I first learned to make French toast when I was a kid. I initially liked my extra sweet French toast. I would stir the maple syrup and vanilla extract into the egg and milk cream before soaking the bread, then pour additional butter and syrup over each serving.

Now my tastes of French toast have widened. Sometimes I stir bourbon in the eggs and milk and eat it topped with fresh fruit (raspberries are my go-to) and yogurt. Sometimes I season the cream with nothing more than salt, pepper and nutmeg, then melt cheese on each slice and eat it for dinner. And sometimes I go wild and stuff my French toast with chocolate, cream cheese, jam – whatever I can find.

The truth is, you really don’t need a real French toast recipe to make French toast. (Or, as the French actually call it, French toast, which translates to French toast.) And when making French toast, you can be really creative with the ingredients, as long as you follow six basic steps. Here I will tell you how to make the best French toast at home.

1. Choose and slice your bread

French toast can be made from most types of bread, but the larger and thicker the bread, the better it will soak up eggs and milk. Brioche, challah, and sourdough are all classic French toast options. You will want to use bread that is a bit stale (ideally one to two days old). Stale bread will absorb the egg mixture better and give a crispy exterior and a soft interior (the perfect French toast!). There’s one bread to be avoided, and it’s regular white bread – like bagged, pre-sliced sandwich bread – that tends to soften and fall apart.

It’s time to slice up your bread once you’ve chosen it. Aim for three-quarter-inch thick slices of bread (unless you’re making stuffed French toast, in which case you should go for slices that are half an inch thick).

2. Make the egg mixture

In a large, shallow bowl or baking dish, whisk together the eggs and milk to create the cream in which you will dip the bread. Typically, you want one egg for every 1 to 2 slices of bread, and a generous splash of milk (about ¼ cup) per egg. You can use any type of milk (skim, whole milk, etc. – or dairy-free options like almond milk, cashew milk or oat milk). You can also replace some of the milk with half and half cream or heavy cream if you want your egg mixture to have a richer flavor, or even buttermilk for a more tangy flavor.

Whatever you decide, the liquid to egg ratio will always be about ¼ cup liquid for one egg and one egg for two bread slices. So if you want to make four slices of French toast, you will need four slices of bread, two eggs, and ½ cup of milk. How’s that for an easy recipe?

Also Read: BURNT TOAST

This ratio makes for the perfect consistency for my taste, but try a little more milk if you want your French toast to be sweeter – some recipes go up to ½ cup of milk per egg. If, however, you prefer it a bit more robust, you can just use less milk.

Whip the custard mixture very well, then add a little seasoning. A pinch of salt and a pinch of ground nutmeg are all you need for a simple sweet breakfast, but you can also add a touch of vanilla, bourbon, or brandy. You can also try adding ground cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, or allspice, or a mixture of all. If you want a sweeter French toast, add a little maple syrup, brown sugar or agave nectar to the mixture. And if you’re after tasty French toast, add a little black pepper or cayenne pepper.

3. Stuff the French toast (if desired)

Making stuffed French toast is very easy: spread a slice of your brioche or other bread with whatever you want in your French toast – mascarpone, jam, Nutella, peanut butter – then sandwich another slice on top of it. above. Try to leave some space around the edge of the bread to help the two slices seal when soaked. (Note: since the stuffed French toast uses two slices of bread, you want that bread to be thinner. Aim for ½ inch slices.)

4. Dip the bread in the egg mixture

Take your bread slices (or sandwich) and place them in a shallow dish to coat them with custard. Turn it once in the mixture so that both sides are well coated. This can be a quick process to avoid soaking, although some recipes go for longer soaking in the refrigerator. (In that case, you might want to double your custard mixture, as the bread will soak up more. And make sure to use stale, solid slices!)

5. Fry the French toast

Melt some butter (or heat a neutral oil) in a pan over medium-high heat, then gently place your soaked bread (or sandwich) in the pan. Leave to cook undisturbed until golden brown and crispy on the bottom, about 3 minutes, then flip with a spatula and cook the other side until golden, another 2 to 3 minutes . If you have a hotplate, feel free to use it here too – it can be especially handy for large families. It’s best to serve your French toast straight from the pan, but if you need to keep it warm, put it in a single layer on a baking sheet in the low oven, like 200 ° F.

6. Top the French toast with maple syrup (or whatever you wish)

Maple syrup, honey, sweet yogurt, jam, powdered sugar – all of these things are good for garnishing French toast. Alternatively, however, you can go the salty route and give your French toast a sprinkle of grated cheese on top as soon as you flip it into the pan. (I like Gruyere, but any processed cheese will do; try Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, or Fontina.) The cheese should melt within the last three minutes of frying; you will start to melt as soon as you taste it.