There are few things better for breakfast than a heaping pile of French toast topped with fruit, whipped cream or rich maple syrup (or all of the above). However, you may be making some common mistakes when it comes to putting together this delightful meal. Here are five tips for making better French toast at home:
1. Find the right kind of bread
While you may be tempted to simply use whatever bread you have on hand, French toast requires an airy bread such as challah to really soak up all the custard evenly. Dense multi-grain breads won’t provide the same flavor and texture that we associate with a perfect plate of French toast. The Kitchn also recommends avoiding generic store breads with lots of holes and thick crusts. For tip-top French toast, learn how to bake bread at home.
2. Dry out your bread
People often make French toast using stale bread as a last-ditch effort to bring some life back into it. The problem is stale bread is often bland and likely won’t soak up as much custard, according to Food Hacks. You can dry out your bread by baking slices at a low heat, but make sure not to toast them too much.
3. Perfect your custard
Similar to when you make crepes, the consistency of your custard is really important when making high-quality French toast. Make sure to whisk your custard well. Food Hacks also advises putting the custard through a strainer before you dip your bread in it to remove any remaining lumps.
4. Double down on toppings
French toast is the perfect apparatus for a medley of seasonal fresh fruit, homemade whipped cream or other sweet and savory toppings. While syrup and butter are great on their own, you can get really creative with how you garnish your French toast. Try making a fruit compote from scratch or topping your toast with unexpected savory elements such as sausage or bacon.
5. Preheat your pan
Bon Appetit notes that many home cooks neglect to fully preheat the pan before adding their French toast, which can result in the custard bleeding out from the bread and forming a skin around the edge of the toast. By preheating the pan, the outer layer of custard cooks fast enough so it doesn’t have time to form a “foot.”