Sourdough French Toast

Sourdough French Toast

French toast is a classic weekend breakfast for many reasons: it’s simple, customizable, and comes together with items most people have on hand. One spin on this classic involves using sourdough bread instead of the traditional brioche. The slightly sour flavor of the bread works surprisingly well with the warming spices in this recipe. Also, it’s a great way to use up the rest of a loaf that might be going stale.

If you are not one for an overly sweet breakfast, sourdough is definitely more savory than brioche, making it a great option for you. If you’ve got leftovers, store them in the freezer in a freezer bag, then reheat them on the stovetop with a bit of butter. You can also use these thick slices to make an easy Monte Cristo sandwich.

“Challah has always been my go-to for French toast, but this recipe showed me how wonderful sourdough can be! The center of the bread gets soft, almost custardy, while the crust provides a great textural contrast. The soaking mixture is just a touch sweet and warm with spices, working perfectly with a final drizzle of maple syrup.” —Kayla Hoang

Tester Image A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half

  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 8 (1-inch thick) slices stale sourdough bread

  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, divided, for cooking

  • Fresh berries, for serving

  • Maple syrup, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    sourdough French toast ingredients

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker

  2. Add the eggs, heavy cream or half-and-half, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to a shallow dish and whisk well to combine.

    Sourdough bread and French toast batter in a dish

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker

  3. Place as many slices of bread that will fit into the dish and be fully submerged in the liquid. Allow them to soak in the mixture for 3 minutes, then flip and soak another 3 minutes.

    Sourdough bread slices soaking in French toast batter

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker

  4. Meanwhile, heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet. Once the butter is melted, add one or two pieces of soaked sourdough (they should fit in a single layer in the pan) and cook for about 2 minutes on each side, until slightly golden. Repeat with the remaining butter and soaked bread.

    Sourdough French toast cooking in a pan

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker

  5. Plate and top with fruit and maple syrup, as desired.

    Sourdough French toast on a plate with berries

    The Spruce / Morgan Baker

Drying Out the Bread

This recipe calls for drier bread because it will better absorb the custard before making the French toast. If your bread is not a day old, either:

  • slice it and leave it out overnight on the countertop.
  • toast the bread before making this recipe.

How to Store and Freeze Sourdough French Toast

  • This French toast will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days if kept in a sealed container. Reheat in a toaster or toaster oven, or on the stovetop with a little butter in a hot skillet.
  • You can also freeze prepared French toast. Wrap it in plastic freezer wrap and transfer to a zip-close freezer bag. Toast from frozen and serve immediately.

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