Why You Should Be Making French Toast The Authentic French Way

Let's cut to the chase. If you're using white sandwich bread to make your french toast, cooking it in canola oil, soaking it in milk instead of cream, and your french toast comes out too eggy or soggy, overly spiced, and drowned in syrup, chances are you're making it the American way (via A Spicy Perspective). If you're doing it like Kylie Jenner and adding frosted flakes to your recipe, you've gone off the deep end. 

If, on the other hand, you add vanilla to your french toast recipe, you might be closer to the classic French recipe than you realized. Authentic French toast – made the way the French intended – needs no toppings at all. We'll try not to wax poetic, but it's hard. The original French toast (or, if you will, "Pain Perdu") is made of thick slices of bread. They're caramelized, golden, and crispy on the outside. They're pillowy and custard-like on the inside. They're lightly sweetened and flavored with just a hint — like a memory — of vanilla. 

Ready to up your french toast game? Here's how. 

How to make real Pain Perdu

To make authentic French toast, forget about sandwich bread. You'll need a full-bodied French bread that can absorb a heavy custard without falling apart. Try a brioche or baguette (via Chef's Corner Store). No Recipes recommends using a batard, which is like a shorter, fatter baguette with a thick crust (via Venlora). Some versions incorporate heavy cream and whole milk for the custard, but half-and-half will also do the trick. Many Pain Perdu recipes call for adding a dash of liqueur, such as Armagnac, to the custard. (Yes, please!) You'll also need eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, salt. Use butter for frying.  

Customize your baking method based on your preferences. For a caramelized crust, try cooking your bread over low heat or sprinkling sugar over the bread. If you're in a rush, soak your bread slices until they absorb the custard, and then fry them in the butter. If, on the other hand, you've got a little more time, soak your slices and bake them in the oven for an hour. You can also try soaking the bread in custard for a full 24 hours before frying and then baking it. 

The French, needless to say, probably wouldn't add frosted flakes to their Pain Perdu. But if you're a texture person, do dip your slices in almonds before baking. Bon appétit!