Cooking with Cast Iron-How to Make the Perfect French Toast!

Since my cast iron cooking tips were so popular in the past, I am back with more today! (In case you missed the others click HERE for the perfect Grilled Cheese, and HERE to learn how to clean and season your cast iron skillets.)  Cooking with cast iron is especially good for breakfast foods and breads.  In fact, cast iron skillets make the best French Toast ever!  No joke :)  So today I am going to share my personal recipe for the best french toast ever (not just in my opinion, but according to the rave reviews from the fiance Matt and all of my family that has tried it as well) and all of the little tips I have picked up along the way.

 

2 reasons why I love making french toast in cast iron :

  • No more soggy bread!  Have you ever had soggy or mushy French toast?  Maybe some people like it, but to me soggy bread is just gross.  The cast iron gets your french toast perfectly browned and crisp on the outside, but soft and chewy inside. Yum!
  • Cooking in cast iron is healthier-infuses your food with a little extra iron and no toxic non stick stuff in the pans.

 

So let’s get cookin’.  Here is what you will need: (note, I created this recipe for a family sized portion of about 10 slices of French Toast.  I will give adjustments in parentheses for serving 1-2 people also).

 

  • Let’s talk bread.  For this recipe you will need 10 slices at least  (2-4 pieces to serve 1-2 people) One of my tips to perfect french toast is that you must start with the perfect bread (you can use any bread, but bread DOES matter for making it the best :) )   I have experimented with all types of bread, and by far the best I have used is Pepperidge Farm Italian Bread in the plain White variety.  The reason I find it to be the best (at least so far) is that it is a nice thickness of not tooo thick, but not thin.  It is also soft and “spongey” (not like other white breads that are pumped full of air and rip easy).  You want a more substantial bread that will soak up the egg nicely.  FYI Pepperidge Farm did not pay me to say this ;).

  • 6 large eggs ( I always use organic cage free)
  • About 1/4-1/3 cup milk.  I used 1/3.  (only a little splash of milk for 1-2 people).  Too much milk also tends to make the bread too soggy and the french toast is not as rich in flavor.
  • Cinnamon.  I kind of eyeballed the cinnamon, but if I had to guess I would say maybe 1/2 tsp.  (a dash or 2 for 1-2 people)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract.  (I would forgo the vanilla if making for 1-2 people) This one is totally optional.  This recipe tastes great without the vanilla, but if you want a little richer flavor you can add a little like I did for the family size recipe.
  • Butter for greasing the pan
  • Powdered Sugar for dusting
  • Real Vermont Maple Syrup.   Which brings me to another tip.  Regular high fructose corn syrup laden maple syrup is not only not good for you, but the flavor isn’t as good because it isn’t the real stuff.  I know Pure Organic Maple Syrup can be expensive though.  I use the real stuff for best results.

 

 

Directions:

  1. In a wide, shallow bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, cinnamon, and optional vanilla until all are well combined.  
  2. Lightly grease a warm Cast Iron Skillet with butter.   
  3. Dip pieces of bread one by one, making sure to immerse and coat both sides.  Don’t leave in long to soak though.  I just dip it in so it gets immersed , then flip it over to the other side to repeat and take right out.  Soaking too long makes it mushy.  Next you will place the bread in the skillet to cook.
  4. I love the flavor of cinnamon , so I actually sprinkled a light dusting of cinnamon on the tops of the bread in the pan as they were cooking.  Cinnamon flavor goes well with the sweetness of the syrup and in my opinion is what makes French Toast taste best.  Sometimes the egg mixture doesn’t get enough cinnamon directly on the bread for me :) Cook the bread on both sides until a light golden brown.  I like to cook my bread enough to where it forms a slight crust and isn’t mushy (the inside will be tender and spongey still)   
  5. As soon as you remove the French Toast from the pan, arrange on plates and give a dusting of powdered sugar , followed by however much maple syrup you want.  And Voila!  The Finished Product:

The Best French Toast

 

More French Toast Inspiration for you! :

  • Cinnamon bread and cinnamon raisin bread also make a great french toast for a little something different.  You could even use banana bread.  Look for breads that are home style, a little thicker, and slightly spongey for best results
  • Switch it up!  Instead of Maple Syrup, try topping with berries.  Think strawberries in juice poured over the top, still dusted with powdered sugar and maybe topped with cool whip or whipped cream. (you could use chocolate cool whip for a twist)
  • Valentine’s Day- Ladies (or men) Why not serve your special person the perfect French Toast, breakfast in bed style for V day?  Include a little love note or those candy hearts if you want.  If cooking for men, add in some bacon- you know they love that haha!

 

Enjoy and let me know what you think when you try it ! ~ Rebekah

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12 Responses to Cooking with Cast Iron-How to Make the Perfect French Toast!

  1. Becky Firesmith says:

    I am drooling over the pic of your french toast. I have been thinking about making some recently but haven’t gotten around to it yet. But your french toast looks so ‘toasty’ and chewy that I want to go out and get myself an iron skillet before I make another batch! : ) I will let you know how it turns out. Thanks for the great pics!!

    • Rebekah (We Live Inspired) says:

      You will like it better in cast iron. I have more cast iron recipes to share, so you may want to get a pan at some point ;). Toasty french toast..haha. You are welcome and I can’t wait to hear what you think of the french toast when you make it.

  2. A little ironic that you use Italian bread for French toast, lol. I love French toast but our cast iron was scrubbed to death by my hubby’s aunt. Hoping to revive it with a good seasoning, but not sure I can stomach the smell of putting it in the oven while being pregnant.
    Thaleia Maher (@Something2Offer) recently posted..We’re Growing and so are the Hill Family!My Profile

    • Rebekah (We Live Inspired) says:

      I so thought the same thing Thaleia! It’s weird that Italian bread made the best French toast haha. I tried it with French bread, but the bread is more hard and crusty, which wasn’t what I was looking for in this case. Go figure that Italian won out :) I do have a post on re-seasoning if you need tips because I had a pan like that also. Maybe make the hubby (or whoever else you can think of) re-season it while you are out shopping or doing something else? :) Thanks for stopping by to comment!

  3. I made french toast this weekend for our granddaughter, It would have been fun to make it in a cast iron skillet. Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things hop xo P.S. the new giveaway started Friday :-)
    Katherines Corner recently posted..With Love GiveawayMy Profile

    • Rebekah (We Live Inspired) says:

      I bet she loved that! I must have missed the giveaway, unless I already entered and forgot :) Well I will head on over then and see! Have a great weekend Katherine.

  4. Thanks for the recipe! I have started making my own bread, and it sounds like it will be a good french toast fit so I will try it out.
    Billy @ Wagner Cast Iron recently posted..How To Restore Cast IronMy Profile

    • Rebekah (We Live Inspired) says:

      You are so welcome! I see you have a cast iron website, so I take it you will be making your French Toast in cast iron too. :) It really does make the best French Toast! I also make my own bread, but have not tried this recipe yet with homemade bread. I bet your French Toast will be excellent. If you feel so inclined, feel free to pop back and let me know how it turned out with your homemade recipe!

  5. Kathy says:

    i have Texas toast could I try that bread instead of Italian bread since I have it I do have a cast iron skillet
    Thanks Kathy

    • Rebekah (We Live Inspired) says:

      Hi Kathy! I’m all for having fun in the kitchen and trying new things because you never know what you’ll stumble upon :). So YES, feel free to try Texas toast for your French Toast. A cast iron skillet seems to make a difference period. I’ve tried this French toast recipe with a few different breads by now (cinnamon raisin too!) and this particular Italian bread just seems to be my favorite supermarket brand thus far. It will be good with Texas toast though. Also- Texas toast makes GREAT grilled cheese in a cast iron skillet. I think I may have written a post here on doing grilled cheese as well if you want to search the site for it. Have fun and thanks for stopping by!

  6. Erica olson says:

    What setting do you have your skillet at? High medium or low? Thanks.

    • Rebekah (We Live Inspired) says:

      Hi Erica! This is a good question, so thanks for posting. Cast Iron is a good heat conductor, so you won’t want to cook your stuff on high. I typically have my skillet on low/medium. I quite often preheat the pan on medium while I’m making the french toast, and then as the pan gets hotter I turn it down to in between low/Medium. Hope this helps!

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