Turn leftover sourdough bread into delicious French toast with a few staple ingredients. Stale sourdough brioche is soaked in maple-sweetened milk and egg batter and caramelized in butter in this easy recipe. Create a café-quality breakfast, brunch, or dessert at home in a few simple steps.
Cooked or baked French toast, also known as pain perdu or eggy bread, is the perfect way to use any leftover sourdough bread. It would be a shame to let hours of fermentation and skill go to waste and there’s no better way than enjoying tangy sourdough in a sweet and spiced caramelized batter.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Best way to use leftovers: Reduce food waste by turning your stale sourdough brioche or bread into a delicious breakfast.
- Quick and easy: It sounds and looks fancy but French toast is a quick and easy recipe.
- Staple ingredients: You can make this delicious meal with a few staple ingredients you most likely have in your pantry and fridge. No cream is required for this recipe.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Sourdough brioche – Stale sourdough brioche slices work incredibly well for this recipe. Make sure you use thick slices, about 3/4-inch / 2 cm thick. You can also use sourdough sandwich bread, classic sourdough boule, or baguette.
- Egg – One egg at room temperature if needed for this recipe.
- Milk – Full-fat milk gives this recipe a rich flavor. You can use lower-fat milk or buttermilk.
- Flour – I recommend using all-purpose or plain flour for the batter.
- Butter – I use salted butter for the batter as well as for frying the toast. Simply add a pinch of salt to the batter if you’re using unsalted butter. Alternatively, you can cook it in a neutral oil such as sunflower oil.
- Maple syrup – Maple syrup not only adds some sweetness to the batter, but I also recommend it as a topping as well.
- Vanilla – Vanilla extract adds extra flavor to the French toast. You can choose vanilla essence or fresh vanilla beans as well.
- Cinnamon – Ground cinnamon adds a warm flavor to the batter but you can easily omit it.
Perfect French toast in 5 easy steps
- Slice stale sourdough bread or brioche into thick 3/4-inch / 2cm slices.
- Prepare the batter by mixing all ingredients thoroughly.
- Soak the sourdough slices in the batter briefly.
- Cook them in melted butter in a pan on medium heat until both sides are golden brown and the batter starts to caramelize.
- Serve the sourdough French toast with your favorite topping.
- The batter should have the consistency of thick, wet paint. Add a dash more milk if it’s too thick.
- If you’re using stale sourdough sandwich bread or a classic sourdough boule instead of brioche, make sure to soak the bread for longer.
- Be generous with the butter when frying the French toast or it will burn easily. Cook it on medium heat until the toast turns golden brown and the batter starts to crisp up and caramelize.
Serve French toast in slices or sticks with any of the following sweet or savory topping ideas:
- Raspberry compote
- Maple or golden syrup, honey
- Powdered sugar
- Baked or fried banana and a crispy rasher of bacon
- Caramel or biscoff sauce, nutella
- Stewed apples and pears
- Jam and whipped cream
- Honey lavender syrup
- Vanilla ice cream
- Nut butter and fresh fruit (peanut butter and fresh strawberries are a popular choice)
- Eggnog as an adult-only choice
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Don’t soak the bread too long in the batter, especially if you’re using fresh bread or brioche. You can toast it before soaking it in the batter to keep it on the crispier side.
Sourdough brioche works incredibly well due to its sweet flavor and soft texture. You can also use sourdough sandwich bread, baguette, or even a rustic sourdough boule but the taste will be slightly sour and they need to soak in the batter for longer.
You can store cooked French toast in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. It also stores well in the freezer for up to 3 months. Simply place some parchment paper between the slices to prevent them from sticking together when freezing them.
Sourdough French Toast
- 4 slices sourdough brioche 3/4 inch / 2 cm thick
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp butter melted
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp butter for frying
- 1/2 cup raspberries fresh or frozen
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- Slice stale sourdough brioche into 3/4 inch / 2 cm slices.4 slices sourdough brioche
- In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and add the milk, melted butter, vanilla extract, and maple syrup. Combine all wet ingredients.1 egg, 1/3 cup milk, 1 tbsp butter, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 1 tsp vanilla extract
- While whisking, add the flour and cinnamon. Mix everything thoroughly until you have a smooth batter.1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- Dip a slice of the sourdough brioche into the batter for 30-60 seconds. Make sure it doesn't get too soggy.4 slices sourdough brioche
- In a medium frypan, melt 1 tsp of butter on medium heat. Add the soaked slices to the frying pan and bake each side for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the slice from the pan and repeat the process for all other slices.1 tbsp butter
- Serve with fresh or frozen raspberries, a dollop of greek yogurt, and a generous drizzle of maple syrup.1/2 cup raspberries, 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, 2 tbsp maple syrup