Looking for the best homemade Buttermilk French Toast recipe?
You can prepare our easy Buttermilk French Toast at home in less than one hour using your favourite bread loaf cut into thick slices.
Our decadent brunch dish is perfect for a special celebration like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter, Valentine’s Day or Christmas breakfast. Serve Buttermilk French Toast with scrambled eggs, fruit salad and sizzling sausages and bacon.
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History of French Toast
The origins of French Toast are not crystal clear. Long before the popular breakfast dish was called “french toast,” similar recipes were being whipped up all around the world. One of the earliest versions has been traced back to the Roman Empire.
In France, the dish is called Pain Perdu, which translates to “lost bread.” Originally, people made French toast from stale bread in order to make use of bread that would otherwise have been discarded. The dish is traditionally served as a dessert.
Around the world, people enjoy French Toast in many different ways. The British call french toast “eggy bread,” “gypsy bread” or “French-fried bread.” They even serve it with ketchup!
What Is Buttermilk?
Buttermilk is a fermented dairy drink.
Traditionally, it was the liquid left behind after churning butter out of cultured cream. As most modern butter in western countries is not made with cultured cream but uncultured sweet cream, most modern buttermilk in western countries is cultured separately.
Buttermilk can be sipped straight, and it can also be used in cooking. In making soda bread, the acid in buttermilk reacts with the raising agent, sodium bicarbonate, to produce carbon dioxide which acts as the leavening agent. Buttermilk is also used in marination, especially of chicken and pork.
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My Family Loves Buttermilk French Toast
One of my fondest memories growing up as a kid was waking up in the morning at our family cottage in Muskoka and smelling Buttermilk French Toast sizzling in the kitchen.
My father’s favourite breakfast dish is French Toast, which he traditionally prepared in the morning on our birthdays. He’d whisk a few eggs together with buttermilk, cinnamon and nutmeg and then dredge thick sliced of Italian loaf. He’d fry each side of the egg-soaked bread in butter and then top with sliced berries and maple syrup.
You can use homemade bread to prepare this recipe but my family actually prefers to use store bought. Most grocery stores sell Texas-style thick bread slices. Our favourites are sold by Wonder Bread and Villaggio.
How To Make French Toast
There’s no better comfort food than a plate of steaming Buttermilk French Toast hot off the griddle. So what qualities make the best French Toast?
The perfect French Toast must be crunchy and golden brown on the outside while at the same time featuring a moist and light interior. Be sure to soak your bread in the buttermilk and egg mixture for long enough so each slice absorbs as much liquid as possible. This will ensure the interior of your toast is moist rather than dry.
If you’re serving brunch for a large group we suggest preheating your oven to 200F. You can keep the French Toast warm on a baking sheet until you’re ready to serve everyone at the table.
We like to serve Buttermilk French Toast with a fresh fruit salad, crispy bacon, sizzling sausages and scrambled eggs.
Does The Milk Matter In French Toast?
You can use any kind of dairy milk when making French toast but the higher fat content will produce a more decadent dish. We recommend using whole milk or even light cream when making the recipe for special celebrations. Buttermilk is a great idea for those looking for a healthier option as it is thicker so clings to the bread nicely and is low in fat.
What Is The Most Common Mistake When Making French Toast?
French Toast is a simple recipe but you fail miserably if you make slight adjustments to the recipe.
- Adding too much milk to the egg custard. You want a perfect balance of egg and milk so this recipe has the perfect ratio do not make adjustments. If you have too much buttermilk in the egg dip mixture the bread will be too wet.
- Not mixing the egg custard thoroughly. Be sure to use a whisk or fork to ensure the egg, buttermilk, vanilla and spices are completely combined.
- Not choosing the right bread. You want a bread that is sturdy and also absorbs liquid well. Do not use crusty European bread as the texture is too touch. Thin slices of sandwich bread also do not work as they are flimsy and when soaked in the egg mixture can fall apart. An eggy brioche loaf or thick Texas-style slices of bread are perfect as they hold their shape when frying.
- Under-soaking the bread. My biggest complaint when eating French Toast at a hotel buffet is they are usually prepared so quickly the interior of the French Toast is dry. Be sure to submerge the bread slices for at least 30 seconds on each side to ensure they soak up the egg mixture.
- Not using a nonstick pan. There’s nothing worse than putting all the effort into making Buttermilk French Toast and throwing the soaked bread slices into a pan that is not non-stick or hasn’t even been greased properly. The egg mixture will stick to the pan and the end product will be an absolute mess. You can also fry the bread on a large non-stick griddle, which is a better option when serving a large crowd.
- Using too much heat or too little. Ensure the stove is at medium low as you don’t want to burn the French Toast and have a raw interior. Also don’t have the temperature too low as you want to ensure the surface of the bread browns nicely.
Recipe Cooking Tips
Whether you’re a seasoned baking expert or it’s your first time in the kitchen, be sure to tend to your griddle or stove to ensure your French Toast doesn’t burn.
You can ensure your Buttermilk French Toast has a golden brown exterior by liberally coating your pan or griddle with fresh butter. We prefer to use butter as it browns nicely and adds a sweet dairy flavour. If you’re all out of butter you can also use a neutral fat for frying such as canola oil.
We do not suggest preparing this recipe for vegans as it is made with buttermilk, eggs and butter. There really is no substitute!
So what thickness of bread should you use for Buttermilk French Toast? If you have any stale homemade bread, ensure you’re slicing each loaf into slices that are at least half an inch thick. Our favourite store bought brands are Texas-style loaves by Wonder Bread and Villaggio.
You can also get creative with the fruit toppings based on what’s available in season. During the spring and summer we like to use fresh berries, peaches and cherries. In the fall and winter it’s nice to top French Toast with sauteed apple and pear slices.
Hosting a brunch or breakfast potluck? You might also enjoy cooking Breakfast Polenta Bowl, Blueberry Mango Crepes with Coconut Flour, Banana Oat Flour Pancakes, Chocolate Cherry Pancakes with Ricotta and Marshmallow Fluff Fruit Dip.
Before making Buttermilk French Toast you’ll need to ensure you have the correct equipment in your kitchen. We’ve linked the supplies below on Amazon to make your online shopping experience easy.
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How To Make Easy Homemade Buttermilk French Toast
Buttermilk French Toast
- Large Nonstick Skillet
- Spatula Flipper
- Casserole Dish or Shallow Pie Plate
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- 3/4 cup Buttermilk
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 6 slices Thick Italian Bread Slices
- 2 tbsp Butter
- Preheat oven to 200F.
- Whisk eggs, buttermilk, vanilla extract, cinnamon and nutmeg in a casserole dish or shallow pie plate.
- Dip thick slices of Italian bread into buttermilk egg mixture, being sure to coat evenly on both sides.
- Preheat non-stick pan over medium heat and add a dab of butter. Once butter is melted add 2 slices of Buttermilk French toast at a time. Let each side fry for 2-3 minutes until golden brown.
- Store French Toast in preheated oven on a baking sheet to keep warm until ready to serve.
- Serve Buttermilk French Toast with sliced banana, berries and crispy bacon and drizzle with maple syrup.
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