There’s nothing quite like starting your day with a warm, buttery, syrupy plate of goodness. And as the title suggests, yep! We’re talking about good ol’ French toast—a soft, sweet classic that melts in your mouth and tickles your taste buds.
Whether you like it hot and sweet on a cold weekend or warm and savory on a lazy Sunday afternoon, French toast is a dish that never disappoints.
I’m especially excited about this recipe because we’re recreating the one and only – IHOP French Toast. The secret to getting that restaurant-style flavor is adding a little bit of flour. Which makes it extra fluffy and delicious.
The type of bread you use also makes a BIG difference. So I’ve added a few tips and tricks below for bringing the IHOP flavor right into your kitchen.
One of the things I love about french toast are the endless possibilities. Depending on the recipe, the ingredients, and your personal preference, French toast can be either sweet and syrup-y or warm and savory. It can be rich and buttery or light and fluffy. As long as you’ve got the basics of the dish, you can add your own spin to the recipe to make it just the way you like it.
Best part? It’s not hard to do at all! After all, French toast—in its most basic form—is just eggs, bread, and milk. The flavor comes from all the little treats you toss in there: vanilla, cinnamon, fruit, breakfast meats, powdered sugar … you get the idea.
So make sure you stick around, because we’ll be covering some of tastiest toppings to sprinkle on your French toast later on in this article. But first… onto the recipe!
BUYING THE BEST BREAD
First things first; the base of the dish. The foundation. Without this, you’d have no toast; just French.
And that doesn’t make any sense at all.
If you want to optimize the full richness and flavor of classic French toast, you’ve got to invest in the bread. Sure, your standard sliced sandwich bread will do in a pinch (as long as you toast it properly), but if you’ve got time? Explore some better options! Believe us when we say that the type of bread you use can completely change the taste of your toast.
Here’s a list of our favorites:
- Brioche bread is the king of all French toast bread options. It’s a richer, fuller version of your standard Pullman (sandwich) bread with a sturdy crust and a soft, plush crumb that soaks up custard beautifully without warping. Once cooked, it leaves you with a simply excellent slice of bread with a delightfully crisp outside and a creamy, succulent inside that can truly just melt in your mouth.
We recommend: buying it in loaves instead of pre-cut slices so that you can control the thickness of your French toast.
- French bread. We’re not joking! If you like a little chewiness to your toast, grab yourself a loaf of French bread. Although definitely not the softest option, French bread’s sturdiness means it can be left to soak up the milk-and-egg mixture for a long time, resulting in a deliciously saturated toast that won’t crumble apart when you transfer it.
We recommend: slicing the French bread loaf diagonally for larger slices.
- Challah is a sweeter, more buttery version of brioche that’s perfect for people who like their French toast sweet and creamy. And despite how it tastes, it typically doesn’t contain dairy products—perfect for those sensitive to lactose or dairy. Though not as sturdy as French bread, challah can also soak up a fair amount of custard or milk-and-egg mixture without breaking apart. Toast the bread properly and you’ll be left with a delightfully fragrant dish that is soft and fluffy!
We recommend: easing up on the sugar or sweeteners when using challah. Like we said, it is a sweeter bread, so if you don’t have that much of a sweet tooth? Avoid oversaturating it. If you want to balance it out, pair it with something tangy, salty, or savory (like bacon or breakfast meats).
FRENCH TOAST TOPPINGS
Top your toast with something sweet, something spicy, something savory, or something in-between. Here are our top ten French toast toppings that are sure to give your taste buds a treat!
- Bacon. Salty and savory meat to complement the light, fluffy sweetness of French toast
- Pecans. Add some crunch to your brunch with pecans! Their subtle flavor guarantees they’ll never overpower your toast’s inherent taste
- Shredded Coconut. A healthier alternative to powdered or brown sugar, shredded coconut can also put a tropical twist to an otherwise classy dish
- Peanut Butter & Banana. You know these two taste great as a sandwich. Why not combine them with French bread to really cater to your sweet tooth?
- Strawberries & Blueberries. Classic toppings for a classic dish. The naturally tart taste of berries will complement the creamy syrup of your toast beautifully.
- Cinnamon. Yet another classic topping. Add a light dusting of cinnamon to your French toast to really bring out the flavor (warning: very addictive)
- Rice Krispies or Cap’n Crunch. For the child in all of us. Sprinkle Rice Krispies or Cap’n Crunch pieces all over your French toast for a crunchy burst of nostalgia
- PB&J. Turn the snack that you never outgrew as a kid into a tasty, yummy, flavorful dish that’s bursting with sweetness and memories of brown paper bags. You can’t go wrong with PB&J
- Nutella. We recommend this if your French toast is more milk and bread than sweetness and sugar, otherwise you risk an intense sugar rush (but if you need the boost, go ahead—we won’t tell!)
- Sunny-Side Up Eggs. This wholesome combo guarantees you’ll start your day with a smile on your face. Fry up two eggs, slide them next to a stack of French toast, and you’ve got the definition of a hearty breakfast
Tips & Tricks
Want to know the secret to making the perfect French toast?
Well, that’s a little tricky, since the “perfect” toast is highly dependent on your personal preference. But we can give you some little-known tips and tricks to help you maximize the French toast flavor and experience.
- The secret to mastering the “heft” or density of your French toast lies in the eggs-to-milk ratio. If you want a nice, dense toast, add more eggs. If you want something light and fluffy? Pour in more milk.
- Don’t use freshly baked bread! Contrary to popular belief, this will not give you the best results. Fresh bread will be soft and supple—so much so that it’ll rip and fall apart once soggy. Best way to maximize flavor? Use bread that is at least a day old.
- Another tip for bread; make sure it’s as dry as possible in order for it to soak up the most flavor. Lay your bread slices out to dry at least overnight.
- Always burning your toast? Switch to a neutral vegetable oil! Oil has a higher burning point than butter, which gives you plenty of leeway to cook your toast without singing it. Miss the buttery flavor? Pour some melted butter over the pieces once toasted.
- Want a crispier crust? Add just a dash of flour to your egg and milk mixture! This will give you the perfect slice of French toast; a crisped outside and a soft, succulent inside.
IHOP has long been known for its delightful spread of flavorful breakfast dishes. From pancakes to waffles, crepes to French toast, IHOP’s menu caters to almost every taste preference imaginable.
But if you’re craving some of those delectable dishes yourself, why not try recreating them at home? We promise; French toast is straightforward, forgiving, and ultimately very, very worth it.
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