Classic French Toast


Crispy on the outside and custardy inside, French toast makes a delicious breakfast or brunch. It's a simple dish made with basic ingredients: milk or cream, eggs, butter, and bread. When Martha makes our classic French toast recipe, she uses rich breads like brioche or challah that make it extra pillowy, but any white bread will do. Just be sure the bread is slightly stale (a day or two old), since fresh bread won't soak up the custard.


  • 6 large eggs

  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream, half-and-half, or milk

  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • Pinch of ground nutmeg

  • Pinch of salt

  • 6 slices (1-inch-thick) bread, preferably day old

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • Pure maple syrup, for serving (optional)


  1. Whisk together eggs, cream, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

  2. Place bread in a shallow baking dish large enough to hold bread slices in a single layer. Pour egg mixture over bread; soak 10 minutes. Turn slices over; soak until soaked through, about 10 minutes more.

  3. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet, and set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Fry half the bread slices until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to wire rack; place in oven while cooking remaining bread. Wipe skillet, and repeat with remaining butter, oil, and bread. Keep in oven until ready to serve. Serve warm with pure maple syrup, if desired.

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