French Toast, is beautiful golden crisp bread covered in cinnamon sugar, topped with fresh fruit or sometimes even drizzled with maple syrup. This iconic French-American breakfast is a must for brunches with the families and friends.
“This post may contain affiliate links. Please see disclosure page for more information.”
History about French toast
Have you, ever wonder, why do we call it French Toast? If you are thinking, it is because it’s coming from France, then you are not far away with your answer, but it’s just a bit more complex, then just saying, French toast is obviously coming from France!
Let me get you a bit of a history of French toast. So, the earliest known reference to French Toast is in the Apicius (Roman cookbook from the 4th or 5th century), where it is described as “sweet dish”. That is the first meaningful mention of toast dipped in milk and served as a sweet dish.
The recipe depicts soaking the bread in milk only. And here they refer to as “Pan Dulcis”, meaning soft bread. Later, in the 14th century, we can see German recipes using the same methods, dipping bread in egg and milk mixture and then fried. Not necessarily using anything sweet to covering the bread, as these days with sugar and cinnamon. But the usage was rather salty than sweet, for side dishes to the meats and game birds.
Later, in the 15th century in France, the usual common name in French language for this sweet braid is “pain perdu”! Meaning: old or lost bread, which is also bread dipped in eggs and fried. But it refers to older and hard bread, not fresh toast, what we use here in North America.
This is finally bringing us to the origins and founder of today’s French Toast. One legend states that the “French” in the name doesn’t refer to the nation itself, rather to an innkeeper named Joseph French. He is the one who created the French toast dish what we know today, back in 1724.
And he advertised it as a “French Toast”. Which should be his own last name. But because he was grammatically inept, he forgot to use the apostrophe for “French’s toast”. So here you have it, a nice introduction to the history of French toast.
Ingredients for French toast
We will need white toast, or any white bread, brioche or even sourdough bread works. Milk, eggs, butter, vanilla extract for better aroma and powdered sugar with cinnamon for dusting. Simple skillet (or non-stick pan will do the trick). As tools simple large bowl, whisk, flipping spatula, and plates to place sugar mixture and French toasts on it.
- vanilla extract
- white bread
- unsalted butter
- Icing sugar and cinnamon
How to make a French toast
- The process is fairly easy: we break the eggs in a medium bowl and add all the other ingredients, except butter, icing sugar and cinnamon.
- Whisk well until all ingredients are well combined. Reheat a skillet over medium-low heat and melt 1 tbsp of butter.
- Dip the bread slices in the egg mixture and, letting them soak a bit. Brown for about 2 minutes each side, turning with a spatula.
- Dust the toast with a mixture of icing sugar and cinnamon and top them with fresh fruit. Some might slide a little slice of butter on hot toast to add more buttery taste. Enjoy it warm with a cup of coffee or tea.
More sweet breakfast recipes
- LEMON POPPY SEED SCONES
- HOLIDAY SWEET BRAIDED BREAD
- HOMEMADE BELGIAN WAFFLES RECIPE
- CHOCOLATE ALMOND BABKA RECIPE
- APPLE STREUSEL MUFFINS RECIPE
FRENCH TOAST RECIPE
French Toast Base
- 1 & ½ cup (375 ml) whole milk room temperature
- 5 large eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon (15 ml) vanilla extract
- 1 pinch of salt
- 10 large slices white bread
- 3 tablespoons (75 ml) unsalted butter or more
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- In a large bowl, combine the whole milk, eggs and vanilla extract. Whisk all the ingredients together.1 & ½ cup (375 ml) whole milk, 5 large eggs, 1 teaspoon (15 ml) vanilla extract, 1 pinch of salt
- Prepare a non-stick pan (large enough to fit 3-4 slices of bread. Place it on stove, over medium-low heat and add 1 tablespoon of butter.3 tablespoons (75 ml) unsalted butter
- Dip the bread slices (each side) one at a time, in the eggs' mixture, letting them soak well. Then place the white toast directly into the melted butter and fry them until they golden-brown, for about 2 minutes per side.10 large slices white bread
- While the toasts are frying on the pan, prepare a mixture of powdered sugar and cinnamon. Use a shallow plate to place the powdered sugar with cinnamon. Mix it with a fork.3 tablespoons powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- Remove the toasts from the pan and place them right away into the mixture of cinnamon sugar.
- Serve the toasts warm and topped with your choice of fresh or frozen fruit, or drizzle with maple syrup.
- Prepare the cinnamon sugar in advance and keep it in an airtight container.
- Use butter as a frying agent, it brings more tasty flavour, then vegetable oil.
- Store the French toast in an airtight container and in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- You can freeze French toast for up to 3 months. Keep in mind that it has to be well wrapped in food foil and closed in an airtight container.