French toast is such a great meal to start your mornings with a strong boost of energy. Its delicious, rich texture is an absolute favorite for the young and old alike.
Although it’s fairly easy to prepare, there are some tips that can give a better, unique taste. Did you know that you can add flour to make it extra fluffy?
Want to know other helpful tips? Keep reading to find out! I’ll discuss how to make French toast from start to finish.
Making the Batter
To keep this article nice and tidy, I’ll divide the topic into three main subtopics: the batter, the cooking, and the serving. This way, you can easily come back to any part without having to go over the whole article again.
In this section, we’ll discuss the most essential part of the French toast, the batter.
Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients
Luckily, French toast doesn’t require any fancy ingredients. You can easily prepare it by items typically found in every kitchen.
For this recipe, we’ll use 8 slices of bread, which should be enough for a group of 3-4 people. You can adjust the ingredients accordingly if you want to serve less.
- 8 slices of bread
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon of milk
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- A pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup of flour (optional)
- 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil (optional)
Step 2: Crack and Whisk the Eggs
Crack the 4 eggs into a large, deep bowl in which you can easily whisk. Always whisk the eggs a little bit before adding the rest of the ingredients. This way, it’ll be a lot easier to get a smooth batter. If you don’t have a whisk, a fork should do the trick.
Keep in mind that refrigerated eggs should sit in the room temperature for 10 minutes before cracking.
Step 3: Add the Remaining Ingredients
Once eggs are smooth enough, you can carry on with the rest of the ingredients. Add the previously specified amounts of milk, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla extract. You don’t need to follow the same order. But you have to put ingredients one at a time for a smooth mix.
Now thoroughly whisk your batter until it has a uniform tan color with no chunks of any sort.
What Milk Should You Choose?
Milk is an absolute necessity for French toast. But choosing its type is totally up to you.
The more fat content, the richer your French toast would be. If this is what you’re going for, heavy cream or half-and-half should be your best picks. If not, whole or skim milk should suit you.
If you’re lactose-intolerant, you can still enjoy the tasty French toast with any dairy-free milk alternative you have. Coconut, almond, or oat milk can be perfect.
Step 4: Add Flour (Optional)
I know, flour isn’t typically added to French toast. But I like to add it to turn the batter into a thick mix rather than a light liquid. This way, you’ll enjoy especially-fluffy toast with a robust texture.
Don’t overdo it, though. A quarter cup would be more than enough for 8 slices of bread. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a soggy French toast with a horrible taste.
Bonus Tip: Storing the Batter Overnight
Sometimes I don’t have enough time to prepare the batter and then cook the toast. This gets especially challenging for parents who have to get their sleepy kids ready for school on time.
If this sounds familiar, you can save some extra minutes by preparing the batter the night before. For the best results, store the batter in a glass bowl instead of plastic. No one knows why, but some people think plastic changes the taste after prolonged contact.
Also, make sure you cover the bowl with an air-tight plastic wrap. Continuous air exposure can definitely ruin your batter.
In This Case, Don’t Use Flour
If you don’t prefer eating gluten-rich French toast, you can’t use flour for your overnight batter.
As you might already know, gluten starts developing right after the flour gets wet. It takes quite some time for gluten proteins to bind together, though. If you’ll use the mix right away, you shouldn’t worry about gluten at all.
However, if you left the mix overnight, substantial gluten amounts might form. Aside from the negative health effects, this will make your French toast extra chewy. I don’t know about you, but this surely isn’t our favorite texture.
Cooking the Toast
Whether you have a fresh or a stored batter, now you’re ready to dip and cook!
Step 5: Dipping vs. Soaking
This is where a lot of recipes disagree. Should you fully soak bread for a couple of minutes? Or should you briefly dip both faces? It depends. Both methods work, but they produce a differently-tasting toast.
Soak for a Custardy Interior
Soak your bread slices for up to 5 minutes if you want to have a crisp exterior and custardy interior. The more you soak the bread, the softer it’ll be. You’ll have to play around and try different durations until you know what works for you.
If you have stale or thick bread, soaking is the ultimate solution to soften it.
Obviously, if you decided to opt for soaking, you’ll have to do it well before you heat the pan.
Dip for a Less Soggy Texture
This is how I prefer to make our own toast. I like to duck each slice in the batter and flip it right away. Just one quick dip to achieve a light coat over the surfaces. This way, the toast will have a delicious bread taste in the center with the same crispy feel outside.
This gets especially useful when you’re using sandwich bread. Since it’s already soft, soaking will completely ruin its integrity.
Some of our friends prefer to dip and leave the slices on another plate before placing them in the pan. But I think this is an unreasonable waste of clean dishes. It doesn’t serve any purpose whatsoever.
Step 6: Heat the Pan
Set your stove to medium or medium-high heat. Let your frying pan or cast-iron skillet heat up a little before proceeding.
Whenever I’m preparing large batches, I prefer using an electric griddle. It can be pretty handy, especially during tight mornings. If you decided to use it, 350 °F should be the perfect heat.
Step 7: Add the Butter
Once your pan or griddle is warm enough, add a small butter cube and a teaspoon of vegetable oil.
Why both? Well, butter has an extremely delicious taste and a natural non-stick property. However, it tends to burn quite easily, which totally ruins the taste.
That’s where the vegetable oil comes in handy. It raises the burning point of butter, decreasing the likelihood of burning. It also has some kind of a faint taste that makes the French toast more enjoyable.
If you want to cut down on calories, nonstick cooking spray can be helpful. A one-second spray can push down the fats to only 0.5 g. It’d also be better for an electric griddle since it’s a lot easier to clean.
Step 8: Wait a Couple of Minutes
After adding the butter, don’t toss the bread right away. Wait a couple of minutes until the butter and the oil are properly heated. Otherwise, the bread will stick to the pan and, consequently, burn.
At the optimal temperature, the better should start turning into light brown. Once this happens, turn down the heat into medium-low. Higher temperatures will fry the outside of the toast while leaving the inside raw.
Step 9: Place the Coated Bread Slices
Whether you chose to dip or soak, bread slices must be ready at this point.
If your skillet is big enough, you can simultaneously add 2 slices to save time. And again, I prefer using an electric griddle because it helps me finish the whole breakfast in a single round.
If you decide to use the dipping method, make sure to allow each slice to drip the excess batter back into the bowl.
If you skip this step, the excess batter will fry in the pan and burn faster than bread. It’ll also produce a quite awful smell that might actually stick around with the toast.
Step 10: Wait Before You Flip
Here’s the trickiest part about making French toast. Many people get tempted to constantly check their toast, worrying that it might burn without them noticing. But when you keep raising one side to check it, the other side might get burnt.
To be frank, it’s not easy to judge whether the toast is ready without taking peeks at the underside. It takes quite some time to know the perfect time and temperature. But once you do, you’ll become a wise French-toast guru!
Keep Your Eye over the Butter Bubbles
During our culinary adventures, I noticed a helpful cue at which I can safely flip the toast. Since we’re using butter, we can depend on the fat bubbles typically seen around the toast.
If they’re growing to a large size before vigorously popping, this means that the underside isn’t ready yet. Once they start simmering down, you can take a peek. If you find a golden brown undertone, go ahead and flip the toast in a one, clean motion.
Once again, if you can’t do it as nice as chefs, don’t worry. You should get the hang of it after a few trials.
Step 11: Replenish the Butter If Necessary
Stay attentive to how much butter is hanging around after you remove each toast. Add another cube if you noticed it getting less than the required amount. Otherwise, the bread might take longer to get done.
Serving the Toast
Honestly, I don’t mind eating French toast without anything on the side. It tastes quite well on its own. But since the eye eats before the mouth tastes, adding some toppings can encourage kids to finish their plates.
Add the Classic Maple Syrup
Nothing is better than the most classic topping of all, maple syrup. You can also sprinkle some powdered sugar together with the syrup to make it sweeter.
Fruit Toppings Could Work
If your kids are giving you a hard time eating their daily fruit portions, french toast can help you.
Spread some jam over the surface, then add slices of their favorite fruits; berries, strawberries, bananas, you name it.
Or Go Savory
French toast doesn’t always have to be sweet! You can coat it with ricotta cheese with a bunch of olives scattered over the top.
Better yet, you can serve it along with other delicious savory meals. Sausage patties, scrambled eggs, and bacon are among the best.
This option would obviously taste better if you omit the vanilla extract from the batter recipe.
Make It Nutty
The crispy taste of French toast is by far our most favorite feature. But how about an additional crunchy texture? Chopped walnuts are our usual go-to nuts since they balance well between taste and texture.
Bonus Tip: Go Crazy with the Bread Type
If you want to vary the taste of your french toast, you should definitely consider playing around with the used bread.
- Brioche bread has a richer interior than regular sandwich bread.
- Challah is perfect for getting the most creamy toast.
- Sourdough bread is well known for its thicker texture and sour taste.
- Whole grain bread is packed with proteins, fibers, B vitamins, and antioxidants.
To Sum Up
French toast is definitely one of the easiest dishes everyone can prepare. Start with mixing eggs, milk, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and salt to make the batter.
After dipping or soaking the slices in the batter, start tossing them in a pan with heated butter and vegetable oil. Don’t flip the toast until you notice the fatty bubbles simmering down.
Toppings are left for your crafty mind to play with. Go crazy and try savory toppings rather than the classic sweets. And that was how to make french toast!
Remember, if it didn’t turn out right, it’d surely taste better the next time. So keep trying!