French toast sticks don't take much longer than plain French toast, but they are way more fun. They turn a regular breakfast into a Saturday morning fun breakfast.
It's just like eating French fries for breakfast!
First, you take your bread and double-decker it; make it like a sandwich. You can put jam in the center. Peanut butter and jam is really cool. If you want more flavor, use a pastry filing; it's more concentrated.
Next, you cut the sandwich into sticks, of approximately equal thickness on all sides. Then you soak them in egg wash like normal French toast and fry them. Simple. Be sure and cook them on all four sides. (Except since you're French toast sticks are twice as thick as regular French toast, turn the temperature down a smidge, and give the heat time to soak through both slices. Don't turn the temperature up unless you like soggy middles.)
Then comes the French fry part. Fill little ramekins, half or three-quarter cup size with your family's favorite syrup. That, of course, would be buttermilk syrup. Then turn the kids and adult kids loose to dip away. Dipping is more fun than using a fork. (Did you ever see anyone eating French fries with a fork?)
Give them different flavors of syrup. Let them have their favorite.
That's the way to make the basic French fry sticks.
Now, what bread should you use?
Every French toast expert recommends slightly stale bread, bread that's stiff enough to and hold it's shape. Homemade bread, from bread a mix, is not loaded with preservatives and will stale quickly enough for French toast in four five days. That's a great way to use your bread mix bread when it starts to stale. But if your bread is not quite stale enough, stick it in a toaster to make it more rigid. As long as you have a toaster, you can make French toast with any bread mix at any time.
Homemade bread from a bread mix will also absorb more of the egg mixture, and therefore, make a better, more custard-like French toast. And you have more choices this way. We offer 60 to 80 bread machine mixes at any given time, including some far different from what stores offer.
Here are some of the breads that we recommend:
- California Raisin Bread Machine Mix
- Pumpkin Walnut Bread Machine Mix
- Sunshine Sunflower Bread Machine Mix
- San Francisco Sourdough Bread Machine Mix
- Cranberry Walnut Bread Machine Mix
- Country Farm White Bread Machine Mix
How to Make Cinnamon Sugar French Toast Sticks
This is the second way to make French toast sticks. Kamie, in our test kitchen, introduced us to these.
Instead of sticking jam between two slices of bread, she cuts thicker slices and cuts them again into sticks 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches square. She soaks the sticks in egg wash, cooks them, and then dredges them in cinnamon sugar.
You'll need a prepared bread mix for these. Store-bought sliced bread is too thin.
- 6 slices of homemade bread sliced 1 1/4-inches thick
- 3 large eggs
- 3 cups milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2-cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- Cut the crusts off the bread. Cut the slices into sticks.
- Combine the eggs, milk, and vanilla in a shallow dish. Mix well.
- Combine the cinnamon and sugar, and put it in a dish that will be used for dredging the French toast sticks.
- Soak the bread sticks in the egg mixture until they absorb the mixture but not until they are soggy.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan and add the bread sticks. Cook them until they are golden brown on each side.
- Use tongs to place and turn the sticks in the cinnamon sugar mixture, making sure to coat on all sides.
- Cook and dredge the remaining sticks, adding more butter as needed.
Baker's note: Kamie used Maple Cinnamon Sugar instead of regular cinnamon sugar. Both of these are great with Buttermilk Syrup.
Bonus: How to Make Apple Pie French ToastWe are including this recipe because it's easy to convert this French toast to French toast sticks. Any bread machine mix will do.
This is apple pie stuffed French toast, not French toast sticks, though you could transform it into sticks. Make it like a sandwich with apple pie filling. You can use canned pie filling or apple pastry filling. Make it, fill it, dip it in egg wash, and cook it on the skillet.