Thick sliced bread coated in a vanilla laced batter with just a hint of spice. Quick and easy vanilla French toast is on the table in less than 30 minutes.
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Some days just scream out for sleeping in, relaxing on the couch, and lazy breakfasts that taste like they took a lot of work but really come together in minutes.
This is vanilla french toast one of those breakfasts. Whip up the batter, soak the bread, and stick the whole thing under the broiler. Yes, you can cook 8 – 10 slices all at once and be ready to eat before you have the mixing bowls cleaned up.
Serve it up with a dusting of powdered sugar, a dollop of maple syrup, and fresh fruit for a taste bud satisfying weekend meal.
When it comes to making french toast the most important part is the bread. If it’s too soft or too thin, it will fall apart. Too dense, it will soak up too much batter making it hard to cook properly. You also don’t want bread that’s too crusty or too chewy, as they will never taste pillowy soft when perfectly toasted. My go to choices are English muffin bread or brioche bread.
For years I have used my own recipe for English muffin bread to make French toast. However, I was recently introduced (thank you Chris and Maggie!) to Brioche Pasquier, a French bread company that has made it’s way to Northern California. Now I can buy authentic French brioche in my own grocery store! It’s only available in limited markets, but if you can get your hands on this bread it makes the best French toast.
Alternatively, you can make your own. I’ve tried both Martha Stewart’s recipe and Epicurious’s recipe with fairly good results. Warning: making it yourself can be time consuming, but it is worth it for good brioche. Whatever bread you choose, make sure the slices are even and about 1 inch thick.
You’ll notice the recipe calls for part half and half, and part milk. This makes the batter a bit thicker, which helps it stick to the bread better. If you are watching your fat intake, a substitute of non-fat half and half works just fine. If you are going for the non-dairy route, substitute the half and half with a full fat coconut milk – the canned kind that you’ll find in the Asian foods section. For the milk, any type of unflavored, unsweetened milk you have should work.
The maple syrup was chosen because sugar doesn’t melt well in cold ingredients. By using maple sugar instead, you don’t have to wait for the ingredients to come to room temperature to mix them all together. You’ll notice there is no butter in the batter either. Since we aren’t pan frying them, we don’t need the butter. If you opt for the brioche, the butter in the bread is all you need, or you can add butter as a topping on the finished product if you prefer.
When getting started, turning the broiler to high is the first thing you want to do. They get super hot, but it can take a bit of time for them to reach their full potential. Also, set the highest oven rack one slot lower than the highest it can go. If you set it in the top slot, the center pieces will start to burn before the outside ones start to toast. Yes, you could rearrange them halfway through, but that’s too much work for a Saturday morning.
I like to mix this vanilla french toast batter in a medium sized mixing bowl that is large enough to hold 1 – 2 slices of bread in the bottom. If I can dip 2 at once they are in the oven even faster. Each slice should be dipped for 1 – 2 seconds on each side, twice. Just to be clear, the first side goes down, wait 1 – 2 seconds, flip it over, wait 1 – 2 seconds, flip back for 1 – 2 seconds, then flip back again for 1 – 2 seconds. Line the slices up on a rimmed cookie sheet that has been coated with non-stick cooking spray.
Once all the slices have been dipped, the whole pan goes under the broiler at once. The hotter the broiler gets the faster it works and it’s easy to burn if left unattended. Make sure you set the time for 2 minutes to start and add time in 1 minute increments.
Once the first side is perfectly toasted, flip all the slices over and start again with 2 minutes. This morning the first side took 4 minutes and the second took 2.
All 8 slices of French toast cooked up in under 7 minutes including flip time? That’s a quick breakfast!!
Now comes the best part. Serving it up and chowing down. I chose bananas, strawberries, blueberries, maple syrup and powdered sugar. No. I don’t feel at all guilty that my original photos didn’t come out and I was forced to eat this while James was at the office this morning.
Okay, maybe a little.
Okay, enough so that he has plenty of leftovers for breakfast tomorrow morning.
I mean, I can’t be expected to labor over a hot stove all morning and, oh, that’s right, you all know the secret. The willpower of a girl trying to lose a couple pounds can only go so far and mine stopped with this French toast. It was worth it.
Don’t forget to Pin this recipe for later!!
Quick and Easy Vanilla French Toast
Quick and Easy Vanilla French Toast
- 1 loaf of bread cut into 1" slices
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup half & half
- 2 TBSP milk
- 2 TBSP maple syrup
- 1 TBSP vanilla
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon divided
- 1/8 tsp ginger
- pinch of salt less than 1/8 tsp
- powdered sugar maple syrup, bananas, strawberries, or blueberries for garnish
Adjust the highest oven rack to be on the second level from the top.
Preheat broiler on high.
Spray a rimmed cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
In a medium - large mixing bowl whisk together eggs, half & half, milk, maple syrup, vanilla, 1/8tsp cinnamon, ginger, and salt.
Dip each piece of bread for 1 - 2 seconds on each side, then repeat so that the slice is coated twice.
Place the slice on the prepared cookie sheet.
Repeat with the next slice, until all slices have been coated twice.
Lightly sprinkle on the remaining 1/4 tsp of cinnamon.
Place under the broiler starting with 2 minutes. Increase the time in 1 minute increments until bread is toasted and turning golden brown. It should take between 2 - 5 minutes depending on your oven.
Use a spatula to flip each piece over and put it back under the broiler. Again start with 2 minutes and increase in 1 minute increments. The second side should cook faster than the first.
Garnish with powdered sugar, maple syrup, bananas, strawberries, or blueberries to your liking.