Stack of French toast on white plate with berries on top.
Helpful Tips,  Recipes

Weekend Brunch Hero: How to Make French Toast

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Get ready to flip out with these classic and creative tips for how to make French toast.

French toast with fruit on white plate.
French toast with fruit. Photo credit: Yayimages.

Next time you’re in charge of whipping up a weekend breakfast or holiday brunch, French toast is a classic dish you can add to your menu to serve along with coffee and homemade breakfast sausage

French toast is sliced bread dipped in egg custard that’s cooked in a pan or on a griddle. It’s usually served with butter and maple syrup and sometimes topped with whipped cream, powdered sugar, and fruit.

How to Make French Toast Custard

The custard is made by whisking together whole eggs and milk or cream. Sugar, vanilla, and maple syrup are sometimes added to sweeten the batter. Spices like cinnamon and nutmeg are also popular additions. 

The egg-to-milk ratio will vary, depending on how rich and custardy or eggy you want your French toast to be. 

You’ll need about four eggs for every eight slices of bread. One large egg is equal to about one-quarter cup of liquid eggs.

For rich, crispy French toast, only add one-quarter cup of milk or cream for every four eggs. For a lighter, softer French toast, increase the dairy or plant-based milk to no more than one cup per four eggs.

Adding a pinch of salt is also a subtle way to make your custard pop.

Best Bread for French Toast

When making French toast, it’s best to use a sturdy dense bread like brioche, challah, French bread, Italian bread or sourdough. These types of bread hold onto the egg custard really well.

Brioche and challah bread are made with a lot of eggs and butter, so they make for an extra decadent French toast. 

If you use softer bread like white bread or wheat bread, the custard will start to dissolve the bread itself, creating a soggy French toast. 

Day-old bread always turns out the best French toast because it has less moisture.

Don’t be afraid to get creative, you can also make croissant French toast. It turns out really well using the baked method.

French toast with strawberries and bananas.
French toast with strawberries and bananas. Photo credit: Yayimages.

Baked French Toast

The traditional way to cook French toast is to place the custard-soaked bread on a skillet or griddle with some melted butter or oil, but French toast can also be baked either as individual slices or as a casserole.

After dunking the slices of bread in the custard, shake off the excess and spread them onto a buttered sheet pan. Set your oven to broil and cook the slices on the top rack in your oven. 

Watch them closely. When they start to brown, give them a flip and cook a couple more minutes until golden. This method is especially convenient when you need to make French toast in large batches. Top it with a bit of brown butter for extra richness.

To make a baked overnight French toast casserole, arrange the slices of bread in a greased 13-by-9-inch baking dish and pour the custard all over the bread, until it’s covered. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, uncover the dish and bake it at 350 F degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until the custard is fully set. 

Vegan French Toast

Most recipes for French toast are made with eggs, dairy, and butter. But French toast can also be made Vegan-friendly.

Instead of eggs, use two to three tablespoons of cornstarch for every half cup of plant-based milk.

Similar to eggs, the cornstarch will act as a thickener and help brown and crisp up the surface. You can also add sugar, syrup, spices, nutritional yeast, and extracts to the batter to enhance the flavor. 

Then, instead of cooking it on a griddle in butter, use a little vegetable oil. 

French toast sticks

Many fast food joints serve French toast sticks. You can also buy them pre-made in the freezer section at most grocery stores. 

French toast sticks are made by cutting thick bread slices into wide strips. But the dirty little secret is that they’re deep-fried. 

The frozen sticks come pre-battered and par-fried. Then, restaurants drop them in the deep fryer just like they do with french fries. To add even more calories, they’re tossed in cinnamon sugar and served with a side of maple syrup. 

If you prepare these frozen French toast sticks at home, you at least have the option to bake them or heat them in the air fryer, so they’re a little less damaging to your waistline. 

Instead of the par-fried frozen option, you can also make homemade French toast sticks from scratch by slicing thick bread into strips and cooking it just like you would full slices of bread. 

Close up of French toast sticks in metal can.
French Toast Sticks. Photo Credit: Yayimages.

Air Fryer French Toast

Using an air fryer to make French toast reduces the amount of fat you need to cook the breakfast treat, and it still delivers a crispy crust. 

You can use the air fryer to cook frozen French toast or make your own recipe from scratch. 

Just make sure to shake off any excess custard since most air fryer baskets have slots in them. 

When making French toast from scratch, cook it for three to five minutes per side at 375 F degrees. 

Stuffed French Toast

If you really want to splurge for breakfast or brunch, make stuffed French toast by layering two slices of bread with a smooth filling.

You can use sweetened cream cheese with sliced fruit, peanut butter with bananas, or even hazelnut spread. 

Once the sandwiches are made, dunk them into the custard. Allow a little extra cooking time, because these are thicker. And go ahead and top with syrup, berries, or whipped cream. This is a judgment-free zone. 

Another way to make stuffed French toast is to use sweet Hawaiian rolls. Dip the rolls in custard and fill them with a fruit compote, using a piping bag. Then, just bake them at 400 F-degree oven for about 10 minutes or air fry them at 375 F degrees until golden brown.

Now that you know how to make French toast if you follow these tips and ideas, your next brunch or breakfast is sure to be a hit. 

This article originally appeared on Food Drink Life.

Pinterest pin for how to make French toast.

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