‘Whatever you’ve got’ French toast

If there’s one thing you’ve almost definitely got left over after festivities, it’s bread. Whether that’s hi-tin, brioche, challah, or just a sandwich loaf, you can make use of it all in a classic French toast. And the best part is, that you can also put that bottomless jug of custard in there too.


  • 1 loaf of bread (brioche, challah, hi-tin… whatever’s left in the bread basket really!)
  • 2 cups runny custard
  • or
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup (250 ml) milk
  • 50 ml pouring cream see tips
  • 1/2 tsp salt flakes
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

For frying

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp neutral - flavoured oil I like grape-seed oil

To serve

  • Icing sugar for dusting
  • Maple syrup for drizzling
  • Salt flakes for sprinkling
  • Zest of 1 orange optional


  • Cut your bread into thick slices
  • In a bowl big enough for soaking your slices in, whisk the eggs, milk, cream, salt and vanilla together – or just pour in the leftover custard, and then whisk in enough milk to make up two generous cups’ worth with the consistency of pouring cream.
  • Lay your bread slices in the eggy mixture for 8-10 minutes, carefully flipping them over after 5.
  • Heat a tablespoon of butter in a frying pan over medium-low heat, then splash in a tablespoon of oil. Working in batches, fry your French toast for 3-4 minutes, until the underbelly turns a glorious shade of golden brown, then carefully flip them over with a spatula to cook the other side.
  • Fry the remaining slices in the same way, adding more butter and oil to the pan each time.
  • Serve warm, dusted with icing sugar, drizzled with maple syrup, sprinkled with salt flakes and maybe some orange zest. Feel free to top with the squashy berry compote below.


If you don’t have pouring cream, but some other kind of cream is sitting in your fridge (everything from double to crème fraiche or sour cream!), then use that and add extra milk to make up the viscosity.