This is the best French Toast recipe and it’s so easy to make. This classic breakfast features sweet egg-soaked Brioche bread cooked in a pan and served with your favorite toppings. Brioche is the best bread for the softest, tastiest French Toast.
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What Is French Toast?
French Toast is a classic breakfast recipe that features slices of bread soaked in a sweetened egg custard mixture. Then we cook this sweet egg-soaked bread in a pan until it’s perfectly golden-brown on each side. For a perfect finish, top French Toast with powdered sugar, fruit, maple syrup, or butter.
This great breakfast recipe actually dates back centuries ago but the true origin is not known. Since just about every country has their own version of this dish, it’s hard to point out where it came from exactly.
The version of French Toast that we’re familiar with in US most likely originated from the French recipe for “pain perdu,” that literally means “lost bread.” This term comes from a way of reviving stale bread so it can be eaten instead of thrown out. The perfect way to revive old bread was to soak it in eggs and milk and cook it. “Pain perdu” was often served as a dessert or snack in the afternoon.
What Is The Best Bread To Use:
There are countless options that you can use for French Toast and yes, technically any bread would work in the recipe. The main idea though is to find the bread that tastes the best. Even though I’ve used many different breads through the years, there are three that stand out to be the top choices.
The top three choices of bread to use for French Toast are Brioche, French Baguette, and Challah. All of these options will yield a wonderful French Toast but we have to give the most stars to Brioche. Trust me, Brioche truly makes the best tasting French Toast. It’s the game changer!
Brioche is a classic French pastry that bakers make into individual buns or a loaf. For the best French Toast, use Brioche loaf and slice it into thick slices that are between 3/4 and 1 inch thick.
This bread is so soft and fluffy, it does the best job soaking the sweet egg mixture. Brioche also has a sweet and buttery flavor, which contributes to the overall flavor of the dish.
When it’s soaked with egg and cooked, the result is a soft, buttery, and sweet inside and pleasantly crispy on the outside.
French Baguette is the second best option. It is just as good at soaking up the egg mixture and holding its own integrity. Although, it does not soak up the eggs as easily and as quickly as Brioche. So if you like you French Toast to hold a little more egg in it, let each slice of bread soak a few seconds longer.
This bread is soft on the inside and it has a very pleasant crunchy crust. The texture is also a little more dense and results in a chewier French Toast.
French Baguette is much thinner than Brioche and Challah so it will yield more slices. It’s best to cut the baguette into about 1/2 inch thick slices but not thicker. I recommend that this bread is cut on a diagonal.
Challah is another great option for French Toast. The reason for it being only third out of the top 3 is because of the flavor and texture. Challah doesn’t have much sweetness in it so you may need to add more sugar to the egg mixture or in the topping. This type of bread is also denser and a bit drier than the previous two options.
If you don’t like your French Toast to be sweet or if you are making a savory recipe, Challah would be a good option.
Loaf of Challah bread is also much thicker and larger in size than Brioche and French Baguette so you will end up with fewer but bigger slices of French Toast. Cut Challah into slices that are about 1/2 inch.
Heavy Whipping Cream – I recommend using heavy whipping cream because of the rich and creamy consistency that it brings to the custard. You can use half and half or whole milk if absolutely needed but not with less fat.
Eggs – use large eggs and feel free to double the amount if you’re using double the amount of bread.
Brown sugar – brown sugar had a little more of an aromatic flavor due to the added molasses. Use either dark brown or light brown sugar.
Vanilla extract – for the best results, use pure vanilla extract not imitation.
See recipe card for complete information on ingredients and quantities.
How To Make Brioche French Toast:
Step 1: Use a sharp serrated or bread knife to slice the bread loaf.
PRO TIP: Don’t slice the bread too thin! Perfect bread slice thickness for the best French Toast is between 3/4 and 1 inch.
Step 2: Combine all of the ingredients for the custard in the wide and shallow bowl and whisk very well! Make sure to which until it looks smooth, with no egg white chunks left.
Preheat a large cooking pan over medium or slightly lower than medium heat. Make sure to preheat the pan completely before starting to cook.
Step 3: Lightly grease the preheated pan. Soak each slice of bread for about 15 seconds each, flipping it from side to side to get an even coating.
Step 4: Place the soaked bread into the preheated pan one at a time. Let the bread cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Make sure to flip each slice in the order that you added it to the pan, giving a few seconds in between.
PRO TIP: as the French toast slices cook, after you flip the bread to the uncooked side, you are looking for the center of the bread slice to raise as the egg inside cooks. Raising center is indicating that the egg that soaked in the middle is cooking. Wait until it deflates and carefully touch the center with your finger. It should feel firm and now squishy.
Tips For The Best French Toast:
- For creamiest texture, use heavy whipping cream in the egg mixture. Heavy whipping cream also makes the egg mixture thicker rather than watery like it is with milk. Since the egg mixture is thicker, it will take a little longer to soak into the bread for a better final texture.
- Don’t add too much milk/cream!
- To enhance all the flavors and aroma, do add some pure vanilla extract to the egg mixture.
- Preheat the pan completely before starting to batter the bread.
- Don’t turn the heat up higher than medium. I would actually recommend the heat to be a little lower than medium because the outside of the bread cooks very fast and you want inside to be cooked through as well.
- Don’t walk away far, French Toast only takes 3-4 minutes of cooking on each side. Use a large pan so you can fit several slices at a time.
- If using the griddle, preheat it well and make sure the heat is spread evenly. Downfall of a griddle is often uneven heat.
The classic toppings for a French toast are maple syrup, butter, powdered sugar, orange zest. You can always add some fresh berries and nuts on top as well. If you’re feeling adventurous with the syrups, try my Mango Syrup, Blueberry Syrup, or Pumpkin Syrup.
Here are some tips for the most common mistakes that lead to soggy French toast:
Too much milk/cream – don’t add more than the recipe recommends.
Bread cut too thin – cut the bread between 3/4 and 1 inch thick.
Preheat the pan first! – don’t even start cooking in a cold or cool pan.
Cook over medium heat or even a little lower than medium. If using higher heat, the bread cooks to fast on the outside and does not cook through on the inside.
Make sure it’s cooked through (touch the center) – once you flip the bread slices, you will notice the bread will raise in the center. Let it raise, cook, and deflate. Touch in the center to make sure it feels firm.
Yes, you can use half and half or whole milk but don’t use anything with less fat than that.
For a lactose free option, you can use lactose free whole milk. If you need a dairy free option, use oat, almond, or soy milk substitutes but note that the flavor will change slightly.
If you’ve make this French toast using my recipe and found a lot of good information here, PLEASE leave a 🌟 star rating! Let me know how you liked it by leaving the 📝 comment below as well.
The Best French Toast
- 8 oz (8 slices) of Brioche bread
- 4 large eggs
- 3 tbsp heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp brown sugar packed
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon optional*
- Note: this egg mixture should comfortably batter 8 slices of Brioche bread that are a between 3/4 and 1 inch thick. It will batter 10-12 slices of French baguette or about 6 slices of Challah.
- Slice bread and set it aside.
- In a deep and wide bowl, whisk together eggs, heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract, sugar, cinnamon (if using), and salt. Whisk until smooth. Set aside.
- Preheat a large cooking pan oven medium to medium-low heat. Add a little bit of oil and spread it evenly (or use cooking oil spray).
- Dip each slice of bread into the egg mixture, and flip back and forth for about 15 seconds. Brioche bread is nice and quick to soak up the egg. Note: Only batter as many slices as will fit into the pan. If you have to cook in two or more batches, batter bread right before adding it to the pan.
- Place battered slices into the pan and let it cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown. (Repeat with remaining slices of bread if needed.)PRO TIP: as the French toast slices cook, after you flip the bread to the uncooked side, you are looking for the center of the bread slice to raise as the egg inside cooks. Raising center is indicating that the egg that soaked in the middle is cooking. Wait until it deflates and carefully touch the center with your finger. It should feel firm and now squishy.
- Serve with your favorite topping.
- Bread: for the best French Toast, use Brioche loaf and slice it into thick slices that are between 3/4 and 1 inch thick.
- For more bread options, check the post for information about Challah and French Baguette.
- Heavy Whipping Cream – I recommend using heavy whipping cream because of the rich and creamy consistency that it brings to the custard. You can use half and half or whole milk if absolutely needed but not with less fat.
- For a lactose free option, you can use lactose free whole milk or lactose free half and half. If you need a dairy free option, use oat, almond, or soy milk substitutes but note that the flavor will change slightly.
- Make sure your French Toast is cooked through (touch the center) – once you flip the bread slices, you will notice the bread will raise in the center. Let it raise, cook, and deflate. Touch in the center to make sure it feels firm.
Originally published on Will Cook For Smiles on February 12, 2019.