French toast is one of the oldest and most popular breakfast items and most people love it; old and young alike. The classic French toast recipe started as an ingenious way to use stale or ‘lost bread’ and consisted of dipping stale bread in eggs, milk, and vanilla. Today, there are hundreds of variations of French toast and anyone can make it. Indeed; these easy ways to make French toast can make even the most average cook look like a gourmet chef!
1. Classic French toast
This recipe can’t be beat; it is crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
- 1 cup milk
- ¼ cup flour
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- A pinch of salt
- Day-old bread – 6 slices
- In a large bowl or pie pan, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, salt, and flour to form the custard.
- Dip each bread slice into the custard until it is just soaked through.
- Heat a pan and melt some butter on it. Place each dipped bread slice on the pan and cover and cook for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown.
- Turn and cook the other side.
- Make all 6 French toasts.
- Serve the French toast with butter, sprinkled powdered sugar, and/or breakfast syrup.
2. Fluffy French toast with strawberries
A fluffy French toast can be made with or without eggs.
- 1 cup egg substitute
- 2/3rd cup fat-free milk
- ½ tsp each cinnamon powder and vanilla extract
- 4 slices of day-old, whole-wheat bread.
- 1 cup frozen and thawed or fresh strawberries, diced.
- Whisk egg, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon until light and frothy.
- Dip each bread slice in the custard and place on a baking pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
- Next, pour the leftover custard over the bread.
- Cover and refrigerate the bread slices overnight.
- Next day, sauté the bread slices on a non-stick skillet or griddle until fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside.
- Top with strawberries. Use syrup if desired.
3. How to make French toast without eggs
This vegan French toast looks and tastes just like the real thing!
- 2 cups sliced bananas
- 3/4th cup vanilla soy milk
- A pinch of cinnamon and cardamom (the latter is optional)
- 8 slices of day-old bread
- 1 tsp canola oil
- Mango puree or maple syrup
- In a blender or food processor, blend together bananas, soy milk, and cinnamon and cardamom if using.
- Take the puree out in a pan.
- Dip each bread slice in the puree and scrape off excess batter.
- Heat a non-stick griddle or skillet and add some oil.
- When hot, add each coated bread slice. Brown on one side, 2-3 minutes, then turn and brown on the other side.
- Transfer to plates and serve hot with mango puree or maple syrup.
4. How to make French toast without milk
This is another great vegan French toast recipe without milk and eggs. It contains chickpea flour which is gluten-free and readily available in Asian stores or health food stores.
- 1 c plain non-dairy milk
- ¼ cup chickpea flour
- A pinch of ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- Canola oil for the pan
- 6 slices whole-wheat bread
- In a pie pan or shallow dish, whisk together non-dairy milk and flour. Make sure you dissolve all the lumps, at least the larger ones.
- Add cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla and whisk until incorporated.
- Heat a skillet or non-stick frying pan and add a bit of oil in the center.
- Dredge each bread slice in the batter and place the coated bread in the heated skillet/frying pan.
- Cook on one side until golden-brown, for about 2 minutes each. Turn and brown the other side.
- Note that chickpea tends to absorb oil; so you may have to add some more oil from the sides of the toast. You will learn by trial and error how much oil is needed.
- Serve hot with maple syrup.
5. How to make French toast without vanilla
In this recipe, you use leftover cake to make the French toast. Pound cake works best. You can also use regular bread, and in place of vanilla extracts, add cinnamon, nutmeg, maple extract, almond extract, etc.
- 3 eggs
- 2 slices of stale pound cake, at least 1 inch thick
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 tsp fine sugar
- A Pinch of salt
- In a bowl, add milk, eggs, sugar, and salt and whisk until well incorporated.
- Dip the pound cake slices in the custard until soaked.
- Heat a skillet and add some butter or oil.
- Fry the coated slices – 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
- Sprinkle cinnamon powder and serve with maple syrup.
Some FAQs about French toast
How much milk should I use for my French toast?
For every 2 slice serving of French toast, use about ¼ cup of milk and 1 egg.
I have made French toast for a large crowd of about 50 people. How do I keep them warm?
Place the slices of French toast on a baking sheet and cover them with an aluminum foil. Heat the oven to 200 F. Place the covered slices in the center of the oven. You can also place the slices on a covered griddle on the stove.
Why is my French toast so soggy?
French toast is not supposed to be gooey or soggy in the middle. Excess dairy and too many eggs in the custard mixture tend to make French toast soggy. Improper cooking times can also impact the texture. To prevent a soggy French toast, use 3 eggs for 5-6 slices of bread. Ensure that the bread isn’t too thick. Avoid slices over 1” thickness. Make sure that the bread is slightly stale so that it absorbs the custard well.
How can I dry my bread for making French toast?
It is best to use stale bread or a day-old bread to make French toast as fresh bread won’t soak up the custard properly. To dry your bread, leave it outside, at room temperature, in its wrapper. You can also preheat the oven to 200 F and place the bread inside it for a few minutes. You can also lightly toast the bread. However, over-toasting can harden the bread and prevent it from absorbing the custard.
How do I store my French toast?
If you have leftover French toast, you can refrigerate it for a day or two. Wrap the slices in an aluminum foil or in an airtight container. You can warm them up slightly (on a heated pan with oil or butter) before eating. French toast can also be frozen. Place wax paper between the slices and cover up with a foil. Freeze for a few weeks. Defrost and thaw the bread in a toaster or lightly warm it up on a heated pan.