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Best Bread for French Toast?

Brioche? Challah? Other?

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  1. I would go with sourdough bread, as it is tough texture-wise enough to stand up to the egg/milk mixture, and the tang of the bread contrasts with the sweetness of the syrup . . . It becomes chewy and a little crunchy, which I love! I guess one could use brioche or challah - but it would be quite rich. Not that there is anything wrong with that!

    1. If you have a Chinese bakery in your area, the loaves that they produce are great for french toast. Ask to get it cut thick or uncut. They also have raisin bread.

      1. Brioche is great and what is really good is pannetone. It makes great french toast.

        1. King's Hawaiian Sweet Bread makes superb French Toast.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Fydeaux

            I agree with the Kings Hawaiian bread....it makes excellent french toast and you can slice it as thick or thin as you want. Ith ads some sweetness to the french toast, I don't even use syrup. I also like to use Coffee Mate Coconut Creme instead of milk. Kings has a couple of outlet stores in the South Bay where you can get the bread cheaper.

            1. re: LARaven

              LARaven, where are King's Hawaiian outlet stores located? Thanks in advance.

              I live in LA and love King's Hawaiian Bread. I can eat a whole loaf in one seating!

          2. We use challah nearly every time, soft and eggy inside, slightly crunchy outside, takes the syrup, jam or honey well. It's perfect french toast bread!

            2 Replies
            1. re: HillJ

              So much the better if a bit stale, I think.

              1. re: Bada Bing

                Generally, I take a whole large loaf of challah and slice it the night before. Then in the morning the bread has enough firmness to work out just fine.

                Usually, I'm not a fan of french toast casseroles where the bread sits in egg custard overnight and all the slices are baked together. This method is a time saver, but the results are so different and wind up more like bread pudding. I'm not a bread pudding lover.

                But recently, I enjoyed a new version of french toast that uses ripped pieces of stale croissant soaking in an egg custard batter and then baked in the oven until warm. This was the best of time saving, crispy and creamy.

              1. re: krissywats

                Me too! Brioche is too rich, and I don't like panettone, which would be a bit too sweet anyhow, IMO.

              2. Try Portuguese sweet bread ("Massa Suvada") for to-die-for French toast.

                3 Replies
                1. re: chowdear

                  I second that. Although close runners-up are whole-wheat raisin bread or schiacciata.

                  1. re: chowdear

                    I've never had french toast with that but I'll bet that would be awesome. I wonder where I can find Portugese sweet bread. My college roommate was Portugese and she always brought fresh loaves to school. Mmmmm...

                    1. re: chowser

                      If you live in New England, I'd be happy to suggest a few bakeries. Otherwise, here is a link to what seems to be a good recipe. Please let me know if you do try out the recipe. Thanks!


                  2. I really love a big slice of hearth bread since it has a bit more structure and stands up better to soaking in milk. Plus, it has more of a saltiness that contrasts well with sweet toppings. To me, brioche and challah are yummy but a bit too soft.

                    1. I also vote for challah, thickly sliced. Add a little milk, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg to the egg. Mmmmmm!

                      1. Agreed on thick-cut challah, hands down the best.

                        But I've had surprisingly good results with day-old baguette, you just need to soak it in the egg a little longer.

                        1. I haven't tried this at home, but I love the french toast at Basix Cafe in West Hollywood. It's made out of a croissant.

                          1. I just had the best french toast at a farm bed and breakfast. I don't know if it was the fresh baked Amish bread or the just gathered eggs or fresh milk but they were incredible.

                            1. Good timing! This is the season when it becomes easier to find Italian pannetone. This eggy, light but chewy bread with raisins and preserved fruit bits make THE best french toast. For those in SF the 22nd. & Irving market has great Italian all-butter/no chemicals pannetone. a pound plus - $1.99.

                              1. If you're in NYC, go down to the tiny B&H Dairy Restaurant at 127 Second Avenue between 7th St. and St. Marks Place and get a loaf of their marvelous challah -- lovely soft crust, rich yellow inside and the best FT ever.

                                1. Challah. But I'll even go one better and suggest raisin challah. Best of all possible worlds. Or if you want to be really fancy make french toast with brioche and then make it into a sandwich with ham and gruyere.

                                  1. On Christmas morning I use pannetone with a splash of egg nog in the batter.

                                    1. I have used butter croissants for about 25 years; my friend's father is a chef and he used them in his recipe (just use your favorite ingredients). I realize the recipe is filled with a lot of cholesterol, but a few times a year won't kill you (i.e. birthdays, holidays, family reunions, etc.). Happy holidays!

                                      1. Definitely crossaints! I had the best French toast made with fresh croissants (extras can be frozen for later use), a touch of cinnamon in the egg batter, and topped with fresh berries, at The Old St. Angela Inn in Pacific Grove. Yum!

                                        1. I have used panettone in the past for french toast around the holidays and it's been so good!

                                          1. Challah. Leave the slices out overnight to get a touch stale. They'll soak up more of the custard. Delicious. See Alton Brown's recipe on foodtv.com

                                            1. Challah. Day-old stands up better than fresh. In a departure from my usual egg/milk/vanilla batter, I added egg nog we didn't finish at Thanksgiving - yummmmy.

                                              1. ....boy, what a bunch of sweet tooths!

                                                I find the sweeter, fine-grained breads don't have the chew I like, so use a good hearth bread, like a country Italian or French.

                                                I prefer the chewiness and the flavor contrast. And the stout crust that bends just enough to the power of the egg and milk.

                                                Swept with melted butter, topped with a dollop of Nancy's yougurt and a handful of blueberries, and just a dash of hot maple syrup.

                                                1. pane rustica (day old) - smaller slices can be easier to fit in a round pan, too!

                                                  1. If you have a bakery that makes Bear Claws, try that with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a real treat (and about 3000 calories).

                                                    1. I've made fantastic French toast with banana bread. The banana bread recipe I use is not as cake-y as some, and I cut the sugar quite a bit.

                                                      1. Day old french bread, of course. The earliest English recipes for this dish where titled "Pain Purdu" or stale bread, it was a means to make use bread that had become to hard to eat.

                                                        I always set up to make french toast the evening before, slice the bread, stand the slices on end about an inch apart, and mix the custard. Come morning, take the custard out of the refrigerator 30 - 45 minutes before cooking, pour it into a pie pan. The bread will be dry and firm, give it a good soak in the egg mixture, 15 - 20 seconds per side or more depending on how thick the slices are, you want the bread nearly soaked through.

                                                        Place unsalted butter In a well heated pan over medium heat, wait for the butter to foam before adding the bread, cook on each side until well browned before turning (having really soaked the bread, you want to be sure it's cooked through), brown the second side and serve as you normally would.

                                                        I'm not a fan of sweet french toast, I prefer it with a little fresh dill and cracked white pepper, this also works well as a starch for nearly any savory dish. This is the bread I use for french toast.

                                                        1. I made it recently with this seasonal Pepperidge Farm Gingerbread Swirl bread and it turned out great! All the spices are in the bread, so just a simple egg-milk batter will do. The bread was thinner than I like, but my kids ate it up! A fun novelty for the holidays.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. During certain times of the year, Wegmans has chocolate cherry bread, and that makes a wonderful French Toast.

                                                            1. For the last couple of mornings I've been making French Toast with a cinnamon-raisin bread that is sliced about double-thick just for French Toast (approx. the slice thickness for Texas Toast).

                                                              Each slice absorbs a solution of one large egg plus about a tablespoon of milk whisked together.

                                                              Boy oh boy, is this ever good!

                                                              1. For the past five years or so, I've been using sliced french bread. I find it holds up well to the custard without falling apart and it can be stuffed.