How to Make the Best French Toast of Your Life (2024)

What You Need to Make French Toast

Bread for French Toast

Use any kind of bread you like — fresh or a little stale, sliced thick or thin, plain or swirled with cinnamon and raisins. (You can even use croissants or banana bread.) Classic choices include thickly sliced eggy breads such as brioche and challah. In France, where this dish is known as pain perdu (lost bread), day-old dry bread is found again when it's given new life in this way. In fact, many cooks prefer to use stale bread because it soaks up the custard without falling apart the way fresh bread can. What a delicious way to cut down on food waste.

More: The Five Best Breads for French Toast


Eggs and milk are whipped together into a smooth mixture to dip the bread in before you fry it on both sides to a golden brown. Half-and-half or cream will make a richer custard than whole or skim milk. You can also use non-dairy milks such as almond and coconut. Go one step further and flavor your basic milk-and-egg custard with vanilla extract, cinnamon, or cardamom; sweeten it with sugar or syrup, or even add juice or liqueur to the mix.

Pan or Griddle

Use a heavy-duty skillet or griddle with a flat surface to fry the French toast. A heavy-duty skillet or griddle will hold and distribute the heat better so the French toast cooks evenly, and non-stick surface will help ensure the French toast doesn't stick.

Butter or Oil, or Both

Frying the French toast in butter (or butter and oil) adds flavor and richness, and is highly recommended even if you're cooking on a non-stick surface.

How to Make French Toast

How to Make the Best French Toast of Your Life (1)

Get the recipe for French Toast I


  • 6 thick slices bread
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup whole milk or half-and-half
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • Butter


  1. Prepare the custard. Whisk together the eggs, milk, and flavorings until completely blended. Use a large bowl wide enough to dip the bread in. You can also pour the whipped custard into a baking dish for easy dipping.
  2. Heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat. You want it to be hot enough to form a crust when the custard-coated bread hits the pan, but not so hot that the crust burns before the custard that's soaked into the bread has a chance to cook.
  3. Dip the bread in the custard, turning it to coat completely on both sides. The dryer or sturdier your bread, the longer it can soak. Melt 1 or 2 tablespoons butter in the hot skillet. Depending on how large your skillet is, place one or two slices in the hot butter. Cook until golden brown, then turn over to cook on the other side. You can keep the slices warm on a rack in a 350º F oven until the rest of the toast is cooked.

French Toast Variations

Once you've got the basic technique down, you can branch out into all kinds of variations using different breads, flavorings, cooking methods, and toppings.

Fried and Baked French Toast

This 2-step cooking method is the secret to restaurant-quality French toast. The bread is saturated with custard and pan-fried until crisp and brown on both sides. After that, it's baked for a few minutes to allow the custard to finish cooking and make the bread puff up beautifully. Watch the video and try Chef John's French Toast.

Baked French Toast Casserole

A casserole approach to French toast that makes a great breakfast for a crowd. Even better, you can prep it the night before and bake it in the morning. It's more like bread pudding than classic French toast, but let's not quibble over something you can layer and top with all kinds of tasty bits. Watch Best Oven Baked French Toast, and try these recipes:

  • Overnight Blueberry French Toast is enriched with cream cheese and blueberries. You can substitute strawberries, peaches, or any juicy fruit.
  • Orange Pecan French Toast is so indulgent, it might as well be dessert.
  • More French toast casserole recipes.

How to Make the Best French Toast of Your Life (2)

Stuffed French Toast

A surprise in every bite. You can either fill the bread with stuff, as in Marscarpone-Stuffed French Toast with Peaches (swoon), or sandwich the stuff between two slices of bread, as in Raspberry Cheesecake Stuffed French Toast. Try these next:

  • Banana and Nutella® French Toast
  • PBJ French Toast
  • Pineapple-Stuffed French Toast

How to Make the Best French Toast of Your Life (3)

Spiked French Toast

Just a bit boozy for those especially lazy mornings. Irish Toast has whiskey and Irish cream in the mix. Hazelnut French Toast includes a shot of hazelnut liqueur. Pain Perdu II rolls in from New Orleans with a nip of orange brandy stashed in its coat.

More Ways to Make French Toast

  • Vegan French Toast for the no-eggs-no-dairy crowd.
  • Simple French Toast in a Cup for a crazy quick snack.
  • Amazing Slow Cooker French Toast because you can.

Browse our entire collection of French Toast recipes.

How to Make the Best French Toast of Your Life (2024)
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