Classic French Toast made easy and in just 20 minutes with a slightly sweetened vanilla custard with cinnamon and nutmeg.
French Toast Recipe
This classic French Toast recipe is the perfect breakfast for a family weekend. Many families love to get their kids involved in baking breakfast and this is the perfect recipe to bring them in to help out.
Milk and Eggs
There’s two schools of thought when it comes to French Toast recipes. The first is how much milk you use (this recipe uses a full cup when many people use half that amount) and the second is how many eggs you’re using.
The custard in the recipe is the most essential part. This recipe has a very slightly sweetened mixture of milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lots of vanilla. The combination of the strong flavors of vanilla and cinnamon are what gives French Toast most of the classic flavor people have loved for decades.
The milk adds moisture to the french toast and helps to effectively flavor the insides of the bread.
- You can use any kind of milk you’d like, but we tested the recipe with whole milk. When testing with half and half or heavy cream, there was a slight increase in richness, but nothing substantial enough to warrant the extra fat content.
- When testing with low-fat milk options the flavor of the egg was more prominent and the custard was thinner and less flavorful.
- Evaporated milk could also be a shelf-stable option to consider, we have tested the recipe well with evaporated milk.
- Sweetened Condensed milk should not be used as a milk substitute in this recipe, but you could use it for creating a syrup to serve with it.
Some people use up to an egg per slice of bread. The egg is meant to be a part of the mixture that just aids the setting of the custard, it isn’t meant to take the place of most of the mixture as the custard becomes too thick. Using more eggs also creates a tougher exterior to the French Toast that isn’t necessary, the eggs solidify making a more rubbery exterior.
Butter not only adds a fat component for cooking for the recipe, it also adds flavor. If you want to make a swap to the fat you’re using be aware that the mixture of vanilla and sugar and butter are meant to create a delicious, rich, flavor in the bread.
When cooking the recipe you’ll have to decide how much butter you feel comfortable using. We use a moderate amount (shown above) to make a golden brown exterior, crispy edges and with 8 slices of French Toast in the directions, it’s less than 25 calories of butter per slice.
If you prefer to use less, or none in favor of a spray, just know it will change the texture of your recipe.
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French Toast Tips and Tricks:
- Use bread that’s thicker than most sliced bread.
- Use a slightly sweeter bread like challah, brioche, cinnamon raisin bread or Texas toast instead of more savory breads like wheat bread.
- In place of whole milk you can also use half and half or heavy cream. If you use fat free milk or 1% milk the custard will not be as flavorful and the egg will be a much more pronounced flavor.
- When dunking the bread make sure to not let the bread soak indefinitely in the milk. If you were going to soak it all the way through it should be baked as part of a French toast casserole instead of on the griddle.
How to Make French Toast:
- We make the custard the night before since it’s the only part of the recipe that requires preparation.
- Once the custard is well mixed add the bread slices to the mixture and allow the milk to soak in before adding it to a buttered skillet or griddle.
- Add the bread to the skillet and let it cook until the custard has completely set and the bread is crisp before flipping.
- Quick and easy garnish people love, use a bit of powdered sugar sifted over the slices of bread and add a couple of pats of butter to the top of the slices before serving.
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French Toast Sticks:
To make French Toast sticks slice the bread into 1 ½ inch thick batons. With the extra surface area of the bread make about 1 ½ times the milk mixture. Dip and cook the pieces of bread as you would the slices but use extra butter as you’ll want the batons to be a bit sturdier for dunking.
How to make crispy French Toast:
- Use much more butter in the pan and soak the bread about half as long as normal so the milk doesn’t soak all the way through the bread.
- Cook the bread on medium heat allowing the butter to fry the exterior of the bread making it extra crispy.
- The butter will soak into the bread edges more creating a firmer piece of french toast that will have a crispy texture instead of a softer texture.
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Troubleshooting French Toast:
- Soggy French Toast: If you’ve let the bread soak in milk for too long and there is too much custard in the bread it will have a hard time setting up. The bread will be too soft even when cooked through.
- Egg Showing on Bread: Whisk the custard fully until it is one mixture without streaks of egg throughout. If you don’t the streaks will cook as any regular eggs would.
- Center is still liquid-y/Outside Overcooked: The heat is on too high so the bread isn’t able to cook all the way through before the exterior is browned and crispy. If your pan is cooking them too fast remove it from the heat, wipe out the butter and let it cool. Re-heat the pan on medium heat instead of medium-high heat and add more butter to the pan before cooking the next piece of bread.
- Dry French Toast: The egg and milk mixture just wasn’t enough. You need more and you need the milk to soak almost all the way through the bread (don’t soak it all the way through). A good rule of thumb is to dip on one side and soak for 2-3 seconds then flip and soak for 1-2 more seconds. Let the milk drip off before adding to the pan.
How To Serve and Store French Toast:
- Serve: Don’t leave at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
- Store: Store in an airtight container to keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- Freeze: You can also freeze for up to 3 months. Re-heat in toaster oven or in a skillet with a bit of butter.
- Whisk together the egg, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and sugar in a large bowl.
- Dip the bread in the custard, both sides and let milk soak for 15 seconds then remove and let drip for 5 seconds before adding to pan.
- Add the butter to a heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat before adding the bread in and cooking until browned on both sides, about 2-4 minutes per side.