Our Very Favorite French Toast Recipes for Breakfast or Brunch
It's a question you've wondered for years: Is French toast really French? We're not sure, but what we do know for certain is that this traditional breakfast and brunch dish is a classic for good reason. From sweet to savory (yes, really!), whether cooked on the stovetop a slice at a time or baked in the oven as a casserole, French toast is a crowd-pleasing way to start the day.
Here's what we do know about this comforting recipe: The French call their take French toast pain perdu, which translates to "lost bread," because these recipes are delicious ways to use up stale or leftover bread. (If the bread is not so fresh it will be drier and absorb the custard better.). Many of our recipes call for dense bread like brioche (Martha's favorite!) or challah, which both do an excellent job of soaking up the eggy-creamy mixture. Other recipes use less expected bread—like baguette or pita—but promise the same mouthwatering results.
The custard is traditional a dairy-rich mixture, but we do have a dairy-free vegan French toast recipe that's truly great and just as creamy as conventional takes. Other recipes are rich thanks to their use of eggs and milk while some get their decadent texture thanks to eggs and heavy cream. Some are scented with vanilla, some with cinnamon. Either way, each bite is bound to be delicious.
Classic French toast is cooked on the stovetop, usually in butter and served one slice at a time to eager eaters. To keep the slices warm as you cook, place finished pieces in a low oven, then serve your stack all at once. If that's too fussy for you, know that French toast can also be cooked in the oven, individual baked slices of bread, custard, and flavorings packed tightly together for baked French toast.
The possibilities don't end there! Try making Bostock, a très chic, très delightful hybrid of French toast and croissant. The version shown here has both strawberry jam and fresh rhubarb, so you know it's a winner. French toast can also be stuffed or made with savory ingredients, but no matter what you do, it's always delicious. In fact, we think it's one of the most comforting ways to start the day.
Classic French Toast
Let's start with the classic: This is a recipe that's hard to beat. Use a dense bread, such as challah, brioche, or sourdough, that will soak up the custard and pan-fry to perfection.
Baked Stuffed French Toast
Martha's French Toast with Grand Marnier
Fresh orange zest and juice, as well as orange liqueur, add a bright, citrusy flavor to every delectable slice of Martha's French toast recipe. She serves this breakfast classic with butter and sanding sugar or pure maple syrup.
Vegan Banana French Toast
Silken tofu and almond milk give this vegan French toast a creamy, custardy texture. And a double dose of bananas—they're blended in the creamy custard the baguette soaks in while fresh slices top the finished dish—helps to make this a super sweet dish.
Pear-and-Raspberry Baked French Toast
For a make-ahead French toast, this recipe simply can't be beat. Thick slices of challah bread soak up the custard while Bosc pears and fresh raspberries add just the right amount of sweetness. Prep the whole thing in advance and bake the casserole the morning of.
Creme Brûlèe French Toast
Oven-Baked French Toast
Martha loves this French toast recipe for serving a crowd. While it's not made ahead, it is hands-off—no minding the griddle—and it's a perfect way to make sure brunch is hot and ready right when you want it, leaving you time to spend with your guests.
Pita Bread French Toast
Peanut Butter French Toast Sandwiches
Think of this kid-friendly brunch dish as PB&J amped up a few notches. Have the little ones help assemble the French toast sandwiches, then you tackle the cooking.
Savory French-Toast BLT
For those who prefer a savory breakfast, try this French toast with bacon on top. It skips the maple syrup and adds a little L and T on top instead.
Apple-Maple French Toast
Sautéed in butter until they're tender and caramelized, maple-glazed apple slices make a must-have topping for each thick slice of this French toast.
French Toast with Blueberry Maple Syrup
Lovers of blueberry pancakes can switch up their breakfast routine with this fruity French toast. It's a classic French toast made with challah bread, but the syrup is a total upgrade—blueberries and butter are heated with maple syrup for a sweet topping that's easy to love.
Brioche French Toast with Asparagus and Orange Beurre Blanc
For an elegant spring brunch that leans savory, serve this oh-so-French entrée. With an orange-flavored butter sauce no one will miss the maple syrup.
Gluten-Free Polenta "French Toast"
Here's a gluten-free take on French toast featuring cornmeal. Make the raisin-studded polenta the night before and leave it to cool and set, then fry wedges of polenta in the morning as you would regular French toast. Serve each plate with your favorite berries and maple syrup.
Pumpkin Pie French Toast
Pumpkin spice and pumpkin purée transform regular French toast into a fall taste sensation.