Quick Bread

How to Turn Quick Bread into French Toast

December 27, 2015

You were the recipient of many neatly-wrapped quick breads this holiday season, and now you're faced with the burden of eating them all.

It's not a bad problem to have—except when the breads are staling and your creativity is waning.

Photo by James Ransom

You could choose the high-maintenance route: Make a trifle by layering cubes of the firm loaf with pastry cream, whipped cream, and a sauce of your choosing. Buckle your seatbelt.

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Or, go the low-maintenance route: Melt butter in a frying pan and sizzle slices of the loaf until they've got a healthy-looking glow once again. Heck, you could even butter those slices and waffle them.

Photo by Mark Weinberg

I propose going halfway and making quick bread French toast. It's one-hundred times easier than making a trifle and it's a better savior than simple griddling: While frying the outside of your quick bread in a frying pan will improve the texture (and flavor) of the exterior, it won't be much help for the stale insides.

The French toast method, on the other hand, ensures that your slices will be revived inside and out. And if you have eggs and some sort of dairy product (like milk or cream) or even non-dairy milk (like soy or almond), you're prepared.

Photo by James Ransom

Here's how to do it:

  1. Crack an egg or two into a bowl, pour in a few glugs of milk or cream or what have you, then add some spices (now's your chance to make that banana bread taste even better) and a pinch of salt, and whisk to combine.

  2. Bathe 1/2 inch-thick slices of the bread in the mixture for 5 minutes or so, squishing them down a little to help the liquid reach the slice's innards. Be careful with soaking time: Slices of quick bread (even stale, firm slices) are tender and porous, with a tendency to disintegrate if left to soak too long. So while you may think that a longer soak is beneficial, it might actually cause the slices to fall apart when you fry them.

  3. Now melt a generous amount of butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat and cook both sides of your bread until it's got lots of little brown veins running through yellow-y soft spots. (You know what good French toast looks like.)

  4. You can serve it with maple syrup or honey or even cream, but the quick bread will be so custardy and pudding-like on its own that that's probably not necessary.

How do you save dry quick bread? Share your tips in the comments!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • piggledy
  • Joan Shiffman Gowan
    Joan Shiffman Gowan
  • Fork on the Road
    Fork on the Road
I used to work at Food52. I'm probably the person who picked all of the cookie dough out of the cookie dough ice cream.


piggledy January 3, 2016
Or, pannetone French toast . . . Yum!
Joan S. January 3, 2016
I use stale cake to make awesome "bread" pudding. Quick breads should work just as well - just cut way back on the added sugar since they are already sweet.
Fork O. December 28, 2015
I have too much bread lying around at this time of year.

I also have eggnog. Perhaps eggnog French toast is a thing.