French toast is a breakfast classic, but it’s not necessarily easy to get right. If you’ve ever made it and walked away with a plate of soggy, lifeless toast, you’re not alone. Even if you like the end result, it can be annoying to set aside your perfectly cooked French toast to wait for it to finish drying out. When you want to make French toast, you should approach it with a few specific goals in mind.
First, use thick slices of bread so that they soak up flavor but still maintain some structure.
Second, cook the French toast low and slow to allow the moisture to evaporate (and don’t flip it too early).
And finally, avoid cooking your French toast in a pan that’s too small or overcrowded; this prevents the moisture from evaporating properly.
Here are 4 common mistakes people make while making French toast that will help you avoid soggy French toast in the future.
Failing to Let the Bread Soak
Soaking the bread is essential for good French toast, but it’s easy to take it too far. If you leave the bread in the mixture for too long, it will get too saturated and may fall apart when you try to flip or remove it from the pan. Aim for a happy medium where the bread has taken on about half of the liquid.
If you’re using a standard slice of bread, start testing for doneness after two minutes of soaking. If your slices are particularly thick or crusty, you may need to soak them longer; five minutes is a good starting point. You can always soak them longer if you need to, but if your bread has soaked up too much liquid and is falling apart, you’ll want to move on to the next step before things get worse.
When you’re ready to remove the soaked slices of bread from the mixture, use a slotted spatula (be sure not to scrape off any batter clinging to the slices) and lift them out gently. Place them on a clean plate and let them sit for a few minutes while your skillet re-heats.
Frying the Bread Too Quickly
If you’re looking to avoid soggy French toast, cooking the bread at a lower temperature is your best bet. If you’re not in the mood to wait for the full soak to happen, there are a few things you can do. For one, try using a larger pan so that the heat can distribute more evenly, which will help evaporate moisture.
You can also try cooking your French toast in batches. Pour all of your batter into the pan and then cook it for about 3 minutes on each side. Once it’s done, slide it out to a plate and cover with foil while you cook up another batch. Then, once all of the slices are cooked to your liking, serve them all at once on warmed plates so that they don’t sit around too long.
Cooking the French toast slices quickly will cause them to dry out before they have time to soak up much flavor. If you want your French toast slices to fully absorb the custard mixture, allow them to cook at a lower temperature for a longer period of time.
Using a Small Pan or Overeating the Bread
If your French toast is cooking in a large pan, there’s a better chance the moisture will evaporate. The larger the surface area of the pan, the quicker the moisture will be able to escape. But if you’re using a small pan, that won’t help.
Similarly, if you’re just using one or two slices of bread at a time, the heat from the pan isn’t distributed evenly enough to evaporate all of the moisture quickly. This means your French toast is more likely to steam in its own moisture rather than dry out.
If you find yourself with more bread than you can cook in one batch, don’t try to cram it all into your pan. Instead, make another batch in a separate skillet so that each batch has enough space to cook properly.
If you make these mistakes, your French toast will likely end up soggy and disappointing. But if you keep them in mind as you cook it, you’ll be able to set them aside and wait for it to dry out before enjoying it.
Using the Wrong Type of Bread
While it’s true that any type of bread can be used for French toast, some types work better than others. Quick breads like bagels and brioche are great choices because they’re naturally rich and flavorful and they have a dense enough texture that they won’t fall apart in the pan. But don’t just pick any type of quick bread; make sure it’s big enough to slice thickly without falling apart.
Another type of bread that works well for French toast is challah. Known for its rich flavor and tender, airy texture, challah is a great choice for just about any purpose. However, unlike bagels or brioche, challah is not meant to be sliced thickly because it won’t hold together well. To avoid soggy French toast, slice your challah thinly so that it soaks up plenty of liquid before falling apart.
Finally, whole grain breads do not make good French toast because they are too dense and hearty to soak up much liquid before becoming soggy. If you want to use whole grain bread for French toast, consider using it in a batter so that the bread has something to cling to while allowing the moisture to evaporate properly.
In conclusion, making French toast can be tricky. It’s important to understand the three common mistakes that lead to soggy French toast. This includes not using a thick enough bread, not cooking the French toast long enough, and using too much egg mixture. If you can avoid these mistakes, you’ll be sure to make delicious French toast every time. Furthermore, you should also experiment with different types of bread, egg mixtures and cooking times to find the perfect recipe for your tastes. With a bit of practice and patience, you’ll be able to make perfect French toast every time.