French Toast


You can use white sandwich bread, but French toast also works well with other loaves, including brioche, challah, whole-wheat, French, even sourdough.

French Toast

Jessica Furniss

Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
20 mins
6 slices

French toast has morphed into everything from bites to sticks to casseroles, but in our opinion nothing beats the original. This classic French toast recipe creates slice after slice with a browned crust and a fluffy, tender interior. While we call for white bread, you can use almost any type of bread for French toast—and they'll all be great.

This classic French toast recipe was tested and tested again to guarantee that it hits all the right notes for texture and flavor. It's fluffy and indulgent with just a hint of sweetness.

Where Is French Toast From?

Unlike the name suggests, French toast is not a strictly French food. It has its roots in Ancient Rome where stale bread was dipped into a milk and egg mixture creating a dish called Pan Dulcis.

The name "French toast" first appeared in England when a man named Joseph French coined the term in 1724. The concept of avoiding waste in the kitchen isn't new and is still practiced today.

Which Bread Should You Use for French Toast?

This depends on your preference. Some prefer only thicker breads like sourdough, brioche, or challah. These types of bread work well because they are sturdier and hold up well when soaked in the custard.

But for that classic French toast like your grandma used to make, we recommend plain white bread. And while our grandmothers loved popping by the day-old bread store to grab a loaf a little past its prime, there's a simple trick to get a similar result: Simply lay out your bread slices 10 minutes before you start making your French toast. This will allow the outside of the bread to get a little stale while the inside remains fresh and fluffy.

French Toast with syrup

Jessica Furniss

French Toast Ingredients

No two people make French toast exactly the same way, but below are the most commonly used ingredients.

  • Bread: As mentioned above, we love a slightly stale white bread for classic French toast. That little bit of crust helps the bread soak in all the custard. However, you can also use a thicker, crusty bread like sourdough, brioche, or challah. You can also choose a nutrient-dense bread like multigrain or whole-wheat. Each bread type will need more or less time in the custard to get just enough of the egg mixture soaked in without becoming soggy.
  • Eggs: You can't have classic French toast without eggs. An egg-free recipe might still taste nice, but it will not have the texture or fluffiness you're craving. The protein in the eggs acts as a binding agent and helps create the crust that keeps all the creaminess inside. We recommend going with large or extra-large eggs.
  • Milk: This recipe uses whole milk, but any variety of milk will do. You can use heavy cream, half-and-half, or even non-dairy milks. Keep in mind that the higher fat content, the creamier your cooked toast will be.
  • Salt: A dash of good Kosher salt in the custard brings out all the right flavors for a well-balanced French toast.
  • Butter: While there are recipes that use margarine or even vegetable oil for French toast, you will get the richest, best-tasting French toast with real unsalted butter. Butter does tend to get smoky if your pan is too hot, so be mindful that your temperature is just right. If you notice it smoking, simply turn down the heat.

How To Make French Toast

It's a classic for a reason. French toast is one of the simplest recipes to make, and still manages to be very impressive. You only need six ingredients, a skillet, and less than 20 minutes for the perfect French toast.

  • Step 1: Make the custard: In a shallow dish or wide bowl, combine eggs, milk, sugar, salt, and optional vanilla extract. Whisk until well blended.
  • Step 2: Dip bread slices in custard: Soak bread in custard for a few seconds, then flip and soak the other side.
  • Step 3: Cook French Toast: Heat skillet over medium-high heat, and melt butter. Add custard-soaked bread slices, and cook 1 to 2 minutes until golden.
  • Step 4: Finish: Flip each slice and cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes until golden brown. Top with butter and syrup or preferred toppings.
French Toast

Jessica Furniss

How To Store French Toast

For best results, classic French toast should be eaten immediately. However, sometimes leftovers just happen.

French toast can be stored in a zip-top bag in the refrigerator for one to two days and reheated in the microwave. It will still be very tasty; the texture just may be a little less toasty.

Tips and Tricks for the Best French Toast

  • Add a splash of vanilla to your egg mixture for some flavor enhancement.
  • Whisk your egg mixture until it's light in color for the fluffiest French toast. Any egg that isn't well blended can fry on the toast's crust.
  • Substitute brown sugar for a richer, caramel-like flavor.
  • If your butter keeps burning, even on medium heat, add a splash of vegetable oil. This increases the smoke point and will fortify the butter to keep it from burning.


  • 2 large eggs

  • 2/3 cup whole milk (or high-fat milk alternative)

  • 1 tsp. sugar

  • Dash of salt

  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)

  • Dash of cinnamon (optional)

  • 6 slices white bread (or bread of choice)

  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided

  • Toppings, such as fruit, syrup, butter, or powdered sugar (optional)


  1. Make custard:

    Whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, and salt (as well as the optional vanilla extract and cinnamon, if using) in a medium shallow bowl until the mixture is fluffy and light in color.

    custard for french toast

    Jessica Furniss

  2. Heat pan, dip bread slices:

    Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working with one bread slice at a time, soak the bread in the egg mixture for 3 to 4 seconds per side. Don't let the slices sit too long; they will turn soggy and fall apart.

    soaking bread in custard for french toast

    Jessica Furniss

  3. Cook bread:

    Once butter is melted and bubbling, add 3 soaked bread slices to hot pan and cook until golden brown, or about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. (There may be some spots that do not brown; that's normal.)

    cooking french toast slice in pan

    Jessica Furniss

  4. Flip bread:

    Flip each slice, and cook until gold brown, or about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Repeat with remaining butter and egg-soaked bread. Serve hot with toppings of choice.

    cooking French Toast

    Jessica Furniss


If you're working with fresh bread, set out bread slices on a clean surface 10 minutes before you plan to start cooking. Do not stack them. This will allow a nice crust to form on the slices so they don't absorb too much egg mixture.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does French Toast have cinnamon?

    This debate has been around for a long time. While some swear that French toast must have cinnamon in the custard, others argue that it's not part of the classic flavor profile. The cinnamon will add some spice and warmth to the finished dish. However, you can also substitute similar spices like ginger or nutmeg. We listed it as optional.

  • Can you make French Toast the night before?

    For the best results, classic French toast should not be made ahead of time. If you have a busy morning ahead, try our Overnight Eggnog-French Toast Casserole. It's prepared the night before and then baked the next morning. Make it extra special with our homemade eggnog.

  • What is the most common mistake when making French Toast?

    There are a few mistakes that could mess up your French toast. These three are the most common:

    • Not mixing custard: Any egg that isn't whisked well into the custard will sit on the slice of bread and fry in the pan. The result is an eggy bite in the middle of your French toast.
    • Under- or over-soaking the bread: You need to soak bread slices until they're saturated but not falling apart. If you don't get enough custard, however, the French toast will be dry and flavorless.
    • Using a pan that's too hot: You want a medium-hot pan that will sear the French toast and cook it through. If the pan is too hot, it'll burn before the custard is set.
  • How do you get French Toast not to be soggy?

    Soggy French Toast can be the result of one of two things: soaking the bread in the custard too long or not cooking the French Toast slices long enough. The bread should be soaked but not falling apart. You'll know the French Toast slices are cooked when the outside is brown and the center is tender and fluffy, not wet.

  • Is it better to use milk or cream for French Toast?

    Cream, whole milk, and half-and-half will make for a richer custard. Thinner milks like skim milk, oat milk, or soy milk are less rich. You can still use them, of course, but the higher-fat dairy products are more decadent in the final dish.

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