The Obvious French Toast Hack We've Been Missing Out On All Along

French toast with syrup and fruit
French toast with syrup and fruit - Jmichl/Getty Images

No brunch isn't made a little bit better with a couple of slices of hot French toast. In its most basic form, this staple is a bit of breakfast magic because you only need eggs, milk, sugar, and sliced bread to make a dreamy plate of fluffy toast. You don't even need fresh bread, which makes French toast a perfect bargain-friendly recipe, as it uses up stale slices that might get thrown away otherwise. The drier the bread, the more it will soak up the delicious egg mixture, and the more toast you'll have for slathering with maple syrup and whipped cream. However, if you want to make what is arguably the world's best French toast, start with actual toast.

The word toast might be in the dish's name, but most people tend to make their French toast with soft slices of fresh (or nearly fresh) bread. However, with a quick browning in a pop-up toaster or toaster oven, you can add caramelized flavor to your French toast -- and soak more of the yummy custard mixture into your breakfast slices.

Read more: French Cooking Tricks You Need In Your Life

Toast Small Batches In A Pop-Up Toaster

two slices of toast in a toaster
two slices of toast in a toaster - Image Source/Getty Images

It might surprise you to discover that French toast isn't French at all. It has been around for thousands of years. The first recipe appeared in Rome around 300 A.D.; for a long time, it was known as simply "Roman bread." Even French people called it this for a long time, but today, it is typically referred to as "pain perdue," which translates to "lost bread" and refers to rescuing stale bread. Somewhere along the line, someone decided to call it toast, perhaps because they figured out that extra dry bread makes better French toast.

If you want to try making toasty French toast, or you've got very fresh bread that needs drying out, all you need to do is pre-toast a few slices of bread (or substitute croissants for the bread and toast them) before dipping them into the custard mixture for griddling. If you're only making French toast for one or two people, you can use a two- or four-slice pop-up toaster to get the job done. It's okay to work in batches because the bread doesn't need to be hot to soak up the custard -- just dry. However, if you're making French toast for a crowd, you should find ways to scale up your toasting game.

How To Make French Toast For A Crowd

French toast with butter and honey
French toast with butter and honey - gowithstock/Shutterstock

If you're in charge of making French toast for a crowd, don't waste your time toasting bread piece by piece with a pop-up toaster. When making breakfast or brunch for five or six people, you can toast a few slices of bread simultaneously in a toaster oven. If you've got a bigger crowd or hungry French toast enthusiasts, you can toast a whole loaf of bread in the oven. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and arrange all your bread slices on a wire rack inside a sheet pan. Toast the bread in the oven for 5 or 6 minutes or until you see it turning golden brown. Remember: The goal is to get the bread dry enough to suck up the custard mixture, so don't go overboard and toast the bread until it's very dark.

After you've got a stack of toasted slices, you only need to dip each piece in the custard mix and let it soak until it gets soft. Then, griddle the slices up -- or pop them in the air fryer -- and they'll be ready to serve with all your favorite French toast toppings. The nice thing about using toasted bread is that it will soak up every drop of the custard, so not only will you prevent wasted bread, but you won't waste any egg and milk (or melted ice cream if you're Jacques Pépin), either.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.