French toast makes the best brunch recipe for lazy Sunday mornings or big gatherings, or try our indulgent pancakes recipes.
What is French toast?
French toast (or as we called it growing up, ‘eggy bread’) is soft bread, soaked in beaten egg and fried in lots of butter. It can be savoury, served with beans, bacon or eggs, or sweet, topped with maple syrup, whipped cream or berries. French toast is usually eaten for breakfast, but it’s too good to limit it to just one time of day.
What should French toast taste like?
French toast should be soft, pillowy and squidgy in the middle; but crisp, golden and buttery on the outside. Most of the time egg is mixed with milk and some seasoning (usually nutmeg or cinnamon) to make a light batter, and then the finished French toast is served with a drizzle of maple syrup and butter.
Most of the time, thick soft white bread or brioche is used. Brioche is an enriched bread with butter and eggs, so it’s sweeter and more decadent than white bread. You could use any bread you wanted, really. If you’re using crusty sourdough just soak the bread in the egg for a longer time until it’s soft.
The egg mix
Simply whisk eggs with a fork until uniform in colour and consistency. If you’re heading for savoury, season with salt and pepper, and if you’re feeling adventurous, try seasoning the egg with chilli, chopped herbs or spices such as ground cumin, smoked paprika or mace.
For the sweet tooth, season with a pinch of cinnamon, ground clove or nutmeg. Add a splash of cream or milk to the egg, and whisk again. You could even add a drizzle of maple syrup into the egg mix!
Melt a very large knob of butter in a non stick frying pan, and wait until it’s melted and hot before adding the toast. If the butter isn’t hot enough, the French toast will become greasy; too hot and the egg will burn before the middle has cooked.
If you’re making more than one, add the butter in separate additions, before each toast, instead of cooking them all in one initial heap of melted butter. The milk solids in the butter will burn, and you’ll end up with dark spots on your toast if you do this. You can keep them warm in a low oven while you cook the rest if you’re serving them all together.
Be as adventurous as you like. It’s one of those things that tastes so good on it’s own, you don’t really need to mess around with it too much. Try banana slices, maple syrup and whipped cream, or serve with a generous helping of baked beans and grated cheddar for a comforting lunch.
We love matching soft, buttery French toast with a bit of texture so try topping with toasted hazelnuts or crispy bacon. Here are some of our favourite recipes for you to try at home.