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The Single Best Way to Make French Toast

Adding this one special ingredient will completely transform this classic breakfast dish!
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Growing up, breakfast at my house was always simple during the school week. Slices of toast with peanut butter or a bowl of cereal would usually suffice. But Saturday mornings were a completely different story. My mom would get up and make some kind of lavish breakfast. Usually it was pancakes, but sometimes, if we were lucky, she would whip up her French toast recipe. I would help my mom whisk together the eggs and milk, dip the leftover bread we had from our school sandwiches that week, and watch as she would fry them on the pan. So basically, I was learning how to make the best French toast from a young age!

I may not be able to experience those special mornings at home as often, but I sure do love to wake up and make a plate of French toast on a Saturday morning, especially using the few tricks I've picked up over the years.

The secret to making the best French toast

So what makes my French toast recipe different from the kind I grew up with? A little bit of added vanilla extract! This small amount of added flavor turns the French toast from a slice of simple eggy bread into a delectable meal to wake up to. Ever since I started adding vanilla extract to my French toast recipe, I never looked back. I would absolutely consider it the single best way to make French toast.

Use any bread you like

The best thing about this recipe is how versatile it can be. You can make French toast with whatever bread you have on hand. You can try it with simple sliced sandwich bread, or my personal favorite, slices of a leftover crusty French baguette or Italian loaf. For this example, I actually used a leftover semolina bread loaf which had some sesame seeds sprinkled on top—a unique added touch to this French toast recipe.

The easy way to make healthier comfort foods.

French Toast Recipe

Here is an easy step-by-step tutorial for you to follow!

Makes 4 servings


2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp butter
8 slices crusty bread
Syrup, for serving
1/4 cup sugar, for serving
1 Tbsp cinnamon, for serving

How to Make French Toast

Whisk the wet ingredients

how to make french toast whisking eggs and milk for french toast
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Combine the eggs, milk, and vanilla extract in a bowl. Make sure the bowl is big enough to dip the bread. I like to use a flatter bowl for this—like a shallow pasta bowl—to make the dipping easier. If you have a lot of leftover eggs, here are 13 Chef-Approved Ways to Use Your Eggs That Will Blow Your Mind.

Soak the bread

how to make french toast dipping sliced bread into egg mixture
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Soak the slices in the egg mixture for a few seconds on either side. I like to use leftover crusty bread that I have for French toast, but any bread will work for this recipe. This is also a great way to use up stale bread if you have any! To properly store your bread, here's Why You Shouldn't Keep Bread on the Counter (and Where to Store it Instead).

Fry them in butter

flipping french toast in a pan
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Heat up a skillet over medium heat, and melt some butter on the pan. You won't need much—just enough to coat the bottom. Transfer the dipped bread to the pan and fry on each side for 2 to 3 minutes, or until toasted and golden brown.

Read more: 50 Life-Changing Kitchen Hacks That'll Make You Enjoy Cooking Again

Dress your French toast

adding syrup on finished french toast
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Plate up your French toast and drizzle with some maple syrup. Mix together the sugar and the cinnamon, then sprinkle it on top of the bread. You may not use all of the cinnamon sugar for this recipe—that's okay! Save it for the next time you make French toast.

Full French Toast Recipe

finished homemade french toast on a plate with syrup
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and vanilla extract.
  2. Place a skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter on the pan and swirl around to coat. Dip the slices of bread in the egg mixture and let them soak for a few seconds on each side. The trick is to strike a balance between moist and soggy.
  3. Fry the bread on each side for 2-3 minutes, or until toasty and golden brown.
  4. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon. Drizzle the toast with syrup and sprinkle with some cinnamon sugar.

For more breakfast ideas, here are 16 Delicious Breakfast Sandwich Recipes.

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Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a freelance health and nutrition journalist. Read more about Kiersten
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