This is my all-time favorite recipe for a perfectly sweet and rich french toast. A classic recipe that is so easy to make, it doesn’t just have to be for lazy weekends! Add your favorite toppings and dig into an indulgent breakfast.
French toast has become a popular brunch item in restaurants around my neighborhood. There’s nothing more satisfying than a perfectly golden, thick, caramelized piece of French toast on a lazy weekend. Except, perhaps, having it in bed while still wearing your pajamas!
It’s a mission of mine to turn any restaurant treat into an accessible, at-home recipe and this French toast recipe is no exception. It’s easy to make, takes only minutes, and the best part is that it works even better with day-old bread.
In my opinion, the best French toast should be a bit indulgent, so for this recipe I’ve added a caramelized sugar crust that makes the outside of the bread perfectly crunchy and sweet. It’s great with or without this extra sugary step, giving you options to achieve your own preferred sweetness.
What ingredients to use for French toast
The secret to the perfect toast comes down to the French toast ingredients. You want a bread that will soak up the batter, but also want a batter rich enough that it lends a creaminess to the final toast. Using the right ingredients, and the correct amount, is critical in any great recipe.
- Bread – A simple white bread is the best to use, something that is great for toast. An enriched bread, like challah or brioche, are both great options too. Using day-old bread and cutting the slices thick makes a huge difference in getting the right proportion of batter to bread.
- Sugar – I like things sweet, so I add sugar to the batter and the caramelized crust. If you want it less sweet, reduce the sugar or remove it from the batter.
- Heavy cream and whole milk – French toast should be rich and decadent, so use higher fat dairy products to get that perfect creamy texture. I like to combine heavy cream and whole milk to get a nice balance.
How to make French toast
Start by slicing your bread. Using day-old bread is best, but it’s ok if it is still fresh. Just make sure to slice it thick (3/4 inch or 2 cm) so it doesn’t fall apart when soaking in the batter.
Next, whisk together your batter. This is the eggs, sugar, heavy cream, milk, and vanilla. Pour it into a shallow bowl that’s big enough to dip a piece of bread in if your mixing bowl isn’t large enough.
Soak each slice of bread in the batter for 20-30 seconds on each side. I like to do this right before cooking, so the bread doesn’t get too soggy.
While dipping your bread, melt some of the butter in a skillet pan over medium-low heat and sprinkle on some sugar, if using. The sugar will turn into caramel quickly, so as soon as the sugar is added place however many slices of bread that will fit without overlapping into the pan.
Cook the bread until golden brown, 1-3 minutes on each side before flipping carefully (note that the first side usually takes longer). Clean the pan carefully (it’s hot!) with a paper towel to prevent any excess sugar from burning and repeat the process with the remaining slices. The process is soak bread, melt butter, sprinkle sugar, and cook.
Serve the French toast immediately with your favorite toppings. Some of my family’s favorites include butter, maple syrup, jam, sour cream, powdered sugar, and fruit.
Other brunch recipes:
- 6 slices of preferably day-old white bread/challah/brioche that are sliced ¾ inch (2cm) thick
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons (37g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons (25g) unsalted butter, for frying
- 2 tablespoons sugar , for frying, optional
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, heavy cream, milk, and vanilla until combined. Pour into a shallow bowl that's big enough to dip a piece of bread into.
Soak the bread slices in the mixture for 20-30 seconds on each side (if it gets too mushy and break, soak it for only a few seconds). Meanwhile, over medium-low heat, melt some of the butter in a skillet pan (swirl it around so it coats the pan bottom evenly) and sprinkle some of the sugar, if using. The sugar will turn into caramel so work quickly so it won’t burn.
As soon as the sugar is added, place however many slices of bread that fit into the pan. Cook until golden brown, 1-3 minutes on each side (the first side usually takes longer). Clean the pan carefully (it’s hot!) with a kitchen paper towel so there’s no sugar left, and repeat the process; melt butter, sprinkle sugar, if using, and cook the bread slices.
- Serve immediately with your favorite toppings: butter, maple syrup, jam, sour cream, powdered sugar, fruit.