Made with crusty sourdough bread, this sourdough French toast is complete with crispy edges and a fluffy center just the way French toast should be. Grilled to perfection and topped with butter, maple syrup, and fresh berries, this recipe is perfect for a special occasion or a hearty weekend breakfast.
If you’ve never made French toast with sourdough bread, I highly suggest you give it a try. While brioche, challah, and Pullman loaf are most often recommended, using sourdough bread is a fun French toast variation that adds an additional element of flavor, while providing a fluffy interior and crispy edges. Not to mention, sourdough is the most real food form of bread, so it keeps the extra healthy too.
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Can you make French toast with sourdough bread?
Yes, you can absolutely use sourdough bread to make French toast. The sturdy nature of sourdough bread makes it a great option for French toast, as it’s less likely to fall apart when cooking, similar to that stale bread, which is often used to make French toast. Plus, the natural tanginess of sourdough bread adds a welcomed complexity of flavor to the otherwise sweet French toast.
Honestly, if you love sourdough bread, you’re going to love this sourdough French toast recipe.
What You’ll Need
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make sourdough French toast:
- Sourdough Bread: As you may have guessed, sourdough bread is the star of this sourdough French toast recipe. Feel free to use fresh or stale sourdough bread, both work well.
- Eggs: One of the essential components of the custard base for French toast, and they add a little protein too.
- Milk: The second essential component of the custard base for French toast, I recommend using whole milk or 2%, as skim milk won’t provide the same richness. While I think milk works best, you can also use heavy cream or half-and-half.
- Vanilla Extract: To add some flavor.
- Cinnamon: To add some warmth.
- Sugar: To add a touch of sweetness.
- Salt: To season the egg mixture.
- Butter: To ensure the French toast is golden brown and add a touch of richness.
Once you’ve got the base recipe down, the topping options are endless, I’ve shared a few ideas below.
To Make it Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free sourdough bread, although this can be difficult to find and won’t provide the same texture or flavor.
To Make it Dairy-Free: Swap the milk for almond milk or oat milk and cook the French toast in coconut oil.
How to Make Sourdough French Toast
Making sourdough French toast is as simple as making regular French toast, you just use sourdough bread instead! Here’s how you’ll make it:
- Make the custard. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the custard ingredients; eggs, milk, vanilla extract, sugar, and cinnamon, and whisk until well combined.
- Soak the sourdough. Slice the bread and then transfer the slices of sourdough, one at a time, into the bowl of custard and allow to soak for a couple of minutes until well coated.
- Warm the pan. While the sourdough is soaking in the custard mixture, melt some butter in a large pan on medium-high heat.
- Pan-fry the bread. Once the sourdough has soaked and the pan is hot, transfer the slice of soaked sourdough to the pan and grill for a few minutes on both sides until golden brown.
- Keep it warm. Once the slice is toasted, transfer it to the oven to keep warm and continue working in batches until all the slices of bread are grilled into French toast.
Once all of the slices are cooked, you can serve the French toast immediately or store leftovers in the fridge or freezer.
Tips for the Best Sourdough French Toast
Start with good bread. If you’re using sourdough bread, you’ll have this covered. However, for the best results, ensure that you are using authentic sourdough. Unfortunately, there is a lot of fake sourdough bread on the market so it’s to know what to look for so that you are buying and using real sourdough bread.
Don’t cut your bread too thin or thick. The ideal thickness for a slice of French toast is 3/4″ to 1″ thick. Slicing your bread too thin can result in overly soggy bread while slicing it too thick can leave the center dry and uncooked. For the best results, buy or use an unsliced loaf and cut the slices yourself.
Nail the egg-to-milk ratio. Eggs and milk are essential ingredients to the custard used to cook French toast, however, if you get the ratio off, you’ll end up with an overly eggy or wet dish. A general rule of thumb is to use one egg for every 1/4 cup of milk.
Use whole milk. While technically any percentage of dairy will work, whole milk will provide the best texture and flavor. Not to mention, it’s a nutrient-dense and well-balanced food complete with equal parts carbohydrates, protein, and fats.
Season your batter. While milk and eggs are the essential custard ingredients including vanilla and cinnamon enhance the flavor, sugar adds just the right amount of sweetness, and a pinch of salt can help to balance everything out.
Don’t under-soak the bread. It’s important to allow your sourdough to soak long enough in the custard mixture. Taking it out too quickly will result in a dry center. Instead, you want to ensure the liquid penetrates the bread for a soft, custardy center.
Don’t skip the butter. For the best results, cook your sourdough French toast in butter. While some people will suggest cooking it in oil, cooking French toast in butter adds an additional nutty flavor and richness to the dish.
Red’s Nutrition Tip
If you’re wondering if French toast can truly be healthy, the answer is yes! Think about it, the primary ingredients in French toast are real food; sourdough bread, milk, and eggs, with a little bit of butter and sugar. Plus, it’s no secret that sourdough is the healthiest bread.
Best Toppings for Sourdough French Toast
To be honest, there are SO many different toppings you can add to French toast with sourdough bread. Here are some of my personal favorites.
- Maple syrup
- Brown sugar
- Powdered sugar
- Peanut butter
- Almond butter
- Nutella, or hazelnut spread
- Fresh berries
- Sauteed apples
- Sauteed peaches
What to Serve with Sourdough French Toast
Given sourdough bread French toast is primarily a source of carbohydrates with healthy fats and moderate levels of protein, if you want to make it a more well-balanced breakfast, I would suggest serving it with an additional source of protein and fiber. Some ideas include:
- Scrambled eggs + Blueberries
- Breakfast sausage + Peaches
- Bacon + Banana
- Greek yogurt + Raspberries
- Cottage cheese + Strawberries
Storage + Reheating
To Store: Once cooled, leftover French toast can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
To Freeze: Once cooled completely, place the French toast in an airtight container or freezer bag, in a single layer separating slices with parchment paper to prevent them from sticking and make reheating easier, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To Reheat: Sourdough French toast can be reheated in the oven, toaster oven, or toaster. Thawed French toast can be reheated in the oven or a toaster oven at 400°F on a baking sheet for 2-3 minutes per side or added to a toasted on the medium heat setting until warm and crispy, be sure to watch carefully so it does not burn. While you can reheat it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, it will alter the texture, making it a little soggy, so it’s not my preferred method of reheating.
More French Toast Recipes:Print
Sourdough French Toast
Made with sourdough bread, eggs, milk, vanilla extract, and a pinch of cinnamon, this sourdough French toast is the perfect weekend brunch!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: French
- 8 slices of sourdough bread
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch salt
- Several tablespoons butter, to cook
- Preheat the oven to 200°F.
- In a mixing bowl or large baking dish, add eggs, milk, vanilla extract, sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt and whisk until well combined.
- Slice the sourdough bread into 3/4-inch thick slices. Depending on the length of your slices, you may want to cut them in half; this makes them easier to handle and flip in the pan.
- Once sliced, add each slice of sourdough bread to the baking dish and soak for 1-2 minutes per side – this may need to be done in batches depending on how large your baking dish and pan are. If your bread is older or on the staler side, you may need to leave it for an extra minute or two. You want the bread to absorb the egg-milk mixture but still have some texture to it, not become completely soggy.
- While the sourdough is soaking, heat a large cast iron skillet or pan to medium heat, add a knob of butter, and warm until completely melted.
- Once the sourdough slices have soaked, remove them from the baking dish, gently shaking them to remove any excess egg-milk mixture, add slices to the pan, and cook for 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown.
- Continue this process until all of the slices have been cooked. You can keep cooked slices in a separate baking dish or on a baking sheet in the oven at 200°F to keep them warm while you finish up.
- Once cooked, serve sourdough French toast immediately with butter, berries, and maple syrup drizzled over the top.
- Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer in an airtight container or bag for up to 3 months.
- Serving Size: 2 slices
- Calories: 476 calories
- Sugar: 11 grams
- Fat: 7 grams
- Carbohydrates: 79 grams
- Fiber: 4 grams
- Protein: 23 grams
Keywords: sourdough bread french toast