Quick Easy French Toast Recipe (Brioche Perdu)

5 from 19 votes
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Delicious cinnamon french toast with a slightly crisp outside and fluffy middle – this fluffy brioche french toast (check below for my list of top bread choices!) is perfect for a mid-week treat or special occasions! Made with just a few simple ingredients and in under 25 minutes!

French toast topped with sugar and berries

I’d always thought of french toast as a “special occasion’ type of dish: anniversary, valentines, and the sort. I quite often whip up breakfast recipes like American pancakes, Danish mini pancakes, and recently Korean veggie pancakes. However, this easy french toast was always a “treat”. Regardless of the fact this recipe uses just a few ingredients and less than half an hour of your time to whip up a large batch of fluffy cinnamon french toast (or, in this case, brioche perdu). Now it’s become a firm breakfast favorite of mine.

My journey towards the sweet classic french toast came about through “eggy bread”. The savory version of this dish omits sugars and cinnamon, frying in butter for a deliciously savory, eggy treat. However, when you want a treat, there’s nothing better than sweet cinnamon french toast with berries – yum.

brioche French toast with berries

Within this post, I’ll take you through my quick and easy method for how to make french toast, as well as what ingredients are best, the best bread choices, and topping options. Plus, my recipe notes include how to customize this easy french toast recipe to your tastes/needs as well as how to make ahead and store the toast for later.

The Best Bread for French Toast

The bread is the key to perfect french toast. The truth is, as long as the slices aren’t too thin, you can use lots of different bread varieties for this recipe (including sandwich bread). However, there are a few bread varieties to turn to for a superior french toast experience – usually those with a dense crumb.

  1. Brioche – the golden standard for french toast. Brioche french toast (aka brioche perdu) is sweet and fluffy, soaking up the custard with super-ease (for super fluffy toast). Use pieces 1/2-1″ thickness.
  2. Challah – similar in many ways to brioche, but not as sweet. This loaf is still fluffy and rich, and an excellent option for savory “eggy bread” too. Use pieces no thicker than 1/2″.
  3. Baguette – aka French bagger – while “tinner,” this bread has a firm crust for keeping the eggy bread together. However, it takes a bit longer to soak up the egg custard. Use pieces around 1/2″ thickness.
  4. Pullman – aka sandwich bread. This bread isn’t as dense as brioche and challah so it won’t be as “creamy.” However, it still works – it’s best to buy a whole loaf and slice the pieces yourself to around 1/2″ thickness.
Brioche on a cutting board

Bonus: Did you know you can use leftover glazed ring doughnuts to make french toast too? That was a happy “accident,” I stumbled upon at one point – although better to bake in the oven than pan fry.

Top Tip: Make sure that your bread is dry. It doesn’t necessarily have to be “stale” because that can mean less flavor. For a “quick-dry” method, place your sliced bread in the oven and bake for around 15 minutes at 300ºF/150ºC, flipping over halfway through. Alternatively, leave in the oven overnight (with the heat off).

The French Toast Ingredients

Three slices of brioche
  • Bread: I use brioche. Read the above list of the best bread for french toast!
  • Eggs: I used two large eggs (whites and yolks). Read the notes for a way to make it even more custardy with an extra yolk.
  • Milk: I like to use whole milk for the best results. For a dairy-free option, feel free to use your dairy-free milk of choice. I recommend coconut milk (tinned/canned) for the creamiest results.
  • Spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla (extract or paste), and lemon extract, or some lemon/orange zest (optional).
  • Sugar: just a little is needed to flavor this sweet treat. Feel free to use regular sugar, coconut sugar, light brown sugar, cinnamon sugar, etc. You may also be able to use a sweetener like Swerve/erythritol – though I’ve never tried.
  • Butter: you can use butter or ghee (clarified butter) for frying the brioche french toast. Alternatively, you could use a little coconut oil, though I like the added flavor of butter.
  • Toppings: my favorite way to top french toast is with lots of fresh berries, some powdered sugar (did you know you can make your own from your favorite sugar?!), and maple syrup (optional – the pain perdu aka French toast should be sweet already from the sugar).
Ingredients for French toast

Other Add-ins

  • Add a few tablespoons of liquor – such as orange liqueur, married, port, sherry, Baileys – to the egg mixture.
  • For coffee french toast – you can use brewed milky coffee in place of the regular milk.
  • Use additional spices – such as nutmeg, or even pumpkin spice.

Other Topping Options

Toppings for French toast

How To Make French Toast

Step 1: Prepare the batter

In a large shallow dish (large enough to lay the pieces of bread into), whisk the eggs, milk, sugar, and seasonings.

Alternatively, you can mix the spices and sugar first before adding to the egg mixture and this may help them distribute more evenly.

Whisk (or mix with a fork) the mixture until it is thoroughly combined with no large bits of egg white visible.

Preparing batter for French toast

Step 2: Prepare the pan and bread

Heat a large skillet with butter (or ghee or coconut oil) over medium heat. Make sure not to use too high heat or the outside of the french toast will cook while the middle remains soggy/raw.

When the pan is almost ready, soak the first slice of bread (or multiple slices based on the size of your dish and pan). Dip the bread into the egg mixture for around 15-20 seconds per side (up to 30 seconds depending on the thickness).

Steps for making French toast

Step 3: Pan-fry the French toast

As soon as the bread is soaked, transfer it to the preheated pan. I like to cook as many as I can fit in my pan – this time, it was three, sometimes, it’s just one.

Fry the french toast until golden brown on the bottom side and then flip over and fry for a few minutes further (around 3-4 minutes per side usually, but this can vary slightly).

Pan-fried brioche French toast slices

For a little more sweetness/caramelized french toast, sprinkle a little coconut sugar over the slice of bread before frying.

Make sure to keep a good “assembly line” going, soaking the next piece of bread when there’s around one minute left of the current one that’s frying. Repeat until all of the egg mixture has been used.

Serve the brioche French toast up with the toppings of your choice (plenty of options mentioned above). I chose to use berries, maple syrup, and just a little powdered sugar.

Pouring maple on brioche French toast

How to Make Ahead and Store French Toast

French Toast is incredibly meal-prep friendly and can be made ahead and stored for later easily. 

Make ahead: not only can you prepare a massive batch of French toast at once and reheat it throughout the week (when kept in the fridge), you can also keep it in the freezer for months. Moreover, you can also allow the French toast to soak overnight as a ‘casserole’ in a casserole dish (layer the pieces slightly overlapping and then pour the egg mixture over the bread). Then bake it in the morning, similar to a ‘bread pudding’. Keep in mind that this method is a lot soggier in the middle and crisp on top. I recommend baking the French toast casserole for 30-35 minutes at 350ºF/180ºC. Optionally broil at the end for just a couple of minutes, to brown the tops.

The batter can also be pre-prepared 24 hours in advance. Just keep it in the fridge, in an airtight container.

Fridge: allow the cooked French toast to cool and then transfer to a Ziploc bag or airtight container for up to 5 days. Perfect to reheat throughout the week. 

Freeze: stack the cooled sliced of cooked French toast with bits of parchment/wax paper between (so they don’t stick together while freezing) then wrap with foil and place in a large freezer-safe bag or container and freeze for up to two months.

Homemade French toast with berries on a plate

How to Reheat French Toast 

You can reheat French toast several ways, including on the stovetop, in the oven, or a microwave. 

Oven: to reheat in the oven, lightly spray/grease a baking tray and lay the french toast down with space in between then bake for around 5 minutes per side (or until warmed through) in a pre-heated 400ºF/200ºC. To bake the pieces straight from the freezer, add on a few extra minutes. I’ve tried the method of stacking them up and reheating (like I do with pancakes), but the results were soggy. 

Stovetop: just add a teeny drop of oil, butter, or cooking spray to the pan and pan-fry until heated through. This usually only takes 1-2 mins per side in a pre-heated pan and they crisp up well too! 

Microwave: place a slice of French toast on a microwaveable plate and cover with a piece of damp paper towel then heat in 15-second increments until warm. This method is the quickest but definitely not for you if you want nice and crispy results. 

Bonus: You could also use a toaster oven/toaster to reheat French toast!

French toast with pullman slices

Tips For Perfect French Toast Every Time

  • Don’t dip the bread in the egg mixture for too long (or too little). If it becomes fully saturated, then you’ll end up with uncooked, soggy centers. 15-20 seconds on each side is usually more than enough.
  • Don’t use JUST butter for cooking the brioche french toast. Due to its low smoke point, this doesn’t always turn out well. Instead, use a mixture of 50:50 butter to neutral oil to avoid burning the butter.
  • Be sure to mix the egg custard properly. Otherwise, you can end up with bits of plain egg white over your homemade french toast – which doesn’t look or taste brilliant.
  • Make sure to season well. Using just eggs and milk is perfect for a savory ‘eggy bread.’ However, for this sweeter cinnamon French toast, you need the additional flavor and sweetness.
  • The pan needs to be hot before you add the first bread slice! If it isn’t, you run the risk of a soggy egg mixture that spreads over the pan. Preheat the pan and wait until it’s hot, so the egg can’t spread.
  • For a super ‘custardy,’ but not ‘eggy’ mixture, omit the egg whites and just use the yolks.
  • Use a powdered version of whatever sugar you want to use. This will dissolve more evenly into the mixture. Just pop your sugar into a blender/spice grinder and grind into a fine powder.

Other Recipe Notes

  • For a baked version, place all the soaked bread slices on a baking sheet/pan and then bake for 25-30 minutes, to cook the interior, following with a final broil (grill), to brown the top.
  • For stuffed french toast simply use thicker slices of bread and slice a pocket into it then stuff with chocolate, strawberries, cream cheese, fruit, etc.
  • When it comes to the type of dairy/non-dairy product that you use, this comes down to taste. I prefer to use whole-fat milk, for a creamy but not too rich result. However, you could also use Heavy cream, Half and Half, Dairy-free milk, including coconut milk, oat milk, and almond milk (although they will affect the flavor differently).
  • To avoid soggy french toast: a friend told me the secret to NEVER getting soggy French toast is adding a little flour to the batter. I recommend adding 1 Tbsp per egg used. This makes the egg mixture more batter-like and will crisp up more without soaking into the bread as much. This isn’t something I’ve tried, though, so I can’t guarantee results.

Other Delicious Eggy Breakfast Dishes

If you give this French toast recipe a try, then I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below! Also, I love seeing your recreations, so feel free to tag me @AlphaFoodie.

Quick and Easy French Toast

5 from 19 votes
By: Samira
Delicious cinnamon french toast with a slightly crisp outside and fluffy middle – perfect for a mid-week treat or special occasions! Made with just a few simple ingredients and in under 25 minutes!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2 Servings

Ingredients 
 

  • 4 slices bread of your choice (brioche, challah, baguette, or Pullmans are the best options)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk whole milk
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or paste
  • 1/4 tsp lemon extract or almond extract, or a little lemon/orange zest
  • 1 Tbsp butter for frying, or ghee or coconut oil

Toppings

  • handful of strawberries raspberries, pomegranate, blueberries and blackberries, or your favorite fruit
  • icing sugar to decorate (optional)
  • maple syrup to drizzle (optional)

Instructions 

Step 1: Prepare the batter

  • In a large shallow dish (large enough to lay the pieces of bread into), whisk the eggs, milk, sugar, and seasonings.
    Alternatively, you can mix the spices and sugar first before adding to the egg mixture and this may help them distribute more evenly.
  • Whisk (or mix with a fork) the mixture until it is thoroughly combined with no large bits of egg white visible.

Step 2: Prepare the pan and bread

  • Heat a large skillet with a little butter (or ghee or coconut oil) over medium heat. Make sure not to use too high heat or the outside of the french toast will cook while the middle remains soggy/raw.
  • When the pan is almost ready, soak the first slice of bread (or multiple slices based on the size of your dish and pan). Dip the bread into the egg mixture for around 15-20 seconds per side (up to 30 seconds depending on the thickness).

Step 3: Pan-fry the French toast

  • As soon as the bread is soaked, transfer it to the preheated pan. I like to cook as many as I can fit in my pan – sometimes it's multiple pieces (like 3 or 4), sometimes, it's just one.
  • Fry the french toast until golden brown on the bottom side and then flip over and fry for a few minutes furthers (around 3-4 minutes per side usually, but this can vary slightly).
    For a little more sweetness/caramelized french toad, sprinkle a little coconut sugar over the slice of bread before frying.
    Make sure to keep a good "assembly line" going, soaking the next piece of bread when there's around one minute left of the current one that's frying. Repeat until all of the egg mixture has been used.
  • Serve the brioche French toast up with the toppings of your choice (plenty of options mentioned above). I chose to use berries, maple syrup, and just a little powdered sugar.

Notes

Tips For Perfect French Toast Every Time
  • Don’t dip the bread in the egg mixture for too long (or too little). If it becomes fully saturated, then you’ll end up with uncooked, soggy centers. 15-20 seconds on each side is usually more than enough.
  • Don’t use JUST butter for cooking the french toast. Due to its low smoke point, this doesn’t always turn out well. Instead, use a mixture of 50:50 butter to neutral oil to avoid burning the butter.
  • Be sure to mix the egg custard properly. Otherwise, you can end up with bits of plain egg white over your homemade french toast – which doesn’t look or taste brilliant.
  • Make sure to season well. Using just eggs and milk is perfect for a savory ‘eggy bread.’ However, for this sweeter cinnamon French toast, you need the additional flavor and sweetness.
  • The pan needs to be hot before you add the first bread slice! If it isn’t, you run the risk of a soggy egg mixture that spreads over the pan. Preheat the pan and wait until it’s hot, so the egg can’t spread.
  • For a super ‘custardy,’ but not ‘eggy’ mixture, omit the egg whites and just use the yolks.
  • Use a powdered version of whatever sugar you want to use. This will dissolve more evenly into the mixture. Just pop your sugar into a blender/spice grinder and grind into a fine powder.
 
Other Recipe Notes
  • For a baked version, place all the soaked bread slices on a baking sheet/pan and then bake for 25-30 minutes, to cook the interior, following with a final broil (grill), to brown the top.
  • For stuffed french toast simply use thicker slices of bread and slice a pocket into it then stuff with chocolate, strawberries, cream cheese, fruit, etc.
  • When it comes to the type of dairy/non-dairy product that you use, this comes down to taste. I prefer to use whole-fat milk, for a creamy but not too rich result. However, you could also use Heavy cream, Half and Half, Dairy-free milk, including coconut milkoat milk, and almond milk (although they will affect the flavor differently).
  • To avoid soggy french toast: A friend told me the secret to NEVER getting soggy French toast is adding a little flour to the batter. I recommend adding 1 Tbsp per egg used. This makes the egg mixture more batter-like and will crisp up more without soaking into the bread as much. This isn’t something I’ve tried, though, so I can’t guarantee results.
 
Read the blog post for the information on how to make ahead, store, and reheat the French toast! You’ll also find a list of optional add-ins and tons of extra topping ideas!!
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: European, French
Freezer friendly: 2 Months
Shelf life: 5 Days

Nutrition

Calories: 350kcal, Carbohydrates: 39g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 188mg, Sodium: 443mg, Potassium: 292mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 14g, Vitamin A: 565IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 218mg, Iron: 3mg

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

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