My Fantastic French Toast Recipe

Joined Apr 24, 2011
We just adore French toast. 

We also enjoy having a leisurely Sunday Brunch.  You know that kind of day where you have the paper (no Virginia, not on the IPad) and an extra cup of coffee.  Now not every Sunday is as grand as this recipe, but I whip something up.

Since we've retired and moved were food stuffs are so much cheaper, I have been experimenting with numerous recipes. 

My Mother gave me for Christmas a subscription to a food magazine.  They had a beautiful two page spread on how make perfect French toast, so I thought, how hard is it that?  I've made plenty of French toast in my day.

Well, after several tries of choking down horrible breakfasts (I refuse to throw away food if it’s edible), I think that I have honed it to our liking any way. 

We top ours with loads of BUTTER, 100% Pure Maple Syrup, no fake stuff, and a side of either pork links or bacon, some fruit if it’s in season and a glass of juice or fresh milk. 

As I was taking photos of this last batch this morning to share with the class, it struck me to try fresh berry compote next time with a dusting of powdered sugar instead. 

We have a mob of family members coming to visit next week; I’ll use them as guinea pigs.  

Fantastic French Toast

4 eggs

1 ½ C. Milk or half and half (whatever you have on hand)

½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1 tsp. granulated Sugar

Pinch of table Salt

6 one inch thick slices of Challah bread or any good white bread

Preheat oven to 350⁰

Preheat a non stick skillet over medium heat

Whisk together first six ingredients in a bowl

Transfer to a pie or cake pan

Working in batches, dip as many pieces of bread into the custard as your skillet will hold

Melt ½ teaspoon of butter in the skillet, adding additional amounts as needed

Brown the bread on each side for 2-3 minutes until golden

Transfer each batch to a large baking sheet

Bake until puffed, about 8-10 minutes

  • Avoid thin, precut sandwich bread, cut your own from a loaf of nice bread
  • Make sure the skillet is hot, you don’t want a soggy piece of toast
  • Resist the urge to press down on the bread with your spatula, this makes them dense, not fluffy
  • This recipe freezes very well, if there are leftovers, just thaw and pop in the oven to reheat
Joined Apr 3, 2010
Challah Bread because it is made with egg yolks will blow up . Regular bread in most cases will not. Texas Toast commercial bread may blow a little.
Joined Apr 24, 2011
Good to know Chefedb, I never thought of that, I really like Challah bread, we never had it before

as an aside:

I am thrilled that Chef Talk chose my thread to be featured

So Many Mahalos!!
Joined Apr 24, 2011
For the past few days we have had my husband’s sister and her family staying with us. 

One of the breakfast dishes that I laid out for the group was my Fantastic French Toast

that I had prepared ahead and froze prior to their arrival. 

I let it defrost in the ‘frig over night and in the morning popped the little cuties into the oven to heat. 

Maybe I left them in too long? 

Or at too high a temp? 

But they were a little firm shall we say, at least for my liking. 

Not light and fluffy as when I first had made them. 

So do I need to revamp the recipe, ‘ya think? 

Maybe if I’m going to hold them for a later use not put them in the hot box after the browning process? 

Of course everyone oohed and aahed but I was very disappointed, I love French Toast! 
Joined Feb 13, 2008
The sort of French toast with all the "batter" on the outside, doesn't freeze well in a home freezer. The moisture from the batter (yes, even cooked batter) and butter soak through the bread during the time it takes for it to fully freeze making it soggy and dense; then it goes through the same process as it defrosts. In addition, storing it with one slice on top of another as it freezes, compresses it. You could blast freeze on sheet trays if you had a blast freezer, but you don't.

If you want to feed something French-toastish to a crowd, something which you can do mostly in advance -- try a not-too-sweet bread pudding. You could use a mix of croissant and challah if you like for the bread. Bake the maple syrup into it along with some rum and raisins (O! Felicitous harmony!). The density works in your favor, plus you get the opportunity to garnish with chopped macadamias AND whipped cream. My own version of pain perdu (snob for French toast) is soaked so long it's pretty much butter fried bread pudding.

If you want the recipe, I'll dig it up (more trouble than you think), but I'll tell you in advance that long-soaked bread is a pain to handle, and it's not an easy recipe to do for a crowd.

Apropos of very little, and just as a grumpy aside, if you need a non-stick pan to make French toast, there's a problem somewhere. Why a non-stick pan? Stuff like that makes me nuts. Speaking of which, where's the [darn] nutmeg? I am not seeing anything remotely special about this recipe, beyond the most basic French toast. Curious: What did this recipe bring that you didn't have before? What didn't you like about your previous recipe?

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Joined Aug 6, 2011
Is french toast just eggy bread or gypsie toast.... eggs whisked up with bread added in. Then fried in a frying pan with a little oil..
Joined Apr 24, 2011
Did mention that I like to call myself, a good-ole'-fashion home maker. 

What's special to me about this recipe is that most home cooks use what's in their everyday pantry, say maybe, Wonder Bread, a couple of eggs and a splash of milk from the 'frig.  This is a little more than just dragging a piece of sandwich bread through some beaten  eggs and crisping it in non-stick pan that most households have.  It takes a bit more of an effort to create this dish for your family, so you give more time to sharing love with them.  Maybe sit down at the table together and talk about the goings on of the week, reconnecting. 

That's the kind of recipes and food that I have been trying to produce in our home. 

A receipt is just the beginning of someone's thought, another person can take it where ever they like. 

For example, if you like nutmeg more so than cinnamon, by all means go with the freshly grated nutmeg.  
Joined Feb 13, 2008

You're saying the recipe gave you a new look at French toast by specifying a better bread than you'd used before, and that going to the extra trouble made the whole process special. Some people call it "cooking with love," I think of it as "having fun." No matter what you call it, it's a very good thing.

A little nutmeg into the egg batter before dipping will marry the cinnamon and vanilla.

Joined Oct 2, 2010
 ....This is a little more than just dragging a piece of sandwich bread through some beaten  eggs and crisping it in non-stick pan that most households have.  It takes a bit more of an effort to create this dish for your family, so you give more time to sharing love with them.  Maybe sit down at the table together and talk about the goings on of the week, reconnecting. ...
This paragraph brings back good memories KG! I know that special feeling of getting together and sharing so well.

When we were small kids (50+years ago), many families had a lot of children and served treats like this. Just like pancakes and waffles, "pain perdu" was never served at breakfast but on wintery afternoons when the kids came from school. You all sat down round the table and waited your turn to be served, they came out of the pan a few at a time. Either you shared one or you waited for the next whole one to be ready! 

Pain perdu was always made with stale bread of two or more days old. You never bought any bread to make it like we now do and certainly never a special bread. It was simply a way of getting rid of older bread. In dutch we call it "verloren brood", same as pain perdu in french, which means simply "lost bread" in english, but it's also called "won bread" in dutch. Both names indicate it's made from stale bread. There was nothing fancy about that dish. They cut around 15 mm thick slices, removed the crust, turned them in a simple mixture of egg, milk and a little white sugar and panfried them. That was it! We put soft dark brown sugar on them. Delicious! As you can understand, there's absolutely nothing snob to be said about pain perdu, it is (was) a humble dish but also humbling dish; you never throw away old bread.

So, your way of doing is a more modern take, certainly finishing thicker slices off in the oven. I know people now buy all sorts of breads to make it, even a luxury brioche bread. Another good idea would also be to sprinkle your bread generously with a mixture of plain granulated white sugar and a bit of cinnamon just before they go in the oven. It will create a delicate crunchy topping. Even better, you can change the cinnamon with chinese "five spice" powder (which contains very finely ground spices; cinnamon, cloves, star-anis, szechuanpepper and fennelseeds). Make the sugarmixture first; let's say 2 tbsp of plain white sugar and just the tip of a teaspoon of chinese 5spice. Mix well, the powder is almost like dust and will stick to the granulated white sugar. I use that mix on apple tarts, it's simply devine!

Keep sharing your love at the table KG, it's the essence of cooking!
Joined May 15, 2011
Prepared this recipe for my father, he's going back on night shifts tonight, so it was a nice treat for a 'lazy' Sunday.
Joined May 15, 2011
lolol no coconut syrup sold here. Now I'm getting inspired...but the maple syrup might get lonely :eek:( lol
Joined Apr 18, 2011
If you want to try some new flavors with your french toast, try coffee creamers.

I am not a breakfast person, but when my daughter was about a year and a half and underweight we started cooking more breakfast than just grabbing a bagel or cereal.

It just happened to be around St. Patricks day.  

I had Irish Soda bread on hand (not traditional...I make mine more a little sweeter), and Baileys on the I figured...perfect.

8 +/- slices of 1/2” thick Irish Soda Bread
4 Eggs
¾ C Whole Milk plus some
¼ C Baileys (Or other non-alcoholic Irish cream coffee creamer) plus some
3 TBL Sugar
¼ tsp Vanilla extract

Aside from some of the pieces of the soda bread falling apart in the batter (the bread I used was more poundcake like in density), the flavor was a home run.  We didn't even need to add syrup, butter, or powdered sugar. 
Joined Apr 24, 2011
Wow Keith Stegmaier, that sounds absolutely out of this world delicious!  I think that I'll find some of those creamers and give that a whorl.   We like that Italian flavored one, I forget the name of it... maybe with some real Italian bread, make like a theme of it? 

OBTW, Welcome to Cheftalk, I noticed that you recently joined? 

This is a great place for use domestic gods & goddesses who make a house a home!!
Joined Sep 28, 2011
That sounds really good! I'll have to try it. Usually, I add nutmeg as well since it's one of my favorite spices and then add a banana and orange sauce to it instead of syrup.
Joined Apr 24, 2011
uuu, yummy, banana and orange sauce!  My Dad would make his own syrup with brown sugar and I forget what else, but it was ONO!!  I think he did that instead of buying Maple Syrup, less expensive.
Joined Oct 11, 2011
I shouldn't have opened this post at work, it has pictures and now I'm hungry. This french toast sounds incredibly delicious, thanks for the great share, some of the sauces mentioned here sound like they would be great to go with the french toast.
Joined Jan 30, 2010
LOL  I know how you feel!    I am working now and I am so craving some food!      I may have to hit the cafe soon.
I shouldn't have opened this post at work, it has pictures and now I'm hungry. This french toast sounds incredibly delicious, thanks for the great share, some of the sauces mentioned here sound like they would be great to go with the french toast.
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