HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
What have you made lately?
TELL US

Best Bread for French Toast?

marthadumptruck Nov 13, 2006 09:04 PM

Brioche? Challah? Other?

  1. s
    Seldomsated Nov 13, 2006 09:08 PM

    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. g
      ghbrooklyn Nov 13, 2006 09:12 PM

      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. Candy Nov 13, 2006 09:20 PM

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

        1. f
          Fydeaux Nov 13, 2006 09:30 PM

          King's Hawaiian Sweet Bread makes superb French Toast.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Fydeaux
            l
            LARaven Nov 13, 2006 09:35 PM

            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
              n
              Norm Man Nov 14, 2006 06:45 AM

              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. h
            HillJ Nov 13, 2006 09:35 PM

            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
              Bada Bing Dec 6, 2013 03:48 AM

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

              1. re: Bada Bing
                h
                HillJ Dec 6, 2013 06:04 AM

                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.

            2. krissywats Nov 13, 2006 09:38 PM

              I'm with the challah crowd.

              1 Reply
              1. re: krissywats
                Chocolatechipkt Dec 3, 2006 03:20 PM

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

              2. c
                chowdear Nov 13, 2006 09:39 PM

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

                3 Replies
                1. re: chowdear
                  p
                  piccola Nov 13, 2006 10:05 PM

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

                  1. re: chowdear
                    chowser Nov 14, 2006 12:23 AM

                    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
                      c
                      chowdear Dec 3, 2006 02:37 AM

                      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!

                      http://www.yankeemagazine.com/recipes...

                  2. p
                    Procrastibaker Nov 13, 2006 09:55 PM

                    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. CindyJ Nov 13, 2006 09:59 PM

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

                      1. g
                        Grubbjunkie Nov 14, 2006 12:16 AM

                        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. Rodeline Nov 14, 2006 12:24 AM

                          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. chowser Nov 14, 2006 12:24 AM

                            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. n
                              niki rothman Nov 14, 2006 01:19 AM

                              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. k
                                KRS Nov 14, 2006 01:27 AM

                                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. scoobyhed Nov 14, 2006 06:57 AM

                                  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. s
                                    susan1353 Nov 14, 2006 12:42 PM

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

                                    1. m
                                      malvasia45 Nov 23, 2006 05:38 AM

                                      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. sillyrabbit Nov 23, 2006 07:18 AM

                                        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. javaandjazz Nov 23, 2006 11:12 AM

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

                                          1. sgwood415 Nov 23, 2006 03:02 PM

                                            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. m
                                              medford Dec 3, 2006 03:47 PM

                                              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. toodie jane Dec 3, 2006 03:48 PM

                                                ....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. t
                                                  tdo ca Dec 3, 2006 07:46 PM

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

                                                  1. TonyO Dec 3, 2006 07:48 PM

                                                    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. heatherkay Dec 4, 2006 03:20 AM

                                                      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. Master Dec 6, 2013 03:25 AM

                                                        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. jboeke Dec 6, 2013 07:18 AM

                                                          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. re: jboeke
                                                            h
                                                            HillJ Dec 6, 2013 07:22 AM

                                                            Sounds great!

                                                          2. CindyJ Dec 7, 2013 09:37 AM

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

                                                            Show Hidden Posts