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This recipe is called everyday French toast because it’s straightforward and classic enough to make anytime. But don’t let the name fool you — it’s also really special.

everyday french toast and bacon on a plate with a fork and napkin
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Why we love this recipe

A basic French toast recipe belongs in your breakfast (or hey, breakfast for dinner) toolkit. Whether you hew to pain perdu‘s original purpose of using up day-old bread or make it from fresh bread just because you want to, it makes a quick, satisfying, and comforting meal.

Everyday French toast is my perfectly calibrated version of the nostalgic classic I grew up with. This recipe:

  • Uses a slightly indulgent but totally reasonable large white sandwich bread like Arnold country-style white, but you can substitute your favorite bread of virtually any type
  • Is scented with a hint of maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg for just the right cozy spice infusion
  • Gives you just the right amount of creamy, eggy batter. I like to use whole milk, but this recipe works with any dairy or plant-based milk that you choose.

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe.

ingredients in bowls
  • Arnold Country White is my everyday French toast bread of choice for nostalgic reasons. It’s not too thin, not too thick, and has a hint of sweetness. It absorbs the batter well and cooks up nicely. You can substitute virtually any bread that you like in this recipe, from sourdough to whole grain to cinnamon raisin to brioche. Try to keep the slices about 1/2-inch thick so they cook through easily and use the right amount of batter.
  • This recipe uses plenty of eggs to provide some protein and richness.
  • I use whole milk to make the batter just creamy enough, but you can substitute anything from heavy cream to your favorite plant-based milk in this recipe.
  • The batter is sweetened just a touch with a couple tablespoons of pure maple syrup and flavored with a cozy, well-calibrated blend of vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg.
  • A generous amount of butter coats the skillet and adds a bit of savory flavor. For a dairy-free French toast made with nondairy milk, you can use a neutral tasting oil like safflower, or coconut oil, on the pan instead of the butter.

How to make it

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make a beautiful batch of everyday French toast. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. I like to start by cutting the bread slices in half for more manageable pieces of French toast. You can skip this step if you prefer.
  2. You can either whisk up the batter in a shallow baking dish and dip the bread a few slices at a time or mix the batter in a bowl, arrange the bread in a single layer on a rimmed half-sheet pan and pour the batter overtop.
  3. Saturate each slice thoroughly but don’t let it fall apart.
  4. Cook in batches on a medium-low skillet, flipping once, until lightly browned and cooked through. That’s it!

Expert tips and FAQs

What should I serve with French toast?

This dish is perfect with good maple syrup to pass at the table, and, if you like, some really good bacon. Or you’re welcome to jazz it up by topping with fresh berries and maybe some whipped cream.

Can I make this recipe in advance? What about leftovers?

French toast is at its best right after cooking. If you like, you can keep the early slices warm in a 250°F oven while you cook the rest.

Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for a week and can be reheated with a quick spin in the oven or toaster oven.

More favorite breakfast basics, perfected

everyday french toast and bacon on a plate with a fork and napkin

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everyday french toast and bacon on a plate with a fork and napkin
5 from 6 votes

Everyday French Toast

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
This recipe is called everyday French toast because it's straightforward and classic enough to make anytime. But don't let the name fool you — it's also really special.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
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Ingredients 

  • 8 slices good white bread, see note 1
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups (350 ml) whole milk (see note 2)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons (56 grams) salted butter

Instructions 

  • I like to start by cutting the bread slices in half for more manageable pieces of French toast. You can skip this step if you prefer.
  • In a shallow baking dish or a medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs with a fork.
  • Add the milk, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and salt, and mix well.
  • Set a frying pan over medium heat or set an electric skillet in the medium range. Throughout cooking, you may need to toggle between medium and medium-low to brown the French toast and cook it through in complementary timeframes.
  • Melt some of the butter on the pan or skillet, in proportion to the number of slices you'll be cooking at once.
  • Dip bread slices into the batter a few at a time, turning to coat well, and saturating them without letting them fall apart. Or, if you prefer, arrange the slices in a single layer on a rimmed half sheet pan and pour the batter overtop, flipping the bread at least once and ensuring each slice gets saturated. Either way, you should comfortably use all the batter to soak all the bread. (If soaking on a baking sheet, you can do this step before firing up the skillet.)
  • Cook in batches, flipping once, until lightly browned and cooked through, and adjusting the heat as necessary.

Notes

  1. Arnold Country White is my everyday French toast bread of choice for nostalgic reasons. It's not too thin, not too thick, and has a hint of sweetness. It absorbs the batter well and cooks up nicely. You can substitute virtually any bread that you like in this recipe, from sourdough to whole grain to cinnamon raisin to brioche. Try to keep the slices about 1/2-inch thick so they cook through easily and use the right amount of batter.
  2. I use whole milk to make the batter just creamy enough, but you can substitute anything from heavy cream to your favorite plant-based milk in this recipe.
  3. A generous amount of butter coats the skillet and adds a bit of savory flavor. For a dairy-free French toast made with nondairy milk, you can use a neutral tasting oil like safflower, or coconut oil, on the pan instead of the butter.
  4. French toast is at its best right after cooking. If you like, you can keep the early slices warm in a 250°F oven while you cook the rest.
  5. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for a week and can be reheated with a quick spin in the oven or toaster oven.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 446kcal, Carbohydrates: 43g, Protein: 16g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 272mg, Sodium: 589mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 15g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Breakfast and Brunch
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

Hungry for more?

Subscribe to Umami Girl’s email updates, and follow along on Instagram.

Hungry for More?
Subscribe to Umami Girl's email updates, and follow along on Instagram.
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About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

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