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This classic, easy french toast recipe makes the most perfect, vanilla egg custard soaked cinnamon french toast in all the land. With buttery edges and soft insides. Let me show you how to make french toast that is perfect for breakfast or brunch.
When it comes to the three breakfast heavy hitters – pancakes, waffles, and french toast – I definitely fall into the category of people who prefer french toast over the other options. Not that I don’t love and adore waffles and pancakes, but french toast just speaks to my soul. My kids love eating french toast for breakfast, too!
In many homes, french toast is a staple breakfast food. It’s so simple to make and tastes delicious with lots of different toppings. I’ve got a whole list for you below, if you are looking for inspiration, but I especially love topping it with honey. It’s something I picked up when we were traveling through Cappadocia in Turkey and I’ve preferred french toast with honey ever since.
The french toast recipe that I’m sharing today is by far the best french toast recipe. Not only does it hold up well with the challah bread, but the added brown sugar and nutmeg in the egg mixture helps to bring it all to life and really packs a flavorful punch you didn’t know that your plain french toast was missing.
What kind of bread works best for French toast?
One of the great things about french toast is that you can make it with almost any type of bread. But thicker bread makes the best french toasts because it can hold up to the added moisture that it will be soaked in and give that custard-like texture the really good french toast is known for. Regular white sandwich bread has a tendency to fall apart and doesn’t bring a lot of flavor to the table to begin with.
I’ve even used leftover homemade rolls a few days after a holiday dinner to make french toast by slicing them horizontally into halves or thirds (depending on how big they are). It works really well and is a great way of using up leftovers without letting them go to waste!
Fun fact: french toast isn’t actually French, although they do eat it there. In France, it’s referred to as “pain perdu,” which means lost bread, and it is eaten as a dessert. It’s called lost bread because the dish is supposed to use old, stale pieces of leftover bread.
If I have my druthers, though, I will always make french toast with homemade challah bread. Brioche bread is my second choice, followed by Italian bread, french bread, and Texas toast.
Also, you can totally make cinnamon roll french toast using unfrosted cinnamon rolls that have been cut in half or in thirds and it is fantastic. Another delicious option is my apple fritter bread, banana bread, or panettone (an Italian Christmas bread).
What ingredients do I need to make french toast?
The ingredient list for french toast is really simple. You can make french toast without cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, or vanilla, but each of those little additions makes a big difference in this french toast recipe!
- whole milk (or even heavy cream)
- brown sugar
How to make french toast
- Make the custard: In a shallow baking dish, like an 8×8″ baking dish or a pie plate, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar. Be sure to whisk really well! Nobody wants bits of fried egg around the edges of their french toast!
- Heat the griddle or frying pan: Melt the butter on a griddle or in a large skillet over medium heat. You should hear the butter sizzling, but you don’t want it to burn so be careful not to leave it too long.
- Soak the bread: Working in batches, if needed, dip both sides of the sliced bread into the egg mix. The longer you let it sit in the mixture, the more custard your bread will absorb, and the longer it will take to cook through. Also, bread that is stale soaks up more custard than bread that is fresh, so your soak time will vary depending on the type and condition of the bread you use. That said, I don’t let it soak longer than 4-5 seconds per side. If you oversoak the bread, you run the risk of soggy french toast that doesn’t cook all the way through.
- Fry the french toast: Place your french toast down and fry the bottom side until golden brown, flip, and repeat. Continue doing this until all of the bread has been used. It should take 1-2 minutes to fry each side of the french toast, so make sure your heat isn’t too high or too low.
- Serve: Transfer your french toast to a serving plate, dust with powdered sugar, and serve it with your favorite toppings and sausage or bacon on the side!
What to put on french toast:
While I already mentioned that I love french toast with honey (seriously, it’s so good and if you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it), there are actually a lot of different things that you can top your french toast with including:
- Butter (because we are frying our french toast in butter, I never feel the need for more, but to each his own)
- Maple syrup (so basic but who cares when it’s so delicious?)
- Coconut Syrup
- Freshly whipped cream
- Fresh fruit
- Jams or preserves
- Flavored butter (like Whipped Cinnamon Honey Butter or Raspberry Butter)
- Buttermilk caramel syrup (Kneader’s in Utah serves their french toast like this and it’s amazing)
- Peanut butter
- Or even vanilla ice cream for dessert!
It’s crazy how, with a little creativity, an easy french toast recipe can become a completely different experience each time. That alone, definitely makes it one of the best breakfast foods.
More Breakfast Favorites
- German Pancakes
- Farmhouse Baking Powder Biscuits
- Aebleskiver | Danish Pancakes
- Fluffy Toasted Coconut Pancakes
- Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
- Copycat Waffle Love Liège Waffles
- Crepes Recipe (How to Make Crepes and Crepe Filling Ideas)
- Cinnamon French Toast Sticks
- Carrot Cake Pancakes
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 8 slices challah or brioche bread
- 4 tablespoons butter
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
- In a shallow dish like an 8x8" pan or pie plate, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar.
- Melt butter on a griddle or in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Working in batches if needed, dip both sides of each slice of bread in the egg mixture, then fry until golden brown in the butter. Flip and cook on the other side until golden brown. Repeat with remaining bread.
- Transfer to a serving plate and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with your favorite syrup or honey.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 619 Total Fat: 25g Saturated Fat: 12g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 10g Cholesterol: 284mg Sodium: 548mg Carbohydrates: 83g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 38g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 16g