Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so what’s the best way to start it off? How about some piping hot and crispy French toast?
French toast has been internationally recognized as a delicious staple breakfast that can be easily made from scratch. But to make breakfast more satisfying, how about adding an extra layer of crispiness?
Waking up to the smell of freshly-made French toast is already exciting and satisfying as it is. But let’s take a look at a few methods on how to make french toast crispy.
Crispy on the Outside, Soft on the Inside
If you want a quick and delicious breakfast to get your gears going, whipping up some French toast will definitely hit the spot. Since this traditional breakfast can be made with everyday ingredients, it’s no surprise it’s a common go-to.
Wondering what breakfast you should prepare for yourself or your family? All you need to make some classic French toast are:
- Bread (Day-old is recommended, but you can use fresh bread)
- Vanilla extract or essence
- Honey or maple syrup
- Cinnamon (optional but recommended)
All these common ingredients will give you that soft and decadent French toast for a hearty breakfast. But if you want to take it a notch further, we’ve got some ways to make those French toast more enjoyable.
We’ve got the soft and custard-like center covered with the traditional method, so how can we make the outside crispy for that perfect combination? Let’s switch things up with these tips and techniques to make your French toast pack some extra crunch.
Which Bread Should I Use?
While it’s conventional to use whatever bread is available, your choice of bread can affect the French toast’s crispiness. If you’re aiming for that crispy crust on your French toast, you’d generally want to avoid bread that’s too soft and moist.
We recommend using dry bread that’s around an inch thick to soak up your custard mixture better. If you’re willing to go the extra mile, here are some of the best bread you can use for that extra crispy texture:
- Whole wheat bread
- Country bread
- Portuguese sweet bread
- Raisin bread
As much as it’s a great idea to use these recommended bread types, remember that you can never go wrong with day-old or stale bread. As long as the bread isn’t too moist, soft, and thinly sliced, it should work well enough.
As a related history lesson bonus, French toast is called “pain perdu” in France, which translates to “lost bread.” The reason why French toast was called lost bread is that people traditionally use stale bread to make it.
If you have to use fresh bread or other bread types that aren’t as dry as the ones mentioned above, you can toast them before dipping them into the custard mixture. Doing this will reduce the bread’s moisture, allowing for better absorption of the custard mixture.
The idea is to make your bread as dry as possible before letting it sit in your custard mixture. When you pre-toast your bread, be sure to toast it only until your bread is firm enough.
Keep an eye on your bread while toasting to avoid browning or burning the bread altogether. You wouldn’t want to “overcook” your bread before you even start turning it into French toast.
Butter Up Before Soaking
Another secret to making your French toast extra crispy is by spreading a thin layer of butter on both sides of your bread. You can use a bread knife to scrape off any excess butter to ensure only a thin layer is left on your bread.
Remember to go a bit easy with the butter, as too thick of a layer can prevent your bread from absorbing the custard mixture well. You wouldn’t want to miss out on that soft and creamy texture on the inside.
Use Corn Flakes or Rice Krispies Cereal
Are you ready for the unique and exciting twist for a delicious crispy on the outside French toast? How about using some crushed Corn Flakes or Rice Krispies cereal as a coating?
If French toast covered in Corn Flakes or Rice Krispies cereal coating isn’t the epitome of what breakfast should be, then we don’t know what is. To prepare your cereal-crusted french toast:
- Prepare a generous amount of Corn Flakes or Rice Krispies in a separate bowl.
Note: Crush the Corn Flakes just enough and not too powdery to maintain a better crispy texture. If you’re using Rice Krispies, there’s no need to crush them.
- Let your bread sit in your custard mixture to absorb all its flavor.
- Dip the soaked bread into the bowl filled with crushed Corn Flakes or Rice Krispies cereal. Remember to give both sides of the bread an even coating.
- Cook the bread on medium heat until the outside is golden brown.
And voila! You have yourself a French toast that’s soft and creamy on the inside, with a crispy golden crust on the outside.
Add a drizzle of maple syrup, powdered sugar, and fresh fruits as toppings to give more flavor and color. Now that’s what we call a breakfast fit for a king!
Why Isn’t My French Toast Crispy?
The idea of having French toast for breakfast is exciting, especially for those who have a sweet tooth. However, the experience may not be as pleasant if your French toast ends up too soggy.
The texture of your food bears an impact on any dish. All of the great flavors of your French toast will go to waste if every bite feels all mushy inside.
Are you wondering why your French toast isn’t as crispy as you want it to be? You might want to take note and check on the following factors:
Something’s Wrong With Your Bread
Remember that the bread you choose will be the centerpiece for making the best French toast. If your bread is too thinly sliced, you won’t get that ideal soft and creamy to crispy ratio.
If the bread you’re using is too thin, it won’t be able to absorb the custard mixture well and will end up flimsy. The bread might even break or fall apart before you even get the chance to cook it in a pan.
The same goes if your bread is too soft and moist. The more moisture your bread has, the lesser its capability to absorb your custard mixture.
A Little Overboard With the Custard Mixture?
Another common mistake that results in soggy French toast is not having the right balance in your custard mixture. On that note, don’t go overboard with your ingredients.
If you add too much milk to your custard mixture, the eggs in the mixture won’t cook well. You must also be sure that all the ingredients are mixed thoroughly and well combined.
Once you have your custard mixture ready for dipping, remember to avoid dipping your bread for too long. If your bread soaks up too much of the custard, you’ll end up with soggy French toast.
The Fire’s Too Hot!
So you want to make your French toast’s crust crispy while cooking through it to make the inside soft and creamy. A word of advice, don’t use high heat!
We recommend cooking your French toast on medium heat to avoid an undercooked French toast on the inside with burnt crust on the outside. While you’re at it, be sure to preheat the pan so that the custard on your bread won’t spread out.
French toast has been a popular breakfast served across different countries throughout history. Despite the dish being simple and convenient as it can be easily made from scratch, it still has a lot to offer as an exciting and delicious dish to start the day right.
While a lot of us have gotten used to the traditional way of making French toast, adding a few techniques can make the dish crispier and tastier. We’d likely blow the minds of our ancestors if they got to try our crispy cereal-coated French toast!
Sometimes a little effort in improving recipes can go a long way in making the best out of a simple dish. When it comes to cooking, don’t be afraid to think outside the box and try new things (with a bit of research, of course!)
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard.