Basic French Toast


French toast, a beloved breakfast staple, has a rich history and an even richer flavor. This simple yet delightful dish, known for its golden, crispy exterior and soft, custardy interior, is a favorite around the world. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the basics of making French toast, tips for perfecting the recipe, and variations to suit every palate.


To make classic French toast, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Bread: Thick slices of stale bread work best, as they absorb the egg mixture without falling apart.
  • Eggs: The binding ingredient that gives French toast its structure.
  • Milk: Adds creaminess and helps create the custard-like consistency.
  • Sugar: For a hint of sweetness.
  • Vanilla Extract: Optional, but adds a lovely flavor.
  • Cinnamon: Also optional, but it adds warmth and depth to the flavor.
  • Butter: For frying the toast to a golden brown.


  1. Prepare the Egg Mixture: In a shallow bowl, whisk together 4 eggs, 1 cup of milk, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (if using).
  2. Soak the Bread: Dip each slice of bread into the egg mixture, allowing it to soak for about 20-30 seconds per side. Make sure the bread is well-coated but not soggy.
  3. Preheat the Pan: Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat and add a generous amount of butter.
  4. Cook the French Toast: Place the soaked bread slices onto the hot skillet. Cook for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden brown and crispy.
  5. Serve: Serve your French toast hot, topped with your favorite toppings such as maple syrup, powdered sugar, fresh berries, or a dollop of whipped cream.

Serving and Storage Tips for Basic French Toast:

French toast is a delightful and versatile breakfast dish that can be enjoyed in many ways. To make the most of your French toast experience, consider the following serving and storage tips.

Serving Tips:

  1. Toppings Galore:
    • Classic Toppings: Maple syrup, powdered sugar, and a pat of butter are timeless choices.
    • Fruity Delight: Fresh berries, banana slices, or sautéed apples add a fresh, fruity twist.
    • Nutty Crunch: Sprinkle with chopped nuts like almonds, pecans, or walnuts for added texture.
    • Creamy Options: Add a dollop of whipped cream or a spread of cream cheese for extra indulgence.
    • Savory Twist: For a savory version, top with bacon, ham, or a fried egg.
  2. Accompaniments:
    • Side Dishes: Serve with breakfast sides like scrambled eggs, sausage, or bacon.
    • Beverages: Pair with a hot cup of coffee, tea, or a glass of fresh orange juice.
  3. Presentation:
    • Stack It Up: Stack slices of French toast for an impressive presentation.
    • Drizzle and Dust: Drizzle syrup artfully over the stack and dust with powdered sugar for a picture-perfect finish.

Storage Tips:

  1. Refrigerating French Toast:
    • Cooling: Allow the French toast to cool completely on a wire rack to prevent sogginess.
    • Storing: Place the cooled slices in an airtight container or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap.
    • Shelf Life: Refrigerated French toast can last up to 3-4 days.
  2. Freezing French Toast:
    • Initial Freeze: Lay the cooled slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid.
    • Storage: Transfer the frozen slices to a freezer-safe bag or container, separating each slice with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
    • Shelf Life: Frozen French toast can be stored for up to 2 months.
  3. Reheating French Toast:
    • Microwave: Place a slice on a microwave-safe plate and heat for about 1-2 minutes, or until heated through.
    • Oven: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the slices on a baking sheet and cover with foil. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until warm.
    • Toaster: For a crispy finish, reheat in a toaster or toaster oven on a medium setting.
  4. Tips for Best Results:
    • Avoid Overcooking: Reheat just until warm to avoid drying out the French toast.
    • Add Fresh Toppings: Fresh toppings can enhance the flavor and texture of reheated French toast, making it taste just as good as freshly made.

Variations for the Basic French Toast Recipe:

French toast is incredibly versatile and can be customized to suit various tastes and dietary preferences. Here are some delicious variations to elevate your French toast game:

1. Stuffed French Toast


  • Basic French toast ingredients
  • Cream cheese or Nutella
  • Fresh fruit (strawberries, bananas, blueberries)


  1. Prepare the egg mixture as per the basic recipe.
  2. Spread cream cheese or Nutella on one slice of bread.
  3. Add a layer of sliced fresh fruit.
  4. Top with another slice of bread to create a sandwich.
  5. Dip the sandwich into the egg mixture and cook as usual.

2. Banana Bread French Toast


  • Slices of banana bread
  • Basic French toast egg mixture


  1. Use banana bread slices instead of regular bread.
  2. Dip the banana bread in the egg mixture and cook as usual.

3. Savory French Toast


  • Basic French toast ingredients (omit sugar and vanilla)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grated cheese (cheddar, parmesan)
  • Fresh herbs (chives, parsley)


  1. Prepare the egg mixture, adding salt, pepper, grated cheese, and chopped fresh herbs.
  2. Dip the bread slices in the savory egg mixture and cook as usual.
  3. Serve with bacon, ham, or a fried egg on top.

4. Pumpkin Spice French Toast


  • Basic French toast ingredients
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice


  1. Add pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice to the egg mixture.
  2. Dip the bread slices in the pumpkin-spiced mixture and cook as usual.
  3. Serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a drizzle of maple syrup.

5. Coconut Crusted French Toast


  • Basic French toast ingredients
  • Shredded coconut
  • Coconut milk (instead of regular milk)


  1. Replace regular milk with coconut milk in the egg mixture.
  2. After dipping the bread in the egg mixture, press it into a plate of shredded coconut to coat.
  3. Cook as usual, ensuring the coconut gets golden and crispy.

6. French Toast Casserole


  • Basic French toast ingredients
  • Day-old bread cubes
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup melted butter


  1. Arrange bread cubes in a greased baking dish.
  2. Pour the egg mixture over the bread, ensuring all pieces are soaked.
  3. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon with melted butter, then drizzle over the top.
  4. Cover and refrigerate overnight, then bake at 350°F (175°C) for 45-50 minutes.

7. Vegan French Toast


  • Thick slices of stale bread
  • 1 cup almond milk or other plant-based milk
  • 2 tablespoons chickpea flour or cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Whisk together the almond milk, chickpea flour (or cornstarch), nutritional yeast, vanilla extract, and cinnamon.
  2. Dip the bread slices in the mixture and cook as usual.

8. French Toast Roll-Ups


  • Basic French toast ingredients
  • Soft bread (trimmed crusts)
  • Filling of choice (cream cheese, Nutella, fruit preserves)


  1. Flatten the bread slices with a rolling pin.
  2. Spread your filling of choice on each slice.
  3. Roll up the bread slices tightly.
  4. Dip the rolls in the egg mixture and cook until golden brown on all sides.


French toast is a versatile and delicious breakfast option that’s easy to make and customizable to your taste. With this basic recipe and a few tips, you’ll be able to create the perfect French toast every time. Whether you enjoy it sweet or savory, plain or with a variety of toppings, French toast is sure to become a favorite in your household.

FAQ’s About the Basic French Toast Recipe:

1. What type of bread is best for making French toast?

The best types of bread for French toast are thick, sturdy breads like brioche, challah, sourdough, or day-old white bread. These types absorb the egg mixture well without falling apart.

2. Can I use fresh bread to make French toast?

While you can use fresh bread, it’s recommended to use day-old or slightly stale bread because it absorbs the egg mixture better and holds up well during cooking.

3. How can I make my French toast crispy?

To make French toast crispy, ensure your pan or griddle is hot before adding the soaked bread. Cooking in butter also helps achieve a crispy exterior. Avoid soaking the bread for too long to prevent it from becoming too soggy.

4. Can I make French toast without eggs?

Yes, you can make vegan French toast by using a mixture of plant-based milk, chickpea flour or cornstarch, nutritional yeast, and spices. This mixture will mimic the texture and flavor of traditional French toast.

5. Is it necessary to add sugar to the egg mixture?

Adding sugar to the egg mixture is optional. Sugar adds sweetness, but you can omit it if you prefer a less sweet French toast or if you plan to add sweet toppings like syrup or fruit.

6. How do I prevent my French toast from sticking to the pan?

To prevent sticking, make sure your pan is properly preheated and use enough butter or oil to coat the surface. Non-stick pans can also help with this issue.

7. Can I make French toast ahead of time?

Yes, you can make French toast ahead of time. Cook the French toast, let it cool, and then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in the oven, microwave, or toaster before serving.

8. What are some common toppings for French toast?

Common toppings include maple syrup, powdered sugar, fresh fruits (such as berries, bananas, or apples), whipped cream, nuts, and spreads like Nutella or peanut butter. You can also try savory toppings like cheese, bacon, or avocado.

9. Can French toast be frozen?

Yes, French toast can be frozen. Lay the cooked and cooled slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Then transfer the slices to a freezer-safe bag or container, separating each slice with parchment paper. Frozen French toast can be stored for up to 2 months.

10. What is the best way to reheat French toast?

Reheat French toast in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for 10-15 minutes, in a toaster or toaster oven for a few minutes, or in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. Reheating in the oven or toaster will help retain the crispiness.

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