French toast is a great breakfast treat that you’ll always look forward to, and sometimes you want to enjoy a special breakfast with your family that’s a bit sweeter than usual.
For many, French toast will only be an occasional breakfast food. Others like to make it fairly often, but it’s best to eat it in moderation.
If you’ve never made French toast yourself, you might not be sure what all of the ingredients are. What actually makes up this breakfast staple?
Below, you’ll learn a little bit about each common French toast ingredient and why it’s used so you can better understand how to make it for your family.
Eggs are important when looking at standard French toast recipes. There are some vegan recipes out there that don’t use eggs, but otherwise, it’s normal for people to use them when making this breakfast dish.
You’ll use eggs to make a custard mixture that the bread will be dipped in. The bread soaks up the custard, and it helps it to have the right taste and texture.
When you soak the bread properly, it’ll be soft on the inside, while the crust will be a bit crispy. It creates a nice balance that helps people to enjoy the dish to the fullest.
A typical French toast recipe will call for four eggs. Make sure that you have enough before getting started.
Milk isn’t used in every French toast recipe, but most of the popular recipes call for it. Milk is part of the custard mixture that you’re making to soak the bread.
You’ll be whisking milk together with eggs and some other ingredients that you’ll learn about later. Then the bread is dipped or soaked in the mixture when everything is done.
Soaking the bread is an important part of getting French toast to turn out the right way. Using milk and eggs won’t make this dish appealing to certain people, though.
If you’re a vegan or if you’re lactose intolerant, you might wish to find alternative recipes. There are recipes out there that adapt the normal French toast ideas and give you substitute ingredients that you can use.
Butter is going to be used on the pan or skillet. You need to butter the skillet well so you can fry the French toast when you’re ready.
You have to wipe the skillet and butter the pan each time you put a new batch of French toast on it. Otherwise, you’ll wind up with black specks of burnt butter on your French toast.
Needless to say, this is going to be unappetizing. It’s something you can avoid by being mindful and changing out the butter each time.
Be generous when buttering the pan, too. You want the skillet to be greased nicely to make things as simple as possible.
Cream is considered to be an optional ingredient. Generally, this is just to add to the sweetness of the dish.
Some people serve cream on the side, while others put cream directly on top of French toast when it’s being served. It’s up to you to decide how to approach things.
If you’d like to save some calories, you can always avoid using it. Whipped cream is the most common type that people go with.
Sugar is an important part of making French toast. It’s used to sweeten it and make sure it tastes as it should.
You’ll combine sugar with some other ingredients that are meant to flavor the dish. It’s also notable that many people put powdered sugar on the French toast when it’s done.
So you might want to buy both white sugar and powdered sugar. The white sugar is used for the mixture that sweetens the bread, and powdered sugar is served on top of the French toast.
Vanilla extract is also an important ingredient for flavoring. Adding a little bit of vanilla helps to make French toast taste perfect.
The vanilla goes into the egg mixture that you’re creating. It’s whisked together with eggs, milk, and other ingredients.
Don’t forget to buy vanilla extract from the store. It’s imperative to use vanilla since the flavoring won’t be quite right if you neglect to use it.
You should always keep vanilla extract in your pantry. It’s called for in many different baked goods, and you want to do things properly to enjoy the best results whenever you’re baking.
Ground cinnamon is another ingredient that is there to flavor your French toast. This is used in the mixture that you’re creating to soak the bread.
First, you mix together the dry ingredients. Sugar and ground cinnamon are mixed together before being whisked into the wet ingredients.
The distinct flavor of cinnamon helps French toast to stand out. Without it, you would be left with French toast that tastes quite different than usual.
Ground nutmeg is another ingredient that’s used for flavoring, but it isn’t used in every recipe. Even so, many popular recipes call for ground nutmeg to be used alongside ground cinnamon.
When using ground nutmeg, it’ll be mixed together with cinnamon and sugar. Then it’s whisked into the wet ingredients to create the custard mixture.
It helps to make the French toast even more flavorful. Some people say that cinnamon is more than enough, but you might wish to try it both ways to see which recipe you prefer.
Maple syrup is traditionally served on top of French toast. After finishing the French toast, you’ll put it on a plate to be served. You’ll put some powdered sugar on top as well as maple syrup.
Some people simply drizzle a little bit of maple syrup on top of the bread. Others practically smother the bread in it.
It all comes down to your preferences. You might like a lot of maple syrup, or you might be fine using just a little bit.
Either way, maple syrup is a big part of what makes this breakfast dish a big hit. Most people are going to want to use maple syrup or some type of equivalent when eating French toast.
Fruit is another thing that you can add to French toast to make it even tastier. This is simply served on the side or on top of the French toast.
Which types of fruit you choose to add are up to you. Some people might go with blueberries or strawberries, but you could even use chopped-up bananas.
Simply choose whichever fruits seem like they would taste good. Your favorite fruit can add sweetness to the meal, and it’ll make it that much better.
There are those who prefer using fruit instead of powdered sugar. If you’re trying to keep calories to a minimum, you might choose to serve French toast with fruit and honey instead of powdered sugar and maple syrup.
Bread is the most important ingredient to pay attention to when making French toast, and using the wrong type will make it difficult to get things to turn out well.
When you use thin sandwich bread to make French toast, it’s hard to soak the bread properly. You can still make it this way, but the bread can only be briefly dipped in the egg mixture.
It’s not thick enough to properly absorb the egg mixture without getting soggy and flimsy. If you want the best experience, you should go with a thick type of bread such as brioche.
Brioche is tasty, thick, and perfect for making French toast. You can also use Texas toast if you happen to have some.
Just make sure that you buy an appropriate type of bread. It’ll improve your French toast experience so much.
You have a good idea of which ingredients you need to buy to make French toast now. Above, you learned about the common ingredients and what they’re used for when making the dish.
There are so many recipes out there that you might run across other ingredients being used. This is because so many people have modified traditional French toast recipes to adhere to specific diets.
If you’re a vegan, it won’t be that difficult to find a good vegan French toast recipe. Yes, you can still enjoy French toast without using milk and eggs if you follow a vegan recipe.
So don’t consider the above information to be the only ingredients that can be used to make French toast. There are plenty of other options.
You can seek out recipes that line up with your dietary needs. This will allow you to easily enjoy French toast without having to worry about anything.
Just remember that French toast is a breakfast food that should be enjoyed in moderation. As good as it is, this isn’t a dish that’s healthy enough to be eaten daily.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.