Classic 15-min Fluffy French Toast (Easy and Homemade)
Try this fluffy French toast for breakfast and you won’t need anything else. I promise you will catch yourself often in the act of preparing it over and over again.
It is a simple recipe which requires for common ingredients you will find in your pantry. There is also an ingredient you wouldn’t expect but I’ll tell you about it later.
I truly may declare that this is the best French toast recipe ever.
What is French Toast?
In a few words, we are talking about some bread slices dipped in a mixture of egg and milk and fried in a pan. And I believe you will say that it was invented in France as the name says. Well, things are not always what they seem.
In fact, nobody knows for sure where this dish originated and no one can claim the rights for being the one and only creator of fluffy French toast.
Its origins go a long way back in time. It appears that even the Romans made it, as Apicius, a collection of recipes gathered from the Roman Empire writes. It is referred to as “aliter dulcia” which means “another sweet dish”. We can find a pretty accurate description in there: “take thin slices of white bread, get off the crust and roughly break it into large pieces.
Soak in a mixture of beaten egg and milk, fry in oil, top with honey and serve.” Considering the fact that this recipe was invented such a long time ago, it is no wonder that we can’t certainly tell who was the great man or woman who came up with the brilliant idea.
We can find the French toast in Germany too, in the 14th century.
In France, Taillevent was a famous cook at the royal court. He even wrote a cookbook called “Le Viander”, actually one of the most prominent of the Middle Ages. In its pages we can find a recipe for golden toasts, “tostees dorees”. However, the cook didn’t include milk but only beaten eggs to coat the bread slices before frying.
Believe it or not, the name French toast was first used in England, sometime in the 17th century. After that, the recipe accompanied the first settlers to America.
Another theory says that this dish was actually invented by an American chef, Joseph French. He is said to have created the dish in 1724, but didn’t manage to spell the name correctly by forgetting the apostrophe. So instead of “French’s toast” he came up with “French toast”. This name first appeared in the “Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink”, in 1871. Another similar recipe can be found in the “white House Cookbook”, from 1887. It is called American Toast and calls for bread slices soaked and fried.
An interesting fact is that the French call it “pain perdu”, meaning “lost bread”. It is possible that the dish was born in the days when food was rare. People didn’t afford to waste it, not even old bread which didn’t taste so well after many days. But the simple act of dipping the slices in a mixture of egg and milk and then frying turned them into a fulfilling meal for the whole family.
We can find many variations all over the world: eggy bread, Spanish toast, poor knights of Windsor, German toast, torrija, Bombay toast, nun’s toast and many others.
Nowadays, in the United States, the French toast is served with maple syrup, butter and powdered sugar. The toppings are pretty much endless; you can put anything on a French toast. Many Americans cook Texas French toast. This means they are using Texas toast to prepare their breakfast. This is a type of toast white bread, only sliced thicker. Its consistency is very dense.
Italians make French toast too. The difference is that they take two slices of bread, place a slice of mozzarella in between and then fry it in the typical way. This is not a sweet version since it is served with another type of cheese and tomato sauce.
Guess what? Even people from India eat French toast. They also prefer the savory version. The bread is dipped in a mixture of egg, milk, green chili, salt and chopped onions. It is generally served with ketchup.
It is pretty obvious that Scottish also choose the savory alternative over the sweet one. They fry the French toast and then serve it with a sausage in between two slices and consider this a sandwich. In Great Britain you can find this sandwich accompanied with ketchup.
Torrija is the traditional recipe prepared in Spain with the occasion of Lent or Holy Week. They mix wine or milk with spices and honey and soak stale bread slices. The slices are then coated with beaten egg and fried in olive oil.
Hong Kong people came up with a different style of preparing the fluffy French toast: they combine several bread slices with fruit jam or peanut butter. After dipping this mix in beaten egg, they deep fry it. The toppings are usually honey or golden syrup and butter.
Germans prepare a dish called Arme Ritter, translated “poor knights”. It is made with sugar and cinnamon and sometimes served with vanilla sauce or plum jam.
Also people from New Zealand cook French toast and serve it with bacon, bananas and maple syrup. They want to get the best from both savory and sweet.
And if you didn’t know that yet… There is a National French Toast Day, celebrated on November 28th. Just the perfect time for preparing this delicious breakfast. This day was set just in case you needed some other reason to cook Texas French toast. Either you are making Texan French toast or use simple white bread, whole wheat bread, gluten-free bread or any other type of bread, I can assure you that your breakfast will come up delicious, fluffy, tender and a bit crisp on the edges. And the taste will be amazing.
What is the Original Savory French Toast?
As previously stated, we don’t know for sure who invented French toast from scratch. That being said, we actually don’t know who made the first savory French toast so we can call it “original”. We can only guess or assume that Scottish or English enjoyed the first savory toast, knowing that the Americans and French have a sweet tooth and prefer sweet dishes.
How to Make Cinnamon French Toast?
If you want a delicate hint of cinnamon, you have two options. You can rub the bread slices with a mix of cinnamon and sugar or add the spice to the French toast batter.
Either way, you will definitely feel and taste the delicate cinnamon.
How to Make Gluten Free French Toast?
You need to follow the same recipe, only use gluten-free bread. Practically, all the other ingredients do not contain gluten.
Also pay attention to the toppings so they are gluten-free.
How to Make French Toast Without Milk?
You can skip the milk in this recipe and only dip the bread slices in beaten egg. Of course, the French toast mix won’t have that runny consistency and the sweetness of milk, but it is good this way too if you want to make it dairy free.
How to Make Vegan French Toast?
In this case, you will need almond milk (or any other non-dairy milk), ground chia seeds, maple syrup and some spices like ground cinnamon and vanilla extract to prepare the French toast mix.
Mix all these ingredients in a bowl and place it in the fridge for 15-20 minutes so the chia seeds will jellify and the mix will start looking like French toast batter. After that, the process is the same.
Dip the bread slices and fry them in vegetable oil instead of butter. Or try Best Fat Free Butter Substitutes (And When To Use Them).
How do Diners Get Egg Batter to Drip Over Edges of French Toast Recipe?
For a “clean” Texas French toast from scratch, you will need to let the batter drip over the edges of the bread. Otherwise you will get the mushy texture of an omelet.
After dipping the bread slices, you may place them on a wire rack to discard the excess batter.
Or use tongs to soak them in the French toast mix and hold the slices over the bowl to let the batter drip off.
How to Make French Toast From Scratch?
As you probably figured out, the ingredients for French toast are thick slices of bread, milk, sugar, eggs, cinnamon, salt and vanilla extract. And some topping of choice. The best French toast recipe also calls for flour. This ingredient will make the batter a bit thicker and will coat the slices better.
The best bread for French toast is stale bread. It doesn’t really matter if it is white or whole wheat, the most important is to let it become a bit old. Also look at the thickness of the slice. It needs to be pretty thick.
Mix the eggs and milk thoroughly for the French toast batter. Although if it takes an extra minute, do it! You don’t want to see any traces of egg whites or even egg yolks in the mixture.
It needs to be uniform and perfectly combined. Otherwise, you will end up with a fried egg on top of your bread slices. I guess you don’t want that to happen.
After you do this operation, add the flour and whisk it well. Don’t overmix the batter. A small lump or two work but you shouldn’t have too many.
So it is better to stir continuously when you add the flour.
Using a milk with a high amount of fat will make the French toast mix creamier.
Vanilla extract gives the fluffy French toast a great flavor so don’t hesitate to use it.
Cinnamon is another aroma that just can’t miss from the best French toast recipe. When mixing cinnamon into the batter, an unpleasant situation may appear: little clumps may form and the look of the toast won’t be perfect anymore.
So, you may mix the sugar and cinnamon and rub each slice with this mixture.
This way all the cinnamon will remain on the bread.
- 4 slices whole wheat bread
- 2 pcs eggs
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp butter
- Fresh/frozen berries, for topping
- Beat the eggs well. Add the milk and mix until well combined.
- Add the flour stirring continuously.
- Mix the sugar with cinnamon in a small bowl. Rub this mixture onto the bread slices.
- Dip one slice at a time into the French toast batter for about 10-15 seconds on each side.
- Melt the butter in a large pan.
- Drip the excess batter off the bread slices and place them on the pan.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until they look golden-brown and are cooked through.
- Top with your favorite garnish and serve immediately.
- I used a mix of frozen berries for topping but you may be very creative with that. Anything from maple syrup to bacon will work. Depending on your mood that day, go for savory or sweet. The French toast is delicious either way.
- In case you make more French toast than you can eat or want to prepare it in advance, you should know that it can be reheated both in a pan or in microwave. I believe it doesn’t taste the same as the fresh-made one but it works.
- You can also freeze it. Let it cool completely and then wrap each slice in plastic foil. It will keep up to two months. Use the microwave or toaster to reheat it.
- And, most of all, enjoy your fluffy French toast!