What is French Toast? A Breakfast Classic

by Margo Townsend

French toast, also known as “eggy bread,” is a breakfast dish that has been enjoyed for centuries. It’s a simple and delicious way to start your day, and it’s easy to customize with your favorite flavors and toppings. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at what French toast is, its history, and how to make it.

What is French Toast?

At its core, French toast is bread soaked in a mixture of eggs and milk or cream, then fried until golden brown. It’s often flavored with vanilla, cinnamon, or nutmeg, and served with a variety of toppings such as syrup, fruit, whipped cream, or even savory items like bacon and cheese.

The origins of French toast are a bit murky, but it’s believed to have originated in medieval Europe. Stale bread was often soaked in milk and eggs to make it more palatable, and the dish became known as “poor knights’ pudding” or “pain perdu,” which means “lost bread” in French.

How to Make French Toast

Making French toast is easy and requires just a few simple ingredients. Here’s a basic recipe to get you started:


  • 4 slices of bread
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of milk or cream
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • Toppings of your choice


  1. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk or cream, vanilla extract, and ground cinnamon.
  2. Dip each slice of bread into the egg mixture, making sure it’s fully coated.
  3. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  4. Cook the bread for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
  5. Serve with your favorite toppings.

Variations on French Toast

While classic French toast is delicious on its own, there are endless variations you can try to switch up the flavor. Here are a few ideas:

  • Use different types of bread, such as brioche, sourdough, or challah.
  • Add fruit to the egg mixture, such as mashed bananas or chopped apples.
  • Add a sprinkle of powdered sugar or cocoa powder on top.
  • Make savory French toast by adding cheese, bacon, or herbs like thyme or rosemary.


French toast is a breakfast classic that’s easy to make and can be customized to your liking. Whether you enjoy it with sweet or savory toppings, it’s a delicious and satisfying way to start your day. So the next time you’re looking for a tasty breakfast option, give French toast a try!

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