There are thousands upon thousands of French Toast recipes on the internet, and although they’re all very similar, it’s often the case that the recipe’s writer has a preference of bread they like to use. Some people prefer plain white ‘supermarket’ bread, whilst others might prefer the soft, buttery goodness of brioche. You can make good French Toast with almost any bread, but you can only make great French Toast with the best types of bread in this article.
A brioche loaf is the best bread to use for French Toast due to its sweet, buttery flavor and ultra-soft texture. When sliced between 1/2″ and 1″ thick, this bread provides the best flavor and mouthfeel. This is followed by Challah, which is also soft but lacks that same buttery and sweet flavor.
Using any basic bread you have in your pantry is acceptable for most people and will give you decent results, but you only really start to level up your French Toast game when you consider how better bread will make it even tastier.
Fat means flavor, and brioche bread is full of fat. Sugar brings additional sweetness and when covered in milk, egg, and more sugar, you’re really taking it up a notch. When you make your French Toast with brioche, you need to be careful not to eat too much!
I suppose it’s fair to say that using something like brioche bread for your French Toast is more of a treat than using a basic, less buttery loaf of bread. Brioche on its own is enough to make you gain a bit more weight than you’d like, so it’s best to not eat it too often.
The Best Types Of Bread To Use For French Toast
To make the most satisfying French Toast possible, you want bread with a super soft texture, with plenty of flavor (buttery, sweet, etc.), and something that can absorb a good amount of the egg mixture. Once it’s absorbed this egg mixture, it’ll become even softer and more delicate, which is wonderfully satisfying to eat when covered in any sweet topping.
Let’s take a look at the best types of bread to use for French Toast.
You want a bread that’s both flavorful and soft, so brioche is perfect for this.
This slightly sweet, buttery bread is ideal for French Toast since you’re already off to a good start by using it. Unlike some other types of bread, which have less fat and sugar added to them, brioche brings these additional flavors to the dish, leaving you with a satisfying plate of French Toast.
If you’re looking for a rich, satisfying French Toast dish, this bread is the best.
Something similar in texture to brioche is challah. This slightly healthier bread (lower fat) still holds plenty of flavor and is soft and fluffy, just like brioche.
You can definitely tell it has less butter, but this can play in your favor if you’re wanting French Toast as a lighter meal. Like brioche, it also has some sweetness to it, making it plenty addictive and great for sweeter applications.
I’m sure there will be many people who think this is the best type of bread for French Toast, and that’s completely fine. Everyone has their own preference and should use whatever they want.
If you’re wanting something soft and fluffy, but you don’t want to use brioche or challah for whatever reason, then milk bread can be a brilliant alternative.
This Japanese bread is made with milk and a tangzhong (a water roux) which results in a pillowy soft bread without the need for added butter or much egg. This leaves you with bread that has a neutral flavor, so it can be used for many different purposes. I’ll tell you, it makes great French Toast.
When you use it to make French Toast, it’s on par with brioche and challah (some consider it to be better) and it can be lower in calories, meaning that you won’t have to worry about your waistline too much.
Just like the previous three types of bread, potato bread is also very soft, making it a great choice for French Toast.
It doesn’t have the sweetness or buttery flavor you can get from bread like brioche, so it’s relatively neutral in regards to that. You may notice a slight potato flavor in some potato bread. Some people like this whilst others don’t, so it’s up to you to decide whether you want to try it or not.
Using a drier baguette is ideal for soaking up plenty of the egg mixture whilst maintaining its shape.
If you’re wanting to try something different from the usual soft bread, this is an ideal option. It goes stale very quickly meaning that you can leave it out for a few hours and it’ll be ready to make delicious French Toast whenever you need it.
Similar to a baguette, sourdough bread goes stale very quickly, but it does have a much more complex flavor than your standard lean bread.
Making French Toast with sourdough brings this additional flavor, which adds a nice contrast to the pure sweetness you get from softer types of bread.
If you’re wanting to add some more character to your French Toast, this could be the route you want to go down.
Why Dry/Stale Bread Is Better For French Toast?
There are a few tricks to making the best French Toast and using stale bread is one of the best. You’ll get more flavor when using stale bread than if you were to use fresh bread.
As bread sits out, it loses moisture and becomes drier. With enough time, the bread will become significantly drier, which isn’t great for regular eating but is great for making French Toast.
Since the bread has lost moisture, it has the ability to soak up more of the egg mixture, which allows for a better flavor and texture. If you were to use fresh bread for this application, you’d still get decent results, but it wouldn’t be able to absorb as much of the mixture.
If you’ve got fresh bread, you can try leaving it out overnight (or just a few hours for lean bread). After it’s gone stale, you can start making French Toast, but you need to make sure it stays in the egg mixture for longer so it soaks up enough.