Weekend mornings were made for French toast. OK, so are staying-at-home, playing-hooky-from-work weekdays. Plus those moments when you just want to eat breakfast for dinner. Scratch that. Anytime is French toast time. Good thing it’s so simple to pull off!
French toast is a comfort food so basic and so universal that it doesn’t need a recipe, just a few pantry staples paired with a bit of know how, and you’re all set. Our guide below will show you how to achieve golden brown and eggy perfection without any strict rules or measurements.
Plus, we’ve also gathered 11 of our favorite French toast recipes that will put your new bread-flipping skills to good use—but once you have the basic method down, you can go off script and riff however you please.
What You Need to Make Easy French Toast:
- Shallow glass bowl like a pie plate or baking pan
- Large nonstick frying pan
- Baking sheet
- Four eggs
- Milk (preferably whole)
- Six slices of bread (sourdough, Pullman-style white bread, French bread, challah, and brioche are our favorites, but any bread that’s slightly spongy and will soak up the custard without falling apart will work; it’s fine if it’s slightly stale)
- Canola oil (or other neutral cooking oil)
- Maple syrup (optional)
All-Clad HA1 Nonstick Skillets, $99.96 from Sur La Table
A nonstick pan is best here.
Easy Steps to Make French Toast:
1. Heat the oven to its lowest setting (warm or 200 degrees Fahrenheit). It will take at least 20 minutes to warm up.
2. Crack the eggs into your shallow glass bowl and mix with a fork. Add two times as much milk as beaten eggs. Mix well with the fork until everything is incorporated (there shouldn’t be any streaks of yolk or white).
3. Add a pinch of salt, one spoonful of vanilla, and two spoonfuls of sugar. Mix with the fork.
4. Put as many slices of bread in to soak as will comfortably fit on the bottom of the bowl. Let the bread soak for a few minutes, pressing gently and turning it over to coat both sides, then remove and repeat with the remaining slices.
5. Heat the frying pan on the stove, and add a few pats of butter plus a little oil to keep it from browning too fast. Melt the butter over medium-high heat until foamy.
6. Add two slices of soaked bread to the pan. Fry until golden brown on one side, flip with a spatula, and fry the other side. (If the bread browns too fast, turn the heat down; it should take about 3-4 minutes per side.)
7. When the first bread slices are finished, move them to your baking sheet while the rest are cooking. Put the baking sheet in the oven to keep the finished slices warm until you’ve fried all the bread.
8. Wipe the pan out with a paper towel between batches if there are a lot of browned bits and residue. After wiping, melt a few new pats of butter with a bit of oil as in step 5 and continue.
9. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, transfer the French toast to a plate, and serve with maple syrup, if desired.
French Toast Recipes
From there, you can upgrade to all sorts of variations, from stuffed French toast to savory French toast; here are a few favorites:
When we say basic, it’s because this recipe is as easy as pie—er, toast . But it’s not basic, flavorwise: with a good dash of vanilla and cinnamon, it has decadence to spare. It’s the same process as above, but with more specific measurements for those who like knowing precise amounts. Get our Basic French Toast recipe.
Need to feed a big family but want to make it easier on yourself? This effortless casserole-style French toast can be assembled ahead of time and feeds a crowd. Just lay out your bread in a baking dish, pour the custard base on top, and bake the whole thing at 350 until it’s all puffy and brown. It’s packed with pecans, raisins, orange zest, cinnamon, and maple syrup too. Get our French Toast Casserole recipe.
Are you so over maple syrup? These sandwich-style creations up the ante with a touch of sweetness from whipped cream, orange liqueur, and marmalade, but cream cheese balances it out with tang while also lending tons of body. You can make these in a panini press, Foreman grill, or even a waffle maker if the bread will fit. Get our French Toast Sandwiches with Marmalade recipe.
Breakfast or dessert? Your decision. Stuff some fruit in with the Nutella if it makes you feel slightly better about eating this in the morning (but also because the chocolate-hazelnut spread tastes great with ripe strawberries or bananas). Get our Nutella Stuffed French Toast recipe.
Got leftover eggnog and leftover bread? Put both to use in this recipe that will remind you of the most wonderful time of the year. Get our Eggnog French Toast recipe. Pro-tip: If you don’t have eggnog, you can also use melted vanilla ice cream for the custard!
This is what happens when French toast decides to go on holiday down south to Italy, picking up cannoli cream, orange zest, and chocolate chips as souvenirs after a memorable jaunt to Sicily. But it’s also incredibly kid-friendly, so everyone wins. Get our Cannoli French Toast Rolls recipe.
Although French toast may be a humble dish, you’re still welcome to make it extra special and fancy by using extra rich and eggy challah bread and topping it off with carefully sliced fruit. Get our Challah French Toast with Strawberries recipe.
Flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla bean and topped with spiced, rum-soaked pineapples, this toast has tropical flair to spare. Get our Spiced French Toast with Roasted Pineapple recipe.
You know that come brunch day, your French toast wants some friends sidled up next to it on the plate, like bacon. Well, what about if instead you put that bacon on your French toast, for an irresistible combo of salty and sweet? *Worlds collide.* Get our Ultimate Maple-Bacon French Toast recipe.
Related Reading: The Best Way to Cook Bacon Is Also the Easiest
Way before dessert mash-up hybrids became a thing, Brazil was already getting creative with its sweets. Rabanada is toast dressed up like a churro, featuring a heavy dusting of cinnamon and cocoa powder over bread coated in a sweetened condensed milk and egg mixture. It’s traditionally served at Christmas, but you can enjoy it all year. Get our Rabanada (Brazilian-Style French Toast) recipe.
This banana-stuffed, cinnamon-sugar-dusted French toast is clearly a bigger beast; rather than pan fry it in a bit of butter, you’ll need quite a lot of oil. And a huge appetite, or someone to share with—but otherwise, the process is exactly the same. Get the Tonga Toast recipe.