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Crispy French Toast


  • 8 slices of hearty bread. I used Texas-Toast but Challah would be good too
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk warmed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar plus 1 for the crumb mixture
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter plus 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon plus ¼ teaspoon for the crumb mixture
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • Warm oven to 300 degrees.
  • Cut slices of bread in half.
  • Place on a baking sheet and place in a warmed oven.
  • Bake bread until almost dry throughout. The center should remain slightly moist.
  • Flip bread halfway, total time will vary but should be about 15 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let cool.

For the crumb mixture

  • Use one slice of bread torn into pieces and place in a food processor bowl and add 1 tablespoon brown sugar and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon. Pulse until finely ground. Place in a bowl that the bread slices will fit into.
  • Whisk milk, egg, sugar, 2 tablespoons melted butter, vanilla, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl until well blended. Transfer mixture to a 13x9 pan.
  • Soak bread in milk mixture until saturated but not falling apart, about 20 seconds, per side.
  • While bread is soaking, melt butter in a medium skillet.
  • Once bread has soaked, place one side of the soaked bread into the crumb mixture and gently press down to allow the side touching the crumbs to get evenly coated.
  • Place crunchy side down into melted butter and allow it to get golden brown. About 3-4 minutes, use spatula to gently lift and make sure it does not burn.
  • Flip over and allow the other side to get golden brown.
  • Transfer to baking sheet and place in oven to keep warm until all the slices are toasted.
  • More butter will need to be re added to the skillet for the other slices to get golden brown.


For the crumb mixture you can either toast a piece of bread or use one not toasted. I have done it both ways and each way is deliciously good.
Adapted from The Cook's Illustrated