The best homemade French toast! This recipe uses a thick batter with cinnamon and vanilla to dip your bread in. Grill in butter and serve with lots of syrup.
French toast is to me as waffles are to Leslie Knope. I simply cannot get enough of it.
It used to be an almost-empty fridge meal at our house: As long as I had milk and a couple of eggs and bread, I could whip some up. Dinner: Rescued.
But then I got serious about my French toast and I’m never going back. It's every bit as easy and pantry-ingredient friendly, with huge pay offs in the flavor department!
The shining star of French toast! The batter is what sets a great French toast apart from a good French toast.
This batter is made with lots of eggs and milk and some sugar and flour and definitely cinnamon and vanilla. It's thick and rich and sweet and it perfectly coats the bread and is so delicious once it's grilled!
Any batter you have left after making French toast will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. If frozen, thaw in the fridge overnight. The flour tends to settle to the bottom, so whisk well prior to using.
The best bread for French toast is said to be brioche, but you can use any bread you like to make French toast and it is largely up to personal preference!
I most often use brioche for this (which makes for deliciously thick and fluffy pieces of French toast), but Texas toast, French/Italian bread, and challah are all good options here. You can even use cinnamon or raisin bread if you want extra special French toast.
You'll want the bread to be slightly dried out so it can soak up the batter better - Fresh bread tends to fall apart in the liquid. French toast is a really great thing to make to use up odds and ends of leftover loaves, but if you're starting with a fresh loaf, take it out of the packaging and let it sit on the counter to dry out for about an hour before making this.
COOKING FRENCH TOAST
Melt butter in a large skillet or nonstick griddle set to medium-low heat. Working in batches, place the bread slices in the egg mixture for 10 seconds per side - you want the bread to be in there long enough to start to soak up the batter! Shake off excess and place in hot skillet. Grill 2 minutes per side, until golden brown. Repeat until all the bread has been cooked.
(We got an electric griddle for this specific task and I use it all the time for grilled cheese, quesadillas, pancakes, etc. It's the easiest way to do lots of French toast at once!)
French toast toppings
It goes without saying (but I’m saying it anyway) that this is best served with copious amounts of butter and maple syrup and powdered sugar. Other very good toppings include:
- Fruit (berries/bananas)
- Peanut butter
- Cream cheese
French toast variations
French toast is so versatile and easy to change up in delightful ways! Some delicious variations to the classic include:
- Eggnog French Toast: use eggnog instead of milk.
- Pumpkin spice: use pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon.
- Change the bread: anything that looks good will work! Cinnamon bread, raisin bread, banana bread, etc.
Reheating French toast
French toast reheats really well! It won't be as crispy as it is fresh-from-the-griddle, but once it's slathered in syrup, no one will know!
The easiest way to reheat French toast is in the microwave. 20 to 30 seconds is a good starting point, but be sure to check as all microwaves are different.
To reheat in the oven, place on a baking sheet in a 375 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes.
If you want more French toast (and an even easier make-ahead option!), try this French Toast Casserole.
Old-Fashioned French Toast
- 8 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- 2/3 cup flour
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 16 thick slices (about 1 pound) bread
- 6 tablespoons butter
- For serving: powdered sugar, butter, syrup
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, flour, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Transfer to 9 by 13-inch pan. Heat skillet or griddle over medium-low. When hot, add 1 tablespoon of butter. Place each slice of bread into egg mixture for 10 seconds per side. Shake off excess and transfer to skillet. Grill 2 minutes per side, until golden brown. Add more butter to skillet as needed to grill all the bread. Serve hot with powdered sugar, butter, and syrup