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Do you toast French toast before cooking it?

French toast, also known as eggy bread, is a dish made of bread soaked in a mixture of beaten eggs and milk or cream, then fried. It is a popular breakfast food in many countries. But one question that often comes up is – should you toast the bread before making French toast, or not?

Quick Answer

The quick answer is – no, you do not need to toast the bread before making French toast. The bread soaks up the egg mixture and cooks to become soft and custardy on the inside. Toasting the bread beforehand would make it too dry and crispy throughout.

Exploring the Question in Depth

While the quick answer is no, let’s explore some key considerations around this question in more detail:

Purpose of French Toast

The hallmark of French toast is its soft, custardy interior contrasted with the golden crispy exterior. Toasting the bread first would create a uniformly crispy texture throughout. It would absorb less of the egg-milk mixture, preventing that signature soft custardy interior.

Effect of Toasting on Bread Texture

Toasting bread makes it dry and crunchy by driving moisture out of the bread. Untoasted bread has more moisture and softness to better absorb the liquid egg mixture.

Bread Type Texture After Toasting Ability to Absorb Egg Mixture
Untoasted Soft, moist interior High absorption
Toasted Dry, crunchy throughout Low absorption

As the table shows, untoasted bread is soft and moist inside, allowing it to soak up more egg mixture for that signature custardy texture.

Effect on Cooking Process

Toasting the bread first can also negatively impact the cooking process. The toasted bread won’t soak up as much egg mixture, so it may cook faster and end up overdone and dry. Conversely, soft fresh bread absorbs more liquid, cooking more slowly and evenly throughout.

Flavor Impacts

Toasting imparted flavors like caramelized sugars that could clash with the eggy, custardy flavors you want in French toast. Untoasted bread has a neutral flavor that perfectly absorbs and complements the egg mixture.

When Might Toasting Work?

While toasting generally isn’t recommended, there are some instances where it could work:

  • If using a very dense, thick cut bread that requires extra crisping up
  • If you prefer a more uniformly crispy texture throughout
  • If using bread that has become stale or dry and needs reviving

Even in these cases, only light toasting is recommended to avoid making the bread too dry and crispy.

Best Breads for Perfect French Toast

Choosing the right bread is key to perfect French toast with a custardy interior. Here are some top options:

Thick-Sliced Bread

Thicker slices of bread like Texas toast absorb more egg mixture. The contrast between the crispy edge and soft middle is more pronounced.

Brioche or Challah

These egg-enriched breads provide an extra-custardy texture and sweet flavor.

French Bread

The light, airy texture and neutral flavor of French bread soaks up the egg custard beautifully.


The tangy flavor balances nicely with the rich custard. The open crumb absorbs lots of liquid.

White Bread

Simple soft white bread works well. Avoid dense whole grain breads that won’t soak up enough egg.

Recipe and Cooking Tips

Follow these tips for perfect French toast:

  • Use untoasted bread – preferably a thick slice of brioche, challah or French bread
  • Beat together eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg
  • Soak bread slices on both sides in egg mixture until saturated
  • Fry gently in butter until golden brown, flipping once
  • Avoid overcrowding the pan – cook in batches for even cooking
  • Serve immediately, garnished with fruit, maple syrup, powdered sugar, or whipped cream


If your French toast is turning out poorly, here are some likely issues and fixes:

Problem Solution
Not soft and custardy inside Use a thicker bread and let it soak longer
Too dense and soggy Don’t soak bread too long before frying
Burnt outside before inside cooks Fry at lower temp for longer
Bland flavor Add vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg to egg mixture


Toasting bread before making French toast is not recommended, as it creates an uneven texture and prevents the bread from properly soaking up the egg custard. For the classic soft, custardy interior, use thick slices of brioche, challah or white French bread untoasted. With the right technique and ingredients, you can achieve perfect French toast without any pre-toasting required.