Our best French toast recipe lives dangerously close to bread pudding. Thick, sturdy slices of white bread are soaked in custard for no less than 10 minutes on each side. Yes, 10 minutes on each side. Try this with any old sandwich bread, and you’ll be met with a disintegrated mess. But, if you secure a loaf of eggy brioche or challah, or a pillowy Pullman bread, the results of this long, leisurely bath are slices fully enriched with eggs and cream that taste as decadent upon first bite as they do at the last.
A few more tips for French toast perfection: Cook the soaked bread in a mixture of butter and neutral oil. This will give the slices slightly crispy, golden brown edges imbued with the rich flavor of the butter while the oil keeps things from getting too dark.
We’ve streamlined the custard, but you could take a few liberties. For a dairy-free variation, swap in your favorite dairy substitutes (almond milk and creamer are particularly nice). We also wouldn’t say no to a splash of vanilla extract or bourbon if you like sweet toppings. If you prefer something savory, like a fried egg and chile crisp, skip it. In spring and summer, nothing makes a better topping for French toast than fresh berries. In winter, a citrus salad is a great accompaniment, but we also wouldn’t mind a simple dusting of.
Entertaining a crowd for brunch or hosting family for the holidays? French toast casserole is the way to go.