Never settle for sad, soggy slices again. Learn how to make French toast like a pro—from choosing the best bread to the right pan to use.
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French toast is such a simple and well-loved food that many of us cook it on autopilot, going through motions that we've long known. But whether you have an established method or are just learning how to make French toast, know that a few simple tweaks can elevate your French toast recipe. Looking for an easy upgrade? Try these tips when cooking one of our favorite French toast recipes.

1 Start with the Best French Toast Bread

A dense-crumbed white Pullman bread is classic for French toast—but for an extra dose of richness, eggy challah or brioche works wonderfully, too. Just remember: The drier your bread, the better it will soak up all that lovely custard. A day-old loaf will do the trick—or, should you find yourself in a pinch, dry your slices in a 275 degree oven for 10 minutes before giving them their first dip.

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2 Cut the Right Size Slice

Thinly sliced French toast loses something of its luxurious bite. So go thick, no thinner than half-an-inch. More bread per slice equals a bite with more personality. It also means a greater ability to sponge up the egg-and-milk mixture, packing more goodness into each slice. So ditch the pre-sliced loaf and cut your own, making sure each piece is half-inch to one-inch thick.

3 Nail the Egg-to-Milk Ratio

Eggs and milk are the essential components of the custard base that gives French toast its tender richness—but get their ratio off and you'll wind up with undercooked slices that have an unpleasantly savory "scrambled eggs" flavor. A basic rule of thumb is about 1/4 cup of milk and one egg per two-slice serving—and if you want to avoid that "scrambled" taste, use only the yolks of some or all of the eggs. (Sulfur compounds in the whites are what give eggs their unique "egg" taste.) Finally, don't pretend this is diet food: Always choose whole-fat dairy when you make French toast.

4 Season Your French Toast Batter

Milk and eggs are the only essentials required for the custard base—but it's how you season the mixture that will give your French toast a distinctive flavor. A pinch of cinnamon and some vanilla extract are standard upgrades—and a little sugar never hurts either. (Consider this when choosing a sweetener: Powdered sugar will dissolve well, leaving you with a smooth custard, while brown sugar will create a lovely caramel flavor as it cooks.) Or, for a grown-up twist, try adding a dash of liqueur, like a spiced rum or Grand Marnier.

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5 Use a Non-Stick Pan

French toast, we know, arises from bread dipped in an egg mixture. Given how much bread absorbs egg, you probably want to cook French toast in a non-stick pan. Standard pans might give you the chance to develop a more flavorful color during cooking, but spending 10 minutes scrubbing off egg glued to a pan isn't fun. Non-stick does a great job, especially if you're making big batches and want minimal cleaning between them.

6 Upgrade Your Maple Syrup

When topping French toast just before eating, skip the corn syrup pretenders. Many aren't maple, but rather "breakfast" or "pancake" syrups. Be sure you're getting maple syrup, the real product boiled from the sap of the maple tree—a sweetener with eye-widening complexity.

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7 Explore Fancy Toppings

Consider topping slices of French toast with a dollop of cool ricotta cheese and a spoonful of your favorite jam-say cherry or apricot. Compound butters that embrace sweet ingredients, such as honey butter, can also add something different and welcome. These approaches can replace maple syrup. But if you want, you can mix and match.

8 Don't Skip the Butter!

There are times to only reach for a cooking oil like grapeseed, but this isn't one of them. Butter gives French toast a deep richness and comforting quality, which are what we crave on mornings we sizzle this breakfast staple. To prevent burning or smoking, use a combination of butter and oil in the pan to cook the toast.