French toast is truly one of our favorite brunch items, topped with warm butter, and syrup, or fruit and cream…it’s pretty much impossible to go wrong. We all know how to make French toast, but on a quest to see if we can make a great thing even better, we decided to tackle our usual recipe and try something a little different. Making French toast is really all about the bread, and finding the right texture in order to prevent sogginess. In punching up our usual method, we’ve learned a thing or two about achieving the perfect balance of creaminess and texture in order to perfect this beloved breakfast classic.
In searching for the best French toast, we discovered a few not-so-secret secrets: thicker slices of bread work better than thinner for absorbing batter, but perhaps the most important step is to lightly toast thick slices of bread in the oven before dipping it in the batter. This will prevent sogginess while increasing deliciousness, a ratio that we can all agree is the best way to make the perfect French toast. Once the toast has been perfected, now all that’s left to do is figure out toppings, butter and syrup, powdered sugar, fruit, whipped cream and fruit, there’s no wrong way to top your toast!
Looking for the perfect way to start the day? Then only a fresh batch of french toast will do. It turns out this basic recipe has existed much longer than you might expect: it goes all the way back to a cookbook published in the 4th or 5th century. For reference, what we now call French toast is older than France the country. Pretty impressive! There’s a reason why this remains a breakfast staple, when food this simple can taste this good, it is destined to become legendary.
30 min to prepare serves 4
8 thick slices bread (a hearty white bread should work, about 1/2″ slices)
1 1/2 cups whole milk, warmed
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted plus extra for skillet
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F.
Place bread on a wire rack or baking sheet and bake bread for 7- 8 minutes. Flip, then bake another 8 minutes. Remove from rack and let cool 5 minutes.
Whisk together milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, butter, and vanilla in a large bowl until well blended.
Transfer the mixture to a large baking dish.
Soak the bread in the mixture about 20 seconds per side, then transfer to a separate baking sheet, so it doesn’t get soggy.
Lower oven temperature to 200F (to keep cooked french toast warm).
Add butter to a skillet, and cook over low heat. Transfer slices of bread to the skillet and cook until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes, then flip and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes.
Transfer toast to a baking sheet, and place in the oven.
Repeat until all toast is cooked. Serve warm with butter, powdered sugar, and/or maple syrup.