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They look awesome… Gonna make them this weekend
I made your recipe this morning. I enjoyed it! I will make this again!
French toast you can get drunk on. What will they think of next?! As long as we are being carded, Amaretto would work.
Definitely butter and no vegetable oil.
Definitely real maple syrup…none of that commercial rubbish.
That optional stuff is very optional. I might add confectioner’s sugar or whipped cream before that other stuff. The berries are OK though. I am thinking how that sweetness would work with the maple syrup.
this looks great, I love the addition of orange. What a great idea, esp with a touch of cinnamon and/or vanilla. I have been reading quite a bit about french toast as mine is often soggy and I’m not overly keen on it. Although I’ve always heard that you should use stale bread, I recently read on Fine Cooking that fresh bread makes for better french toast. While staler bread absorbs more liquids, fresh bread is softer so it makes for a more tender french toast. I might try that to see if it makes a difference, I just hope it isn’t more soggy! I guess everyone has a different preference.
The freshness of the bread is not so much important as how long you let it soak in the milk/egg mixture. If the bread is a bit soggy, just cook it a bit longer. The eggs will set up in due time. Perhaps drop the heat down a bit so it can permeate the bread without burning.
Let me be your witness, fresh soft bread like Wonder bread or Pepperidge Farm is not the problem. You can also use Texas toast or baguettes. You just have to adjust your methodology.
Ya, seemed more liquid than egg, Dana. Further down Sandy knows, A scant amount is right. 2/3 C of milk to 4 eggs seemed to much, but I tried and tried and just got dough in the middle, they looked all puffy, plated them and grabbed the peanut butter and found a bad soufflé. Hey, but then again I’m in Calif. We have Gas & Electric problems. A tad o milk/egg just to add froth, we have chickens no need to stretch ova’s. 4 egg omelette guy.
Having made french toast in a restaurant for 100’s of people at a time I can offer one very very important piece of advice. Do NOT leave the bread in the batter. This is especially important if you are using fresh bread that already contains moisture. Essentially you want to get as thin of a layer of batter on the surface as possible. As it Cooks it will saturate the bread sufficiently unless you have extremely thick slices of French bread. Hope this helps
Thank you for the delicious recipe! It made for a wonderful Christmas Eve breakfast. I made them with unsweetened soy milk and fried in olive oil for my dairy free better half and they turned out great.
This was amazing. I added 2 teaspoons of vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg to mine along with the orange zest.
I’m going to do this too , thanks for sharing your comments!
Hello all …. Bonjour!I’m French. I didn’t go through all the comments but there’s only one basic recipe of « Pain Perdu » : Old bread cut into thick slices then dipped into milk (well you can leave it a little while in the milk but not too long), THEN in the eggs , and then fried in the frying pan with butter not with oil. A tad different in the old days as butter and milk were expensive so it was without milk and fried in oil /animal grease.
As Mouette said , in the old time it was a way for the very poor people to use the old bread in order to have one more meal . YOU cook this for breakfast , WE seldom do. It will be either the desert of a light lunch, or what we, French, call “Le Goûter”. There’s no real equivalent as it is cultural . I have made up my own translation and call it “sweet snack” as Goûter IS a snack but always sweet.
Nowadays it is not anymore for poor people. Children here put Nutella on, or jam while adults will use it a bit like they would use “crêpes”.Spread caster sugar on your French toast and add a few (or more than a few …lol!) drops of Grand Marnier on it…. NOW …; that is typical French and ….yummy !!!! No orange no cinnamon no nothing, French toast is a simple thing. If you add plenty of other things then give it another name, as it won’t be French toast anymore or say “My way of making French toast”. Françoise 56 ans
Thanks for sharing Frankie!
This does sound like how I was raised, she hated to cook ( and my maiden name was Cook) and every thing was very simple things, to her a roast was dot done if you didn’t cook it for at least 1 hr. a pound. I hate to sound like I’m putting her down but some of the things she made were really something else, I we had corn on the cob, that would be dinner, nothing else…..really. But I’m all grown up and love to cook and try different things, my husband loves my cooking. That matters most to me. Love the note, Thanks Betty
Le texte de Betty Weir est très intéressant. Il me rappelle un passage d’un livre de Winkler.
Un médecin reçoit une maman et sa fille. La maman est inquiète : sa fille ne mange plus !!! Et pourtant, elle lui prépare des plats qu’elle a toujours aimé…
Le médecin fait sortir la mère de son cabinet et parle avec la fille.” Mais si j’ai faim… mais maman me prépare toujours les mêmes plats, et je ne peux plus les supporter. “
La suite à lire dans ” La maladie de Satch ” je crois.Cordialement.
Vous avez essayé le pâté aux pommes de terre ?
Thanks for sharing this great recipe.
I hate to admit this but I always hated French toast, the way my mom made it, she hated to cook, but did make this for my dad and of course my brother and I had to eat it also, She made it with eggs, lots of milk, plain white, (fresh) and salt and pepper, soaked it quite a while, and start to cook it, turned it a few times until it looked like wet toast a little toasty one the outside but still wet on the inside, lots of salt and some pepper, and log cabin syrup. I hated it, I have to say this was in the early 50’s , I haven’t tried it since, Now today…………… Busy day today didn’t feel like cooking , ask hubby what he wanted, and when he said “French Toast” I wanted to cry, I love to cook and hated to make that simple way of doing it, eggs, milk, salt and pepper, and fry. So I got to the computer and asked how to make them right, I saw this one, and it sounded great, and was simple, and I had some hard bread to find what I wanted to do with, other than bread crumbs. I tried it, The were so good, I ate far more than I should have but I could not help it, never heard about using vanilla in them, and as I eating , I’m thinking of the vanilla . and trying the almonds, and so many things were coming to my mine I almost made another batch a little different, Thank you so much for opening another door for me, I love to try doing things different, I’m only 76, but I won’t stop now. Thank you and keep things coming
The salt and pepper are clues as to why you didn’t like it. They don’t belong just as anchovies or cilantro don’t belong.
Log Cabin and Mrs Butterworth’s are to be avoided at all cost.
All you need is eggs, milk, butter, bread and maple syrup…real maple syrup, preferably grade B. You can add cinnamon, nutmeg and/or vanilla to the batter if you like but don’t fret if you don’t have it. It’s best if you have a little extra fat and high heat in the pan so you get crispy browned edges.
perfect recipe! Around christmas time we like to use egg nog in replacement of the milk. I suggest people try it!
My husband and I made this for a quick dinner. Delicious and totally reminded me of how mom used to make it! Perfect staple recipe. Thank you!
We put peanut butter on our french toast, waffle and pancakes topped with hot maple syrup
Me too! The peanut butter melts and adds such a great flavor. Adds protein too.
… on ajoutait un peu de miel, c’était le sucre de ce temps.
Le ” french bread ” , c’est le ” pain perdu ” des campagnes françaises.C’est le plat des pauvres.
En ces temps là, on faisait le pain pour la semaine.A la fin de ladite semaine, il pouvait arriver que le pain soit très, très dur.On n’allait pas le jeter…… jeter du pain !!! Quelle horreur !
Alors, ce ” pain perdu “, on le mettait à tremper dans des oeufs battus… On avait toujours quelques volailles…Et on le faisait frire.
Pas de cannelle, pas de sirop d’érable…
Il faut rester simple pour lui conserver son caractère, son authenticité
We go to a French restaurant down the street, and they make their French Toast with, wait for it – French bread! They come on the plate as the cutest little crispy round circles of toasted goodness. Absolutely delicious. They serve it with slices of strawberries and bananas and the tartness of the strawberries and the mellowness of the bananas counteracts perfectly with the sweetness of the French toast. I tried duplicating it but didn’t realize the bread had to be stale, so it was a little soggy in the middle. Otherwise, it was almost as good as theirs. Your recipe looks like a keeper! Thanks.
I love french toast. My favorites are homemade with Challah or Hawaiaan Bread. They both do an excellent job in soaking up the milk mixture. Another good option is Brioche! Topped with a little powdered sugar and syrup…delicious! Your recipe sounds so good. This weekend I’m trying out a brunch at a local D.C. restaurant, Central, where they’re famous for their Creme Brulee French Toast!
The best tip I have learned for making french toast is soak the bread slices then let them rest a few minutes before frying. They turn out nicer with the mix more evenly soaked into the bread. I use a recipe like this most of the time, but sometimes I get lazy and just soak bread the bread in milk mixed with eggs. I let the butter and syrup do most of the flavoring.
I like to put finely crushed rosemary in the dough of my french bread. Then when it gets a little stale I use it for french toast, and I’ve noticed that the rosemary flavor combines in amazing ways with the cinnamon and maple syrup. Thank you for all the useful tips and ideas in this recipe.
Anytime you can save the day with stale bread, an egg or two and scant amount of milk and butter, not to mention orange zest and/or cinnamon!…. Well, I’ve been known to say ‘Halleluiah!’ Even now that it is GF bread! The ‘in-thing’ apparently is to stuff each slice with 2-3,000 calories of whatever comes to mind. ( A slice of cheesecake, or Canadian Bacon!?!) But, one of the most delicious ‘French Toasts’ that I was ever served, was made with thick slices of stale angel food cake! Oh My! All this said, I bless you Elise for your wonderful version that is still easily prepared and wonderfully tempting. Looking forward to trying it with orange zest and Triple Sec! I am still very old school and will more than likely sprinkle it with a bit of powdered sugar. Another staple of the pantry that can save the day when the maple syrup is running low.
A scant amount is right. 2/3 C of milk to 4 eggs seemed to much, but I tried and tried and just got dough in the middle, they looked all puffy, plated them and grabbed the peanut butter and found a bad soufflé. Hey, but then again I’m in Calif. We have Gas & Electric problems. A tad o milk/egg just to add froth, we have chickens no need to stretch ova’s. 4 egg omelette guy.
I love French toast and haven’t had any in such a long time. My favorite is to simply use cinnamon swirl bread. Homemade is best.
I start with cinnamon raisin bread, or sliced French. Let it sit out overnight (I live in the mountains of Colorado; bread stales quickly). Heat the oven to 270′ and put plates in to warm. Heat (electric) griddle to 325′.Crack to Jumbo eggs into a glass measuring cup, add buttermilk to bring the liquid up to a full cup. Add 1T of granulated sugar, 1/2t of cinnamon, 1d of vanilla, orange zest, and wisk.Pour liquid into a pie pan (it’s wide and flat). Soak 2 slices in liquid, turn once. Meanwhile melt a small patty of butter on the griddle (to caramelize the granulated sugar). Toast.Add toast to heated plates in the oven (I have a very small kitchen). You can stuff the toast with cream cheese, blueberries, marmalade, or mango chutney.You can drizzle maple syrup over the toast, but it’s already full of yumminess.
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.
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!
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!
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. :)
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.
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.
YUM! I love all the cinnamon. I paired it with homemade vanilla syrup, perfect!
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
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.
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!
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
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!
We call this Eggy Bread, and I have always eaten it as a savoury dish with a splash of Worcester Sauce. mmmmmm
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!
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
I like to put cream cheese in between the bread pinch the edges then use your favorite egg mixture
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)
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
Here it’s cinnamon/nutmeg/sugar/vanilla and after cooking buttered and sprinkled with powdered sugar
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!
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.
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 :-)
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.
Absolutely delicious. The “orange” gave the recipe a delicious acid balance with respect to the syrup.
Elise – I don’t think you are supposed to use powdered sugar AND maple syrup. Just one or the other.
I like to add a little bit of vanilla to the egg mixture. Yum
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!
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.
We serve ours with sliced banana, maple-smoked bacon and syrup for a decadent brunch. Mmmmm
Adding few teaspoons of ginger in addition to the cinnamon makes it much tastier! As usual, the more spices, the better!
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.
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.
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.
French toast made with thickly sliced pannetone goes well with the added orange zest.
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!
What we do is a savoury version of it by adding salt and red chilli powder and some grated cheese. Delicious.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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
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.
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…
This is the exact same way my mom always made french toast! It is the best, especially with the orange zest included!
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”?
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.
You’re absolutely right — orange zest makes french toast delicious. I love to use challah bread, a sweet bread common in Jewish culture.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
we used to use Texas Toast, but it’s not available in our area anymore
do you have a Walmart in your area… they carry texas toast
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.
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!
I second this suggestion – Best French Toast I’ve ever had!
Elise, I made this recipe this morning. My son loved it (he loves anything orange).