French Toast

Thick slices of bread, soaked in beaten eggs with milk and cinnamon, toasted in a frying pan, and served with butter and maple syrup.

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 8 thick slices of 2-day-old bread (better if slightly stale)
  • Butter (can sub vegetable oil)
  • Maple syrup

Optional

  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
  • 1/4 cup Triple Sec
  • Fresh berries

Method

1 In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and cinnamon. Stir in the orange zest and/or Triple Sec if using. Whisk the mixture until well blended and pour into a shallow bowl, wide enough to place a slice of the bread you will be using.

2 Melt some butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Place each slice of bread into the milk egg mixture, allowing the bread to soak in some of it. Shake off the excess, and place the bread slices onto the hot skillet.

3 Fry the French toast until browned on one side, then flip and brown the other side.

4 Serve hot with butter, maple syrup, and if available, fresh berries.

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Comments

  1. natasa

    It is way better when milk is not mixed with eggs, but the bread slices are firstly dipped into milk and then in the eggs mixture. It’s crispy and simply wonderfull!

  2. Doug Stewart

    I absolutely agree that the recipe is better if the bread is slightly stale. Or, more accurately, if is is somewhat dried out. It absorbs the batter much better that way. When I make dumplings, I also use stale bread for that as well.

    A lot of bread won’t go stale or slightly dry within a day if kept in a bag. So I slice it (if it isn’t already sliced) and then leave it out for a while to dry. However, not bone dry, or it takes too long to absorb the batter.

  3. Vicki

    Instead of day old bread I use Texas toast. It is much thicker and absorbs the batter in pretty much the same way as day old bread. My recipe is pretty plain Jane. All I mix together is egg, milk and vanilla.

  4. Rachel

    I’ve never tried with orange zest. Sounds delicious, though.

    The way I’ve always eaten it here in South Louisiana is just dipping the bread in a mixture of eggs, milk, and vanilla extract or vanilla bean, and topping with powdered sugar and/or syrup after cooked. I think we are just suckers for any beignet-like breakfast food around here, though! haha.

  5. Milligan

    The French name for this dish is “pain perdue” which literally means “lost bread”. It was originally a way of using up stale bread that was going to be thrown away, so that’s why you have to use stale bread. Gotta love French cuisine.

  6. Carol

    In Spain: “Torrijas”. Bread (old and dry), eggs, milk, sugar and cinnamon, fried on olive oil. It`s a typical dish in Easter (Semana Santa, here) Delicious!! Kisses, Bea

  7. Susan at SGCC

    French Toast is one of my all time favorite comfort foods! It’s what my mom always used to make for me on Saturday mornings. I love to prepare it using challah. I feel like whipping some up right now!

  8. Jersey Cook

    You’re absolutely right — orange zest makes french toast delicious. I love to use challah bread, a sweet bread common in Jewish culture.

  9. Dena

    I admit that I have not tried the recipe yet. However the best french toast is made with Challah(Jewish Sabbath bread)That is not only my opinion, I have seen “Chefs” recommend it when talking about french toast. I agree with the others that the (Challah) bread should not be fresh.

  10. Karen

    Mmmmmm…. a wonderful breakfast, about the only good reason I have for pure maple syrup, and with bacon or sausage on the side. I’ve never known to try a crustier or staler bread, which would explain why mine was always mushy in the center. I’ve got to try that, along with the vanilla idea. I’ve not done the icing sugar, but I guess that would turn it into more of a dessert idea, with a fruit compote beside it. Does anyone have any ideas of how to make “stuffed french toast”?

  11. goodevans

    I think my recipe for french toast came from misreading a recipe when I was younger. It’s completely different, but it makes the best french toast ever. Soak disks of baguette in a mixture of milk, sugar, vanilla and ground nutmeg, then coat in whisked egg before frying. They end up with a texture something like a toasted marshmallow. Hmm. Gotta go to the shops for bread…

  12. Elizabeth (Australia)

    Karen, Re stuffed French Toast. You just use a very thick slice of bread and cut a pocket in one side. Insert your filling – I like cream cheese and berries – and then continue with the dipping and cooking. This will make an awesome desert sprinkled with Icing Sugar – Powdered Sugar.

    Great recipe Elise, as always. Keep those recipes coming.

  13. Fermat

    Around the holidays I’ll switch out the milk for eggnog and add a bit of fresh grated nutmeg. Even store bought eggnog gives a good twist on french toast.

    Brilliant! I love the idea of eggnog french toast. ~Elise

  14. FurriePrincess

    My Dad always made the french toast. His recipe was similar but the method was a bit different. He worked the night shift and would pick up fresh sourdough in San Francisco on the way home. At the end of the week, there were always some stale ends in the bread box. He’d soak them in the egg mixture, then cook in the waffle iron. It would puff up like a souffle and was wonderful.

    French toast waffles, who would have thunk? I bet they were great. ~Elise

  15. tom mathews

    One cannot in any way lay fault upon this recipe.
    My wife (like most people) would love this marvelously unpretentious breakfast dish even with the added cinnamon and maple syrup.
    One caviat: I would prefer this same French creation without the sweets…simply with fresh butter and a light salting…at least to me that would be a breakfast fit for royalty, or for that matter, a French peasant who had both bread and eggs but was unlikely to stock cinnamon or maple syrup in her poor pantry.

  16. Ann

    Yes me too on the tad of vanilla.

    On occasion, I get creative and try a tiny bit of almond extract or lemon extract instead of vanilla.
    Equally good and gets rave reviews!

  17. June

    No milk unless you use heavy cream. Better with just eggs. My grandson told me when he was about 6 years old to cook the french toast in a waffle iron. He said it was better like that & you had holes for the syrup. I don’t use syrup but lots of butter & then powdered sugar. I have made it that way since, he is now 34 years old. My husband liked the idea of holes for the syrup,he also added powdered sugar & sometimes cinnamon sugar.
    I like to use thick slice sour dough bread.

  18. Karen

    An easier way to make stuffed French toast: Take two slices of bread, spread about 2 T of cream cheese on one and sprinkle with blueberries, make a sandwich, dip as usual and fry.

  19. Simone (junglefrog)

    I can’t remember what I wrote in the initial comment…:) but I am sure it had something to do with liking french toast. I haven’t made any in a really long time, but reading this I might just have to give it a go soon!

  20. Angie

    I love the idea about the triple sec, I had been doing mine with buttermilk, orange juice, and the zest. I also love almond with the extract and crusted in slivered almonds. I just had a thought coconut extract and coconut rum!

  21. DS

    If you want a special treat, try making your egg mixture with ice cream. Rum Raisin is a favorite. Allow to melt, then whisk in 1 or 2 eggs and 1t vanilla. Dip some thick slices of Challah or Cinnamon bread. Melt some butter (about 1T) in a heavy skillet. Brown on medium heat. Top with berries and dust with powdered sugar. YUMM.

  22. Kathryn

    My brother makes great french toast. Not sure about his egg / milk mix but what he does do is top them with butter, fresh lemon juice and powdered sugar (same as we do on dutch babies). Occasionally he will take the extra step and push blueberries into the toast after it’s soaked, just after he puts them in the pan. Fabulous.

  23. Jessica Whistman

    I’ve actually read lots of tips in cookbooks on how to make it less mushy… one of the books I have on hand recommends using the oven on a very low setting to dry out the bread a little before soaking it in the egg mixture. Another that I have, and the recipe I use most often (I haven’t had a chance to try this one yet, but you may be assured I am anxious to give it a try!), calls for adding a small amount of flour to the egg mixture, a tip I found extremely interesting.

  24. Işın Dikmen

    Adding few teaspoons of ginger in addition to the cinnamon makes it much tastier! As usual, the more spices, the better!

  25. Regina

    I TRY to make mine a little lower in fat and cholesterol – I just use the egg whites, some nonfat evaporated milk (for a little richness, instead of just plain milk), vanilla, and some freshly grated nutmeg! I use the pan spray, instead of the butter that I love so much….. When someone really close to you has a stroke, it kind of makes you rethink your diet a little……But I will definitely have to try the orange idea – sounds yummy.

  26. Katherine @ NightOwlChef

    I love French toast – thanks for this recipe! Sometimes I add orange oil (bought it at Williams-Sonoma) to French toast and pancake batters. I like how it adds orange flavor without the textural bits of actual zest (it depends, though – sometimes I like the surprise of biting down on a wee bit of zest).
    I too use challah bread, and I don’t let any bread get too stale because I’m a sucker for soft, gooey bread … anywhere, anytime. I know it’s not the “right way” to make French toast, but it works for me!

  27. Linda

    I’m with those of you who SOAK your bread in the egg/milk mixture rather than just dip it. I soak until there is no liquid left (If you’ve ever seen Alton Brown’s recipe from HGTV — he soaks his overnight in the fridge.)
    I want the french toast to be moist on the inside and taste of the egg mixture all the way through. I add a little orange juice, vanilla extract and nutmeg before SOAKING.

  28. melissa

    Ok….omg, yummmmm….I have never tried using challah bread, but I LOVE challah bread, so I have to try it this way next time! And I don’t put the cinnamon in the mixture, because some of us don’t like cinnamon….I just sprinkle it on the slices for people who want it :-)

  29. Morizou

    Jessica W: For crispy French toast, add a large pinch of cornflour/cornstarch to the batter. (That’s what’s done in Asia, anyway, for a crispy coating.) Cornflour works better than regular flour.

  30. Hannah

    I didn’t know there was such a thing as a “recipe” for french toast, much less, different ways to make it, until I stopped being a little kid! My mom always, always, always just used Texas Toast to make our french toast. And there was always cinnamon and vanilla in it. It was never mushy, and always delicious :)
    I’ll have to give the orange zest a shot, sounds fantastic!

  31. Valerie

    If we use powdered sugar, it’s butter only, no syrup, and then sugar drifted over the toast. It’s delicious like that, it melts into the bread.

  32. Latin Flavors

    Maybe you´ll think me crazy, but actually I make mine a sandwich. Use your favorite type of ham and cheese in between 2 or more french toasts. And if you are daring enough try pouring some honey on top of that. Enjoy!

  33. Emily

    My mother makes a delicious cinnamon swirl bread and for years (maybe until I went to college?) I thought that was the only kind of bread that could be used for French Toast. It was always a special treat when she made the cinnamon bread and then a double special treat when she made it into French Toast!

  34. Anna

    I made my first ever batch of french toast using this recipe, but not mixing the milk with the eggs and cinnamon. I served it up to my grandmother (who is a food guru) and my brother, and they absolutely loved it!

    We also tried slathering it a bit with the toffee used for Banoffee Pie (since my grandma likes to keep them in stock in our fridge), and it was great. :) Will try adding vanilla to the egg mixture in the future.

  35. Mystique

    This looks delicious. My mother makes french toast using cinnamon raisin bread and also Challah bread. But, I will definitely tell her about this recipe.

  36. Michelle

    I always add a little Cardamom to my egg mixture

    PS. @Latin Flavors — You have made a Monte Cristo Sandwich . . . one of my favorites (try raspberry jam as a topper)

  37. Don W

    When we ran a B&B some years ago we used to make french toast with almost the same recipe. One final step however was after dipping the bread in the egg/milk mixture we dipped both sides in crushed cornflakes. The end result was always delicious and slightly crunchy.

    Corn flakes is a great way to make a crunchy crust on the French toast. We have a recipe for crunchy French toast that uses corn flakes. ~Elise

  38. Marta

    I loved this recipe! It was so yummy :) I added pecans to the maple syrup….so if you love nuts I would try it because it was delicious!

  39. Debra

    I love french toast. I use the Kings Hawaiian egg bread (round loaf), slice it up and presto fabulous french toast. It’s sooooo good! I picked up that tip years ago from some food show. YUM!

  40. Lorraine

    French toast is not exactly my forte because mine always comes out mushy and I prefer a crunchier, crispier bread so what I’ve done is follow this recipe and when the french toast is done I baked it in the oven (425 degrees) for about 10 minutes on each side. It comes out crispy crunchy, sweet and delicious just like I like it. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  41. Jazz

    What I don’t like about French toast made in a frying pan is mainly the smell of cooked oil. I have found a solution that works really well. I put my bread in the oven on pastry paper. No need for oil! This way the French Toast is lighter and they are so yummy…. and no oil smell. Try it!

  42. Smiley

    This recipe looks pretty good, but please consider the following additions and changes:
    Add also to the egg mixture: a dash of nutmeg and 1/2 tsp vanilla. I also like to use 2 day old french bread, cut on the diagonal.

  43. Randy Vaughn

    I’m 51 and made my 1st French Toast EVER from this recipe…..The cinnamon seamed like a lot but perfect……….eating it as I type…….Thank you………Randy Vaughn

  44. Beth

    I just found this recipe this morning while “googling” french toast. It was phenomenal! I had just bought some triple sec yesterday for some Sangria I was making. That yummy addition took it over the top! You could definitely taste the orange and the kids loved them. This recipe will go directly into my recipe book, and I will be tossing out my old one! Thanks for sharing.

  45. Rebekah

    Perfect. Thank you! I had never made French Toast before, oddly enough, so I wasn’t sure about egg-to-milk ratio. This was great. I just used a loaf of homemade whole wheat bread that was going stale, and it soaked up the liquid really well. I cooked the toast on my big electric griddle at 350, until it was nicely browned on both sides.

  46. maria

    Made this just today, and it came out perfect! I was so surprised, everyone liked it. I didn’t have syrup though, but I used some powdered sugar sprinkled on. :)

  47. Traci

    I found this recipe thanks to google, and how thankful I am! I didn’t have orange zest, but did have orange extract. I also used soy milk because several family members have milk allergies or lactose intolerance. This was a huge win, and I have made it several times. I would like to try it with Triple Sec… intriguing! Thank you!

  48. Jim Price

    This morning was my wife’s birthday and I wanted to cook breakfast for her. I saw your recipe and thought I’d try it. I sliced Hawaiian sweet bread thickly and let it sit out last night on the counter. This morning it was just right to dip in the egg mixture that I added Grand Marnier and orange zest to.

    While the bread was soaking all the mixture up, I pre-heated the waffle iron then put the slices onto the iron and cooked for 4 minutes and served with warmed syrup, butter and fresh blueberries. Magnifique!

    My wife went off to work with a full tummy and I got a big kiss – thanks Elise!

  49. Lisa

    This recipe is lovely and easy to prepare. This is my hubby favourite breakfast. To get the crunchy texture at the edge, it is best to let it sit in the grill for 5-7 minutes.

    Thanks for sharing this great recipe.