How Do You Cook French Toast:  Five Easy Tips

How Do You Cook French Toast: Five Easy Tips

 

how-do-you-cook-french-toast-cinnamon

How do you cook French Toast?

(And total aside….do you capitalize it?)

That’s what I wanted to know yesterday.

I’ve made French Toast before and it was fine.

Sufficient.

Passable.

But yesterday…..I was so over fine and sufficient and passable.

how-do-you-cook-french-toast-tips

I wanted to make the perfect-ultimate-one-of-a-kind-blue-ribbon-winning French Toast recipe.

The kind that would make people wipe their plates clean and stand in line for more.

So I asked the experts.

I called my mother and my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law and the blue ribbon winner of the county and took a poll of several random people at Wal-Mart.

I asked each of them, “How do you cook French Toast?  Give me your best tip for cooking French toast.”

And here’s what they said.

how-do-you-cook-french-toast-suggestions

5 Tips for Cooking the Ultimate French Toast

Tip Number 1:  Choose your bread wisely

My mother-in-law told me that the bread makes all the difference.

Instead of white bread, she uses oat-nut bread which adds a little crunch and whole grain goodness.

She’s right.

And after all….and she should know….she raised an amazing son on French Toast and Chicken Noodle Casserole.

how-do-you-cook-french-toast-apples

Tip Number 2:  A little vanilla makes all the difference

My super smart friend Kelly who lives two cow pastures and a corn field away…..told me to use vanilla.

And she also said to add the vanilla when you cream the eggs and sugar….before the milk.

how-do-you-cook-french-toast-powdered-sugar

Tip Number Three:  Adjust the burner temperature

Shirley….one of our blue ribbon winners at the county fair….told me one of the best tips.

She said to pre-heat the skillet until the butter was melted (and not to let it get brown).

Then place the bread onto the hot skillet….sear the edges with the hot heat….and then quickly turn it to medium low and cook the bread slowly until it was thoroughly cooked all the way through.

She was so right.

The edges were crispy and the inside was cooked to perfection.

 

Tip Number Four:  Make sure your bread is soaked

This came from all the ladies at church.

Some of the best cooks I know.

Let your bread soak up all the egg/sugar/vanilla/milk mixture for about 30 seconds.

This will flavor the French Toast perfectly.

how-do-you-cook-french-toast-recipe

Tip Number Five:  Make cinnamon apples to pour over the French Toast

I saved my mother for last.

She makes an amazing topping for the French Toast.

She combines apples and sugar and butter and a little bit of water and cooks them in a skillet on the stove over medium heat until they are done and then pours them over the toast.

She said it was delicious and I knew it would be.

Because she’s my mother.

And because she’s always right.

Just ask her. :)

how-do-you-cook-french-toast-suggestions

So….are you curious?

Are you wondering if the tips worked?

If this was the perfect-ultimate-one-of-a-kind-blue-ribbon-winning French Toast recipe?

how-do-you-cook-french-toast-plate

Here’s what was left.

I think that answers the question. :)

PS  If you  have any great french toast tips….I would love to add them to my list!

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Comments

  1. Hey, I just thought I should let you know there’s a glitch… I think you’ve been hacked. There’s a picture of FOOD on your blog! LOLOL But seriously girlie… I think you were fooling us all the time about your cooking skills…. That french toast looks to die for! ~Sally

  2. You are displaying Marthaish tendencies KariAnne!!!!!!! And we make a baked french toast…..so easy!

  3. okay….now I want french toast. I mean FRENCH TOAST. :)

  4. Yum! Happy to hear these tips, I didn’t know to cook it over low heat and I like the idea of nutty bread. I could eat some right now! With apple topping please!

  5. Well, now you’ve done it! I was all set to have a healthy green smoothie for breakfast but oh, no…you just HAD to post the most scrumptious delicious looking pictures of French Toast. Thanks a lot! Lol Loved your post. Have an awesome day.

  6. Use Texas Bread for French Toast! It’s international!

  7. Oh …. and….. when you mix your egg and milk mixture put the cinammon and sugar into the liquid….

  8. Oh yum. Every weekend we are cooking up some french toast on texas toast bread in our crib.

  9. Gorgeous images! So gorgeous, you could say they are delicious!

  10. “Me” right all the time – say it isn’t so! However, the older I get the more I realize it isn’t so, but thanks for the shout out.
    Your picture make me look really good and I love you “sweet” girl.

  11. I agree —- use Texas toast and add cinnamon and vanilla to the egg mixture! For an added touch, cut diagonally and arrange on plate pieces overlapping a bit, sprinkled with a bit of powdered sugar. Fruit is a bonus! As an executive chef told me recently, your first bite is with your eyes.

  12. I do it the French way and use baguettes! A drier bread allows good soaking without being soggy. I use vanilla, cinnamon and some fresh grated nutmeg. Half n half is creamier than milk too. Anyone who is eating French toast anyway isn’t worried about calories! Before long you’ll need a “cooking” section….who woulda thought?

  13. I have never added sugar to the egg/milk mixture….approximately how much? I can’t wait to try how you do it!!

  14. For a French Toast that can be a dessert, I use a French baguette, slicing the bread thick and on the diagonal. Follow all your steps above, but add a little liquer to the soaking egg mix — Amaretto or brandy. Instead of syrup or apples, make a buttery sauce including a dash more Amaretto. Wonderful winter dessert serve warm with the sauce and whipped cream.

  15. French toast is my absolute favorite breakfast! I will be pinning these tips for the next time I treat myself to French toast.

  16. Oh that looks so good…do you deliver? I bet it smells good too…why doesn’t somebody invent smell-o-vision for the iPad? Enjoy your day! ;)

  17. Penny @ The Comforts of Home :

    If you are not adding apples and cinnamon and just using maple syrup, sprinkle some cinnamon on the French Toast before flipping it over.

  18. Sheryll & Critters. :

    Believe it or not I just finished a Romaine salad with half a roasted chicken breast sliced over it. Squeezed my own Meyer’s Lemon over it along with juice from a small Tangerine, small amount of olive oil and a tiny touch of salt and pepper, no tomato to be found.

    I wish I could have had your French Toast and Kathy’s sounds like a ‘to die for’ one I want to try sometime soon.

  19. I love french toast! We love ours with about 1 teaspoon of pure maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon mixed in with the beaten eggs.
    I have to make two different batches as I am Gluten intolerant,mine are made with GF bread, I add almond milk, cinnamon, maple syrup and ground flax . I cook mine in Vegetarian margarine.
    I like to add cooked apples and walnuts or pecans on the top :)

  20. Tip No.1, if you have access to a Jewish bakery/deli, try Challah bread, pron. hall-uh, its a sweet egg bread and makes great French Toast, pan, griddle or oven. My Mama used Kamp’s family bakery white bread which was essentially, homemade bread far superior to what we called “grocery store bread” in the 1950s and 60s. The best French Toast I’ve ever had, better than mine, is at Eleven City Diner in Chicago on Wabash. It’s a wow, don’t miss eating there if/when you visit. It’s the kind of wonderful that you get your phone out to take a picture so you can re-create it at home(need to work on my follow-thru there), it’s magazine cover wonderful….my college daughter said, “I just wanna look at it for a while”….so true, we do eat with our eyes first! We found that diner by accident, so glad, and every one we’ve told about it loves the experience. Challah bread.

  21. I fixed apples the other night and I cook them just like your mom does for her topping. I never thought about using them on french toast! Which I love, but don’t have often because of the calories!

    I do love Cracker Barrel’s french toast, made with their sourdough bread. YUM!

    renee

  22. You made my stomach growl and my mouth smile. Perfect way to start a day! Thank you.

  23. Mmmmm … that looks and sounds delicious! Never thought about the bread selection … and your mom’s topping sounds like apple pie topped French Toast. Capitalized …

    :) Linda

  24. Now I want French Toast!!! I’m going to surprise my family and actually make them breakfast this weekend! Thanks for the tips – it looks really yummy!

  25. I am sitting here with a bottle of WATER for my breakfast and now CRAVING your french toast!!!!!!!!!! I never would have thought to use apples on it but I sure will now, it looks TDF!!!!!!!!!!!! And hey! I thought you said you couldn’t cook??????????? HA! Pretty soon you will have a book deal. I have never heard of adding sugar??? I just use milk and egg and cinnamon, but will definitely now add the vanilla! Thanks, sweetie!

  26. Up in massachusetts we have something called portuguese sweet bread. When it is a bit stale it makes the most wonderful french toast…We like ours with maple syrup, fresh blueberries and marscapone cheese! heaven.

  27. Never met a slice of French Toast that I didn’t like..Of course there’s always Good, better and Best

  28. Ok, … this is not just French Toast. This is a French Toast Masterpiece ! Beautiful!
    A local restaurant makes yummy “Banana Bread French Toast”. Really good.

  29. jennifer farnes :

    i add cinnamon to the vanilla, egg, cream mixture. combining them all together allows the cinnamon to mix in nicely rather than clumping. and the staler your bread, the better your results. no matter what it is.

  30. Ohhhhhh Yumm!!!! I should not read your blog in the early morning. Now I want some french toast!!!!!
    Kris

  31. Oh, YUM! It looks amazing, and now I want to go home and make French Toast! (and yes, you capitalize, because you ALWAYS capitalize a nationality . . .FYI . . . ;) )

    My favorite tip came from my grandmother – “Maw” – that Cheryl and I share, who taught me the joys of French Toast. Use an IRON SKILLET! It gives it that extra sear. And now I use her skillet! It’s my favorite piece of cookware, and actually belonged, according to Maw, to my grandfather’s (Pappy’s) grandmother!

  32. Vanilla for sure – but “older” bread – bread that’s a little stale seems to give french toast a little “something” that fresh bread doesn’t. I don’t know why – it just does :)

  33. Never in my whole life have I made french toast with sugar in the soaking batter? Is this a Southern thing? We do french toast two ways sweet (eggs, cinnamon, whisk, dash of milk, whisk) and topped with powdered sugar or fruit OR my favorite savory french toast (eggs, pinch of salt, dash of mild, wisk) and topped with a slice of provolone or swiss and a thin slice of ham. So SO good. :-)

  34. In France it’s called “pain perdu” which literally means “lost bread” and it is made with stale bread.

    My favorite French bread is made with Texas Toast, for nice, thick slices.

  35. LUV french toast!!! I always (for no reason I can explain other than I luv them) serve it with home made strawberry sauce and sliced strawberries. Now it’s fall… hmmm apples will be a wonderful change. Thanks KariAnne!!! You just solved Sunday brunch!
    Hugs, Gee

  36. Definitely Challah bread but a close second is “Kings Hawaiian Bread”. Also, this fab diner we go to makes the best using Challah and I have them put pecans on one side before it’s browned so they stick on there and then to serve they pour blueberries over all that. Yum, my mouth is watering.

  37. Your french toast doesn’t look like my french toast!! I coming over to your house for breakfast!

  38. I never use milk in the mixture for my French Toast. Instead I use orange juice, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and some nutmeg. Delicious! If I am making an apple topping for it, I just cook my apples gently in maple syrup.

  39. I’d say I’m pretty much an expert when it comes to French Toast. I’m known for ordering it any time we go out for breakfast or brunch. Never tried it with cinnamon apples, but you can bet I will soon. I have to agree with the ladies at church. You want the bread to soak up the egg mixture completely. Also the vanilla tip is right on. As for the bread, I like to use challah or brioche because they are thick and on the sweet side. That said, last Sunday I had croissant French toast. It was fabulous!
    I like to have syrup and powdered sugar served on the side. I’ll dip my bite into one or the other at will. I don’t like too much sweet syrup on the toast, but I love my powdered sugar. Fresh strawberries on the side are also a plus along with either sausage or bacon.
    Tasty post, KariAnne

  40. Karianne – Yum!! We used to make french toast sandwiches. French toast, spread with cool whip like its mayo and add sliced strawberries, the other slice of french toast and cut in half. My youngest daughter found this in her childrens cookbook when she a little girl and I thought it was the cutrest idea!

  41. I make my French Toast with croissants sliced in half lengthwise. I dip each half in whisked eggs, milk, cinnamon and vanilla. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with fresh berries before serving. The croissants make this version the “ultimate” French Toast!

  42. Sounds just like the French Toast I am going to have in just a few minutes….:))

  43. Great tips Kari…I especially love the one from “Shirley” about searing the edges first….great tip!…and everything tastes better with apples!…Have a great weekend!

  44. Ellen in Oregon :

    Ijust made French Toast last Sunday, but your photos have me craving it again. I always take the bread I am going to use out and slice it & leave it our overnight to get a bit stale so it will soak up as much of the custard as possible without tearing. I especially love to use challlah, brioche or cinnamon swirl bread. They are egg based breads & add to the richness & are strong enough to hold the egg custard without tearing when transferring to the pan or during flipping. A few people asked about the amount of sugar to add. For four slices of bread I use 3 eggs and about a 1/2 Tablespoon of sugar. You can’t really go wrong on the amount of milk (I use 1/2 & 1/2) as long as the final custard is still thick enough to slowly soak into the bread. When all I have is low fat milk I just add one extra egg yolk to make up for the missing fat. I agree with others who recommend preheating the frying pan with butter initially on a higher heat (don’t let the butter brown) and immediately lower the temp to medium when the bread is added to the pan. You will get a crisp outside & a fully cooked/puffed inside by not rushing the process. Real Vanilla is a must ( not much, just a 1/2 teasp.) and I have found that the Saigon Cinnamon (giant bottle at Costco less than $2.50) improved all my baked goods last Fall. It has a more potent taste than regular cinnamon & a tiny but of extra warmth. Everyone who tasted my pumpkin scones and every spiced baked good I made last year wanted to know what I had done to make everything taste even better than before. I kept my secret, but the only change was the type of cinnamon – it simply makes anything you add it to taste better. Try it and you’ll know what I mean. Finally, I grate a small amount of a real nutmeg when you add the sugar & cinnamon to the eggs & milk. I would say that the type of bread you use will make or break a good batch of french toast. Almost any kind of egg custard will serve to flavor the bread, but bread that is too thin or too fresh will fall apart or turn out too mushy. This is one dish that deserves a good bakery or homemade loaf if you want it to be worthy of a blue ribbon. I will be trying the apples or peaches next time.

  45. Love all the secrets. I will try tomorrow. Can’t wait

  46. i use eggnog for soaking, with a little cinnamon and nutmeg. my family loves stuffed french toast! i use 2 pieces of french bread for each – spread whipped cream cheese and jam or sliced fruit of your choice on one slice of bread, put second slice on top, soak in eggnog mixture. grill using your excellent cooking tips!

  47. Love all the great (and accurate) comments. Try crushing corn flakes and dipping the toast in the crumbs. Great crunch. Also, cinnamon swirl bread is good to use.

  48. We LOVE French toast. We do the cinnamon, nutmeg, egg, dairy and vanilla mixture, the dairy varies with what we have, I lean toward heavier. I add some baking powder, makes it fluff just a bit and looks amazing. Love challah, brioche and croissants but use anything. When making by piece, we use the cast iron skillet preheated. lightly oiled and then butter per piece. What we do more often is a baked french toast. 1 cup heavy cream, 1 cup milk, 1 teaspoon each baking powder and soda, cinnamon, vanilla and please don’t forget a couple dashes of salt. Using one of the above breads or super stale bread, fill a cake pan with bread, cover with egg mixture, leave over night and bake at 400 for about a half hour or until just set but custardy. I do two variations most of the time, I make a brown sugar, oat and cinnamon strudel. apply in the morning (not at night, it will just soak in). then bake, it caramelizes and is crispy and sweet over the custard, amazing! The other option is to do one layer of bread, a thin layer of cream cheese and fresh blueberries and then a second layer of bread, cover in egg mixture, same overnight and bake. In the morning, serve with a blueberry compote. the cheese bakes up like a layer of cheesecake. this is a great breakfast to keep out of the kitchen when guests come over or to take to a breakfast gathering.

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