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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Call for Recipes: French Toast

I love French toast. So do my girls. Nate? Not so much. But I make it anyway because is it really that torturous to make someone eat French toast? I think not. Plus, he’s lying anyway. Who doesn’t like French toast? I mean, really.

recipes for French toast

Years ago I went to my friend Karen’s bachelorette weekend in Palm Springs, where we stayed at the Parker. (Side note: that hotel is funky and crazy and fun. Loved it.) The morning of our departure, we ate breakfast at Norma’s, one of the hotel’s restaurants. The entire meal was amazing. I ordered the “Crunchy French Toast.” Ever since that morning I’ve been on a quest to replicate that freaking awesome French toast. I have a few good runners-up, but nothing has matched. (If you’d like to check out the runners-up, both recipes are really good: Baked French Toast and Crispy French Toast. If you have NOT had Norma’s Crunchy French Toast, then you will definitely not be disappointed.)

brioche bread

On a related note, I used to always use nice, soft bread (like Brioche) for making French toast, but for the last 5 years or so, I’ve almost exclusively used crusty breads. I don’t know when or why I made the switch, but I did and and thought that all was well in my French toast world. Then we moved back to San Diego and found ourselves living near the Village Mill Bread bakery. They bake these giant, beautiful loaves of Brioche that make the most amazing French toast EVER. And just like that I’m back on the soft, fluffy bread bandwagon.

brioche bread for French toast

Wow. I really must love French toast because I feel like I could keep talking about it all day! But I’m going stop and give you the floor. We would love to hear your favorite ways for preparing and eating French toast. Comments, tips, and recipes are all welcome! Also, if you happen to have a recipe for crunchy and/or crispy French toast that you love, I would really love for you to share!

French toast lovers unite!

recipes for French toast

(Note: Yes, I am aware that I italicized the word ‘really’ 3 times in this post. I guess I was just really feeling the ‘reallys’ today. Make that 4.)


  1. 1

    I use homemade egg bread, that is braided like a challah. I typically make 2-4 loaves a week (one recipe makes 2 loaves) and freeze them. This serves as sandwich bread for my 5 yr old. and once it gets stale in a couple days, it’s PERFECT for french toast! (I quit buying bread years ago)

    I use a standard FT recipe – 2 eggs, 1/2 c. milk, bit of vanilla, healthy dash of cinnamon. mix. dip bread. brown in a heavily buttered cast iron skillet. serve with REAL maple syrup. Being on the east coast, and now being spring, this is readily available. TONS of sap this year!

    we Just had this on Sunday for breakfast actually – with a few slices of banana. so good!

    • Jane Maynard

      glad to hear there was lots of sap this year. we ONLY eat real maple syrup! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. 2

    that looks so delish.
    I make it with french vanilla creamer instead of milk. sounds kinda gross but it is oh so good.

  3. 3

    My mother-in-law’s recipe (“Mom’s French Toast”). Basic thin white sandwich bread is the best. Mix 1 cup sugar, one egg, some cinnamon (probably 2-3 tsp) and some nutmeg (about 1 tsp). Stir until combined – will be thick. Melt some butter in a hot non-stick skillet with a stick of butter on standby. I usually use about 1 TBS butter per side to fry up the bread. While the butter melts, add 1 cup milk to the sugar mixture and whisk with fork until combined. Dip the bread and lay on top of the melted butter. I usually keep adding butter to the skillet to keep it frying until the bread is done. You’ll need to keep whisking the mixture before you dip the bread to keep it combined. Careful not to over-soak the bread in the mixture or it’ll get too mushy in the melted butter. Even if it falls apart on you, keep frying it up – may not be pretty but it’ll eat! We have this about 3-5 times a year. Can’t imagine the calories or fat grams – don’t even want to know. The cooked french toast stays hot for a long time. No syrup or powdered sugar needed…trust me. It’s crazy good.

  4. 4
    Tanya H

    I love having granola croissant french toast. I cut the croissant open, dip in egg wash (egg,milk, vanilla) and coat with granola mixed with cinnamon. SUPER yummy with powdered sugar and REAL maple syrup.

  5. I don’t even know what you mean when you ask for a crunchy french toast recipe. Like, with nuts, or granola? I’m looking forward to reading the comments to get some good ideas for recipes, cuz my method isn’t anything special and I could use a new one!

    • so, they used rice krispies and what was so magical is that the krispies STAYED crispy. I just can’t replicate it! that would be my dream to figure out, but I’m open to any types of crunch french toast! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. 6

    I make french toast casserole! Here’s how to do it:
    8 slices white or potato bread
    5 eggs
    1 1/4 cups milk
    1 cup brown sugar
    1 Tablespoon cinnamon
    1 stick butter
    (No one said it was healthy!)

    Melt butter in bottom of 13×9 inch pan. Lay 6 slices of bread over top. Mix cinnamon and sugar together and spread half of mixture on bread in pan. Put another layer of 6 slices of bread on top of that. Spread rest of cinnamon/sugar mixture on top of that bread. Beat eggs and milk together and pour over the bread. Cover and put in fridge overnight. In the morning, put it on the counter for 30 mins and then bake at 350 for 45 mins. Serve with warm maple syrup. Delish!

  7. 7

    We love French toast! It has to be one of my 5-year-old’s top 3 fave dishes! This is our simple & quick recipe (I also have a creme brulee french toast casserole that’s to die for, but I think you’re looking for simple & quick).

    2 eggs
    2 T half n half (or milk or cream)
    2 T OJ
    1/2 t cinnamon
    1 t vanilla extract
    1 T maple agave syrup
    4 slices muligrain bread

    Mix together first 6 ingredients, soak bread in batter, & griddle. Serve w/ real maple syrup or macerated strawberries (my son’s preference). ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. We sometimes make crunchy French toast by placing bread in batter & then coating with crushed up cereal. Super yummy!

  9. 9

    I could eat French toast for days. Occasionally I will make a whole loaf of challah French toast and freeze it for my daughters breakfast…but I soon found myself eating most of it and switched her back to oatmeal ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I came across a vegan French toast recipe when we were out of eggs, they subbed bananas for eggs and coconut milk for dairy milk. The banana was so good I use it all the time.

    I use a general French toast recipe sub the eggs for two bananas keep the dairy milk and add extra cinnamon and vanilla and challah bread of course.

    Top with honey and butter! I also have a baked apple over night French toast recipe if you want that, the possiblities are endless ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. 10

    So I’m not sure if this is the real Norma’s recipe or not, but it looks good!
    You can also get a Norma’s cookbook on Amazon.

    NORMA’S Crunchy French Toast Recipe

    Snap, Crackle, Pop Mix
    4C Rice Krispies
    2t Cinnamon
    1t Nutmeg
    1t Cocoa Powder
    1T Granulated Sugar

    Mix ingredients in a large flat-bottomed dish, set aside.

    French Toast Batter
    4 Eggs
    3/4C Sugar
    1t Vanilla Extract
    1 1/2t Cinnamon
    2C Heavy Cream
    1 1/2t Grand Marnier
    4T Butter, clarified preferred

    In large mixing bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix in cream and Grand Marnier, set aside.

    French Toast
    Cut 1 loaf Brioche or Challah Bread into 1 1/2″ slices. Soak bread thoroughly in prepared French Toast Batter. Drain excess. Press bread into Snap, Crackle, Pop Mix to cover all sides of the bread. Cook in non-stick pan over medium heat for approximately 2 minutes per side or until golden brown. Top with Caramel sauce (store bought, you’ve worked hard enough).

    Feeds 4

  11. 11
    Nicholle C.

    My ultimate all-time favorite French toast recipe is the Puffed French Toast from Our Best Bites. It is a bit labor intensive and certainly not for the faint of heart when it comes to sugar and calories, which is why I don’t make it that often. But it just makes me ooh and ahhh each time I make it – chewy cruncy puffs of bread, coated with cinnamon and sugar – I’ve never had anything so good!

  12. 12

    I love French Toast too! We have it pretty often around here, even for dinner sometimes. Try using banana bread, pumpkin bread, etc next time you have some around ๐Ÿ™‚
    Here’s a link to my “recipe”

  13. I have never liked French Toast until I tried Cook’s Illustrated’s French Toast from New Best Recipe cookbook, because I don’t like eggy French toast. Our Best Bites has a great French toast recipe, super crispy and bad for you, but here’s the link

    We love this, but it’s kind of a lot of work so I don’t make it often.

    The Cook’s Illustrated recipe is

    1 egg
    2 T unsalted butter, melted
    3/4 c milk
    1 t vanilla or more
    1 T sugar (I think)
    1/3 c flour
    3/4 t cinnamon
    1/4 t salt
    good quality sandwich bread

    Beat egg, stir in the butter, then then milk and vanilla. Add in the sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt, then cover bread in the batter. Cook on buttered griddle on both sides and serve.

    My family loves both of these French toasts, and I do too ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. 15

    I use cinnamon swirl bread from Pepperidge Farm and sometimes I cook it in my waffle iron.

  15. I always make my french toast “stuffed” with something, like peanut butter, Nutella, and/or fruit. Just make a sandwich and dip both sides of the sandwich in the french toast batter and fry it up in browned butter.

    As for bread, I have used the cinnamon swirl bread Chris mentioned as well as french and oatmeal bread. All are good, it would be difficult to choose a favorite!

    • Jane Maynard

      stuffed french toast always blew my mind, but when you say, make it into a sandwich and dip, it suddenly makes sense. DUH. so simple! thank you!

  16. 17
    Jenny D.

    I used to not make french toast very much because it was messy and time consuming, but I love it. Well, a couple weeks ago I took a new approach. I use our favorite french toast recipe, found here:

    I use a good quality white bread that’s “thick & hearty” to withstand the heavier batter and instead of using a griddle, we now use our WAFFLE MAKER!!!!! So now we call it french toast waffles (clever, I know)! In all actuality it probably isn’t any faster than using a griddle, but it’s fun and different which scores big points with my kiddos!

    • Jane Maynard

      someone else mentioned the waffle maker – so interesting! will have to give it a try!

  17. 18

    Do you read Cook’s Country magazine? The latest issue has a phenomenal recipe for Crunchy French Toast – challah bread coated in crushed Cap’n Crunch cereal, then baked in the oven on a preheated and oiled pan. It is amazing.

  18. 19
    Jane Maynard

    ‘jenn-sean stead’ commented on the facebook post for this the following, which I have to copy and paste here so the idea doesn’t get lost!

    “From what I’ve found the best french toast in one that is made with egg nog in substitute for milk and some of the eggs. Seriously the best.”

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