This Bombay toast aka French toast recipe will unquestionably up your breakfast game like never before. There’s nothing better than starting the weekend with these fluffy French Toast smothered in real maple syrup and berries!
But in India, we never grew up with maple syrup and berries but we sure did have french toast for breakfast or evening chai snacks accompanied by endless tea. 😋Also, who calls it French toast? not my family! We call this Bombay toast or more colloquially - rotti vaatiye! 🤣
We love sweet dishes for breakfast, especially on a saturday morning. Balaleet is on a repeat so are my Oats and pancakes. If you are into savoury breakfast, try my savoury french toast with mint and coriander, a huge hit.
Now, let's get to the topic of the day - French Toast which is essentially the sweet Bombay toast! To make a good french toast, we need to start with a good slice of bread. So, which kind of bread should you use?
Which bread is best for french toast?
A good old white bread or milk bread is what every mom in India must have used in the 90s to make Bombay toast aka french toast. Now the world is fancier so we get a french baguette, challah, brioche, etc from the store next door (mostly).
Whatever bread you are using, make sure it is at least a day old which makes the best french toast. I usually use the normal white bread or brown bread or store-bought baguette! But sometimes I do splurge on a pack of brioche for a fancy saturday brunch, you should do too!
Now, let's look at what else you need to make a simple french toast.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Eggs: We need eggs, but if for health reasons you want to avoid eggs, then you may replace them with approx 2 tablespoon of any flour or custard powder.
- Full-fat milk: You may replace it with dairy-free milk
- Cream: Heavy or whipping cream. If you don't have or don't want to use it, then just add more milk.
- Sweetener: Any kind of sugar you have - adjust accordingly
- Flavour: cinnamon powder, cardamom powder, banana extract, almond extract, vanilla extract etc. You do you!
- a pinch of salt: a must!
- Bread: stale bread
- Butter: unsalted. If using salted butter, then skip adding salt to the batter
- Serve with: more butter, maple syrup, honey, etc.
How do you make French toast from scratch?
Once you learn how to make a basic French Toast, this will become a go-to recipe when you’re in a rush! This is a very easy and versatile recipe that anyone can whip up. To make it easy to remember I always associate a ratio with my recipes. For the french toast, I go with "every 1 egg needs ¼ cup liquid" So, the ¼ cup liquid can be a mixture of milk and cream or all milk.
- Make the batter: whisk together all the ingredients except the bread and butter.
- Heat butter in a skillet until melted
- Dip each slice of bread into the egg mixture and place on the pan
- Check if the bottom is browned, then turn with a spatula and cook the other side until browned and cooked through!
- Serve with a drizzle of your favourite syrup like honey, maple, pancake syrup, etc
If you want to make it with just 1 egg, then use a ¼ cup of liquid in the form of milk and cream or just milk. The recipe makes enough for 2 to 3 people – but that depends on how hungry you are. The size of a bread slice varies across different types and brands and so you may need fewer or more slices to use up the batter. Likewise, if you have leftover batter but no more bread, just make a sweet omelette or add some flour and make pancakes or crepes!
What can go wrong with french toast? You either end up with too-dry french toast or too-soggy toast. I have been on both ends!
The too dry happens when you didn't soak the bread enough in the egg mixture and the soggy happens when it is soaked too much and also not cooked through. A dry french toast is when you can see the middle of the toast dry when you take a bite because the egg mixture didn't reach the inside of the slice. The soggy french toast is when it is browned on both sides but still wet and heavy in the middle because it is not cooked through. You may have placed the bread on a very hot pan and removed it when you saw them well browned.
I grew up having Bombay toast with a cup of tea - not even honey. But it is 2020! We have so many options and ideas! I recently got a bottle of maple syrup from Spinneys and you know where it went? Yes, on my stack of french toast! It is not cheap so I don't indulge in it often. So while I still advocate that French Toasts need no company (if you have flavoured the batter well enough) it is always pleasing for the eye to add some fruits, syrups, berries, etc.
French Toast | Bombay Toast
For the french toast batter
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup full-fat milk
- ¼ cup whipping cream or just use more milk (you can go up to ½ cup)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- 6 to 8 bread slices stale preferred - meaning a day or two old
- 1 to 2 tablespoons butter
- maple syrup or honey or pancake syrup
- berries or fruits
- Heat a cast-iron skillet or griddle or any flat non-stick pan you have on a low to medium flame.
- Add all the batter ingredients (except bread and butter) into a shallow dish like a brownie pan or pie dish (this helps to dip the bread slices evenly). Whisk until there are no large traces of egg yolk strands.
- You may cut the bread slice further as a triangle or small squares or leave it as is.
- Add butter to the hot griddle and spread it all over the pan.
- Dunk one bread slice into the egg mixture for about 20 seconds on each side and place it on the hot buttered skillet. Repeat with bread slices as much as the pan can hold.
- Toast until golden brown on both sides which is for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side depending on the thickness of your bread. Cooking time can vary based on the thickness and density of the bread as well as the amount of egg soaked into the bread.
- Drizzle maple syrup or honey over each slice as you stack them up. Serve immediately topped with some butter, berries or banana or any seasonal fruit.