Alton Brown’s French Toast

Alton Brown’s French Toast recipe is deliciously crisp and golden on the outside and soft and creamy inside. It’s easy to make and makes the best breakfast or brunch for friends and family!

Love trying new breakfast recipes? Try my Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole (Make-Ahead!) next!A stack of golden french toast on a white plate with blueberries and butter on top.

When it comes to breakfast recipes, it is truly hard to beat classic French Toast. There are so many subtle differences on how you can make French Toast and how it ends up holding up and tasting.

After testing out tons of methods, I have to stay that Alton Brown definitely has the perfect French Toast formula figured out. This is definitely the recipe you’ll want to keep on hand for getting perfect French Toast every time.

Just make sure to read through the tips below, the kind of bread that you use and how you prepare the bread before soaking it makes a major difference in taste, texture, and flavor!

Overhead view of ingredients needed to make Alton Brown's French Toast recipe.

The Best Bread for French Toast

The following breads are ideal for making French Toast, brioche being the top candidate, challah being the second, etc.

It’s always best to purchase a whole, unsliced loaf so that you can cut thick slices at home.

  • Brioche 
  • Challah
  • Pullman Loaf (Sandwich Bread)
  • French Bread

Check out this resource for a visual of each type of bread and for more information on each.

Challah bread slices being dipped into French toast custard on white table next to a bowl of blueberries.

How Thick to Cut French Toast Slices

Bread that is cut into 1-inch slices allows for a crisp, golden-brown outside and a soft and creamy inside. (Which is the ideal consistency for perfect French Toast.)

Syrup being drizzled over a stack of French Toast with blueberries and butter on a white plate.

Use FRESH Bread and BAKE it!

Most recipes call for using stale bread, as it is drier and able to absorb the custard without collapsing and becoming soggy.

While stale bread will work for this reason, the taste will be much better if you use fresh bread and bake it first to dry it out. This will give you the firm consistency you need without compromising taste. (Because what’s better than the taste of freshly baked bread?)

To do this, bake the slices on wire racks at 300°F for 8 minutes on each side to guarantee that it will hold its shape.

A fork cutting into a stack of french toast with blueberries and butter on a white plate.

Make-Ahead Method

This custard can be prepared the night before and refrigerated. 

Instead of baking the bread as mentioned above, you can place the slices of bread on baking sheets in the oven overnight instead. (Without the heat on.) This tends to work well as ovens still give off some residual heat even when they’re off.

A stack of french toast with a fork sitting next to it on a white plate.

Cheers to you, Alton Brown! You make a killer French Toast! (And Guacamole, might I add. 😉)

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5 from 1 vote
Servings: 4
Alton Brown's French Toast
Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
35 mins
 
Author: Stephanie
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Alton Brown's French Toast, Alton Brown's French Toast Recipe, French Toast Recipe

Alton Brown's French Toast recipe is deliciously crisp and golden on the outside and soft and creamy inside. It's easy to make and makes the best breakfast or brunch for friends and family!

Ingredients
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • ¼ Tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 loaf bread (Brioche, Challah, or Country Loaf)
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
Instructions
Before you start:
  1. Alton Brown advises to cut your loaf into 8 (1/2 incslices. I much prefer slices 1-inch in size.
  2. Your slices are MUCH more likely to hold up well if you bake them on wire racks at 300 degrees F for 8 minutes on each side. If your bread is stale, this isn’t as necessary, but fresh bread has a better taste and can obtain the dry constancy that it needs by baking it.
Making the French Toast:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat the honey for 15 seconds in the microwave. Whisk it in a pie pan with the eggs, salt, and half and half.
  3. Place a cooling rack on top of a sheet pan.
  4. Dip each side of the bread into the custard, allowing it to absorb for about 10 seconds, (it will hold up well if it’s been baked as noted above.)
  5. Place the bread on the cooling rack for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Melt 1 Tablespoon of butter in a large pan over low heat.
  7. Place 2 slices of bread at a time in the pan and cook each side until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes/side.
  8. Remove the bread from the pan and place on the middle rack in the oven for 5 minutes.
  9. Repeat for all slices. Serve immediately with syrup, fruit, and/or whipped cream.
Recipe Notes

Make-Ahead Method

  • This custard can be prepared the night before and refrigerated.
  • Instead of baking the bread to remove some of the moisture, you can place the slices of bread on baking sheets in the oven overnight instead. (Without the heat on.) This tends to work well as ovens still give off some residual heat even when they're off.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 184, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 153mg, Sodium: 244mg, Potassium: 124mg, Carbohydrates: 12g, Sugar: 9g, Protein: 6g, Vitamin A: 480%, Vitamin C: 1%, Calcium: 82%, Iron: 1%

Source: The Food Network