French toast is a delightful breakfast treat with minimal ingredients required and easy-to-follow recipes available online. However, the batch could easily end up either soggy or dry if something goes wrong with the ingredients or how you cook it.
Generally, you can keep this delightful meal fluffy using the proper techniques and good-quality ingredients.
If you want to know how to make French toast fluffy, you’ve come to the right place. This article explores all the tips and tricks you need to know, so keep on reading!
A French toast is a popular and flavorful breakfast meal to start your day. After all, it’s often listed as one of the best breakfast foods in America.
Typically, a perfect slice needs to be crispy and golden brown on the outside but still rich and fluffy on the inside.
Here’s how you can keep it fluffy:
Choosing the right bread thickness will determine the outcome of the French toast.
For example, a thinly sliced loaf of plain white bread would be too flimsy to soak up the custard and might fall apart in the pan. On the other hand, bread that’s too thick will end up with an uncooked center.
Hence, the bread should have the right thickness, preferably at least ¾ inch to 1 inch.
However, pre-sliced bread tends to be thinner. So, it’s best to buy an unsliced loaf so you can cut the slices yourself.
French toasts are traditionally made with day-old bread. Sometimes even slightly stale ones will do.
This way, the bread stays intact through the soaking process. So, you need to avoid fresh loaves as they tend to be a lot softer and will get soggy immediately when you dip them into the custard.
Yet, if you only have fresh bread, you can just put it in the oven at 275°F for ten minutes to dry it out. You can also take the cover off the loaf and leave it on the kitchen counter overnight.
One of the major elements of fluffy toast is the egg and milk mixture called the custard. With the right egg-to-milk ratio, you can achieve that excellent fluffiness in your French toast.
The measurement of the milk should depend on the size of the egg. Typically, an ideal ratio is ¼ cup of milk for one large egg.
Don’t use too much milk as bread absorbs milk first and leaves the egg on the surface. In this case, the surface will cook too quickly, and the center won’t be cooked through.
So, you’ll wind up with a soggy middle and a burnt crust.
If you want fluffy French toast, you can go for full-fat or whole milk. Other valid options to consider are half-and-half and heavy whipping cream.
Just make sure that you whisk the milk and the egg thoroughly. Otherwise, you’ll have white egg bits clinging to the bread instead of a smooth and fluffy texture.
A quick dip in the custard will result in a dry finished product.
Instead, a nice, long soak is the key to a creamy and fluffy French toast. Of course, you’d want that custard to penetrate every nook and cranny of the bread.
So, make sure that you soak the bread slices for 15 to 20 minutes.
If the pan isn’t hot enough, the custard will just spread all around instead of cooking inside the bread.
Therefore, you might end up with a soggy French toast instead of a fluffy one.
An adequately preheated pan will allow the custard to cook as soon as it hits the pan and won’t have time to ooze out from the bread.
Using a non-stick pan will help secure the fluffiness of the French toast. You don’t want the bread sticking to the pan as it might ruin the crust or tear the bread apart.
Plus, it isn’t fun to spend a significant amount of time scrubbing off the egg and bread residue from the pan.
The bread needs to be left at medium-low heat to ensure it’s completely cooked through.
If there’s too much heat, the crust will burn too quickly and leave you with an uncooked center. Since there are eggs in the mixture, eating them raw might cause salmonella.
So, keep the heat on medium-low, especially if you have sugar in the custard, as it will caramelize and make the bread brown faster.
While butter creates a rich aroma and a golden color to your French toast, it has a low burn point, which makes the bread turn brown more quickly and harden the surface. Worse, the bread will be charred if left in the pan for too long.
To prevent burnt toast, use a combination of butter and cooking oil like coconut oil or canola oil.
After cooking a batch of French toast, make sure to wipe out the used oil and butter from the pan. Then, put a fresh combination of cooking oil and butter onto the pan before cooking another batch.
Keep in mind that skipping butter altogether isn’t usually a good idea, either. Plus, a thick layer of oil on the pan isn’t necessary when frying French toast.
If you skip it, you won’t achieve that pleasant fluffiness. That’s because too much oil will make the bread greasy, eventually turning it into a soggy mess.
Using an oven instead of cooking the bread in the pan will save you lots of time and effort, especially if you’re a newbie and aren’t quite sure of your cooking techniques yet. It can also be an excellent alternative if you’re making several batches of French toast.
To start baking, preheat the oven to 375°F. Then, put the slices of soaked bread onto a baking sheet.
Load the slices into the preheated oven for at least 12 minutes until the slices are firm in the center and golden brown on the edges.
The fluffiness of a toast depends on the type of bread you’re going to use.
Here are the best options to use:
Brioche is a classic French pastry that’s often used for fluffy French toast recipes. It’s spongy and sturdy, which are some of the qualities that you’re looking for in a French toast.
Plus, this pastry can soak up the custard pretty well. Since it already has a sweet buttery flavor, it can also enhance the taste of French toast.
A French Baguette has a soft interior and a crispy exterior, which hits the right amount of fluffiness and crispiness. It’s also sturdy and dense, so it might make a slightly chewy French toast.
French Baguette is good at soaking up the custard, although not as quickly as Brioche. It absorbs milk more quickly than eggs.
You might need to give it more soaking time instead of leaving it for 20 minutes. Allow the bread to soak for at least three more minutes, especially if you want your toast to taste a bit on the eggy side.
Challah is a traditional Jewish bread that also makes a delicious French toast.
It’s eggy, sturdy, and drier than Brioche and French Baguette. So, it can soak up custard as quickly as Brioche and create a fluffy texture.
However, Challah doesn’t have much sweetness in it. It’s perfect for when you’re making a savory breakfast, but if you prefer a sweet and decadent French toast, you use more sugar in the custard mix.
You can also sprinkle the top of the finished product with powdered sugar or drizzle it with maple syrup.
Sourdough is one of the sturdiest bread on the market. So, the chance of it falling apart during the soaking and cooking process is slim to none.
A sourdough also has that slightly stale texture of day-old bread, making it a great choice for a French toast that’s crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
Furthermore, the tanginess of the sourdough will blend well with the French delicacy’s sweet flavor.
There you have it! Your ultimate guide on how to make fluffy French toast.
Remember to choose the right bread, mix the correct amount of dairy and eggs thoroughly, preheat the pan before cooking the toast, and don’t leave the bread to soak for too long.
In addition, be mindful of the heat to prevent an unappetizing combination of overcooked crust and undercooked center.