#1 Thickness Counts
Your bread need heft and strength. This is necessary to both soak up all the liquid ingredients but also so each French toast slice won’t disintegrate during preparation. Choose from between ½-inch to as much as 1-inch thick slices of bread.
#2 Choose Your Bread Wisely
A dense-crumbed white sandwich bread is classic and run-of-the-mill. However, if you are going to indulge on French toast, go for the extra dose of richness, of an egg challah or brioche. It is best to use day-old, dried out bread, which is better to soak up all the liquids. If you bread is fresh, you can dry it out in the oven at 200 degrees F for about 15 minutes.
#3 Just the Right Amount of Milk and Eggs
Milk and eggs are the key ingredients to create the creamy custard base that gives French toasts it tender richness. The basic rule of thumb is 1 egg and ¼ cup of milk per 2-slice serving if you are using ½-inch thick bread. Double that for 1-inch thick bread. And don’t scrimp on the fat, use whole milk or even half-and-half for the added richness. An alternative is also to use just the egg yolks but then double the number of eggs to get the right amount of liquid.
#4 Add More Flavor Dimensions
Eggs and Milk are the only essentials required for the custardy base for the French Toast. But to give it that distinctive flare, vanilla extract, a tablespoon of sugar and/or a pinch of cinnamon gives a standard French toast a complete upgrade. Granulated sugar will provide some caramelization but brown-sugar will take that up a notch or too. Replacing the vanilla with rum, Grand Marnier, or a splash of bourbon will deliver another totally new dimension.
#5 Use a Combo of Butter and Oil
Butter has a tendency to burn too quickly, which will completely run your French toast. But butter is an essential part of the flavor profile you are trying to achieve. The solution is to swap out one-half the butter with plain vegetable oil such as canola oil. Using this combination will allow you to get a nice crisp exterior an a tender custard interior.
#6 Selecting the Add-ons
Choose wisely: powdered sugar, a great maple syrup, or maybe even caramelized bananas. Powdered sugar is the classic and a perfect complement. The other extreme, go for a bananas-flambé – not only impressive to view, but amazing to eat. Just be prepared to eat nothing else the rest of the day. Maple syrup is another classic. While Grade A the classic, Grade B is much darker and a lot more robust. Try a little of both and see what you prefer but either way will be delicious.