Eggy bread and French toast might seem like simple treats, but telling them apart isn’t always as easy as you’d expect. So, you could find yourself wondering what the eggy bread vs. French toast debate is all about.
For the most part, French toast is served as a sweet dish with fruits and topped with honey, maple syrup, or powdered sugar. On the other hand, eggy bread is a hearty dish served with protein on the side and could be considered a savory variation of traditional French toast.
What exactly differentiates these two classic dishes, and how can you make the most out of each of them? Let’s find out with a thorough comparison and some extra tips to help you navigate your way!
How Are They Similar?
Before we dive into the core differences, let’s start with the things that both recipes have in common:
- The cooking principle is the same: soaking bread in a batter before frying.
- They require a batter mixture of milk and eggs.
- They’re both better off with dry bread instead of fresh loaves.
- You might need both butter and neutral oils to avoid burning either dish.
- They’re common on brunch menus.
What’s the Difference?
It’s not uncommon to confuse eggy bread with French toast. After all, they share the basic ingredients and cooking techniques.
Yet, there are a few distinctions that are worth noting, so let’s take a close look at how they compare in a head-to-head comparison.
1 – Spices and Batter Components
The main difference between the two recipes is the spice mixes since they set the flavor profiles.
For instance, the mixture used for eggy bread is seasoned with spices like salt, pepper, smoked paprika, or chili. You can get creative here and use any other blends you prefer as long as they fit in the same savory theme.
On the other hand, sweeter alternatives are used in the custard mixture for the classic French toast recipes. So you can expect to use things like sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, or even a mixture of them all!
Eggy bread is typically served with savory sides. This means that you could serve it with your favorite cheeses, sausages, bacon, scrambled eggs, sauteed vegetables, or stir-fried vegetables. You could also add ketchup, sweet chili sauce, or even gravy on the side.
On the other end of the comparison, French toast is mainly served with fruits, powdered sugar, honey, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, whipped cream, or even ice cream.
You could even top it with your favorite roasted nuts or nut butter for an added crunch and boost in nutritional value.
Traditionally, both dishes can be served for breakfast or brunch.
Yet, you can also make eggy bread for lunch or dinner since it can be a bit more hearty. However, in that case, you’ll need to go heavy on the protein side dishes to make the meal satisfying.
Meanwhile, French toast could make a delicious dessert after a simple main course.
Cultural influence is one critical factor to consider when you’re differentiating between eggy bread and French toast recipes.
In the US, they are considered two completely different dishes. Still, you shouldn’t be surprised to see people across the pond use both terms interchangeably to refer to the same dish.
In France, however, there’s the ‘pain perdu’ dessert, and it basically offers a luxurious twist on the regular French toast that we all know and love.
Since eggy bread and French toast have the same base ingredients, perfecting either one requires the same steps. An ideal slice of both dishes needs to be crunchy and golden brown on the outside while being creamy and airy on the inside.
That said, it could be helpful to check out some tips and tricks that could help you take your eggy bread and French toast recipes to the next level!
Getting the perfect golden brown slice requires using the right kind of bread. You should opt for a spongy bread that can soak up the custard mixture and still hold its shape.
So, your best picks are baguette, challah, and ciabatta. You could even use banana bread if you are making French toast!
You should also consider the thickness of your bread. Ideally, you’ll need slices around three-quarters of an inch to one inch to ensure your bread is cooked thoroughly but still doesn’t burn.
It might sound a bit counterintuitive, but fresh bread isn’t a good option at all. That’s because it immediately becomes soggy when you dip it in the custard mixture.
Instead, you should use bread that is at least one day old. You could even make use of stale bread!
If you only have fresh bread, you can toast it in the oven to dry it. Just lay your slices on a baking sheet, and heat your oven to 275℉, and in ten minutes, you’ll have dry bread, which is ideal for eggy bread and French toast.
In most cases, medium heat cooks the bread all the way through the center and leaves a crispy golden brown crust. Meanwhile, high heat will cause your bread to burn on the outside.
However, the most common mistake in either recipe is relying on butter only.
Butter has a low burn point, so it can easily turn brown and burn your bread. So, adding a few drops of neutral oil like canola can prevent the burning.
Alternatively, you can ditch the frying pan altogether and opt to use an oven for baking your soaked bread. This method is particularly efficient if you are preparing a large batch.
To do that, you’ll need to preheat your oven to 375℉. Then, you can arrange your bread slices on a non-stick baking sheet and then leave it for ten to thirteen minutes until the center of the bread is firm.
The entire purpose of using milk in these recipes is to turn the mixture’s thickness down a notch.
However, that doesn’t mean you get to go overboard with the dairy. Using too much milk will cause your bread to absorb the milk first instead of the eggs, leaving the eggs sitting on the outside of the bread.
If you want creamy results, you’ll be better off using full-fat instead of skim milk. That’s mostly because skim varieties are often too watery, so they’ll risk turning your recipe soggy, even after you cook it.
You could even use half-and-half milk or heavy cream instead!
It’s hard to claim a winner in the eggy bread vs. French toast comparison. After all, both are extremely delicious treats, and each shines in different meals.
So, if you’re looking for something savory for a fulfilling brunch, eggy bread with a side of cheese or sausages might be your best bet. Meanwhile, the French toast remains a timeless breakfast and dessert star.
Ultimately, the key is nailing your batter and cooking technique to make the most out of those two classic recipes.