Tips & Techniques

The Optimal French Toast is Crusted in Cereal

July 22, 2016

Your French toast will be soggy no more: We partnered with Annie's to share a cereal-crusted version that brings the crunch—and a chance to win $475 for your dream breakfast setup.

The problem with French toast is the monotonous sop—or, on the opposite side of the spectrum, the dry sponginess. (You know you have this when a knife rubs against the bread like it's a foam mattress.)

But, by taking the time to add an extra step, or maybe two, to your usual method, you'll achieve a multidimensional French toast: not just custardy, but snappy, too.

Here's how: Dip thick slices of challah in eggs and milk (I use buttermilk for tang), then gently press it into a crumble of dry, crunchy ingredients (like cereal and nuts), using a spoon or your fingers to make sure the pieces have really adhered. Send the slice for a second dip into the wet and dry mixtures to ensure the shaggy outside really stays on, then fry in a skillet as usual.

Go French toast, get custardy, get crunchy. Photo by James Ransom

A few pointers: You want to make sure all of the dry ingredients are fairly crushed. Big pieces won't stick to the bread quite as easily. Don't get the heat in the skillet too high or you'll risk burning the somewhat delicate seeds and coconut shreds. And be sure, between slices, to remove any parts of the crust that fall off as you've flipped—those can smoke and burn.

Other ideas for customizing your crunchy French toast:

  • Add ground spices: cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg—or go totally savory and try za'atar, smoked paprika, coriander
  • Extracts, too (whisk into the liquids): lemon, almonds, vanilla, rosewater, orange blossom water
  • Use pulverized granola as your base or a mix of your favorite cereals (or the boxes you have around)
  • Mix in freeze-dried fruit powder for strawberry or blueberry French toast
  • Throw in more nuts (sliced almonds, chopped hazelnuts)
  • And more seeds: poppy, black sesame, chopped pumpkin or sunflower
  • If your egg-milk mixture is unsweetened, add a tablespoon or two of raw sugar to the dry ingredients for sweet pops

Annie's is debuting three brand new cereals this summer, and they're also giving away $475 for your own dreamy breakfast tablescape—put your name in the hat here!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Susie
  • Connor Bower
    Connor Bower
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.


Susie July 22, 2016
The best french toast I've ever had was also soaked in some rum! I usually hate rum, but this was perfect.
Connor B. July 22, 2016
That sounds amazing! Stealing that idea.