own. Half and half is preferred over milk for a richer, creamier mouthfeel, but you may use any milk or milk substitute noting it won’t achieve quite the same creamy texture.
- Variations, Tips and Tricks: See post for lots of variations, topping ideas and more tips!
- To Store: Cool completely, then either wrap each slice individually in plastic wrap or stack multiple slices with a piece of parchment paper between each slice to help maintain texture. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To Freeze: Arrange the cooled slices on a baking sheet, ensuring they are not touching. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for about 1-2 hours, until solid. Once frozen, individually wrap each piece tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Alternatively, you can place them in a single layer in a resealable freezer bag, placing a piece of parchment paper between each slice to prevent sticking. Freeze for up to 2 months. When ready to enjoy, reheat the slices directly from the frozen using an air fryer, toaster, toaster oven, or oven. Avoid using a microwave, as it can make the French toast soggy.
Did You Make This Recipe?
Tag @CarlsbadCravings and Use #CarlsbadCravngs
Leave a Review, I Always Love Hearing From You!