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Nate Cooks » Yay for Leftover Bread – Making French Toast

Yay for Leftover Bread – Making French Toast


Let me paint a picture. You have some people over for a pleasant evening of conversation and fun. Perhaps there’s some drinks, some cheese, some cold cuts, and, of course, THE BAGUETTE.

Everyone love, love, loves baguettes. You get to feel sophisticated and French when you bring one to a party, it can be chopped up until many, many conveniently cheese-sized slices, and unless your grocery store is a complete failure, you can be pretty sure that no matter what, the baguette will be at least okay.

However, then the party ends, your friends go home, you go collapse into bed. The next morning you wake up and you’re confronted with both the dirty dishes from the night before and the now-stale half of that baguette. And even though it was soft and sophisticated last night, now it feels like it would be better used out in the backyard to knock around a softball.


Fortunately, stale baguettes make the best French toast ever. Seriously, ever. They’re good the day after and even better two days later. Even if the whole thing is rock-hard, the eggs will soak in as you cook and the toast will be soft and amazing.

I promise.

Here’s what you’ll need to make French Toast:

  • 1/2 of a leftover baguette (free!)
  • 2 eggs ($2.69 a dozen)
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk ($1.19 a quart)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar ($1.19)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon ($0.79)
  • a couple drops of vanilla (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon butter ($2.69 for a 1/2 lb)

(8.55 for 2 servings or 4.27 a serving)

OK, do we really need to spell this one out? It’s totally easy. Start by cutting the baguette on an angle – assume 4-5 slices per person.


Crack the eggs into a bowl and add the milk. Whisk for a minute or so until everything is smooth.Add the sugar, cinnamon and vanilla (if you’re using it). I once added WAY too much vanilla by accident and it was gross, so be careful and just add a few drops.


Now heat up a pan over medium-high heat. Add the butter and let it melt.


Once the pan is ready to go, drop the first slice into the egg mixture and soak it on both sides.


Drop it in the pan and repeat until the pan is full. After a few minutes, check to see if they’re brown, and if so flip.


The second side will cook faster. Add to a plate, and serve with butter and maple syrup.



  • By zoe, June 1, 2009 @ 10:59 am

    Oh man, this is a great trick. Will it work with other stale breads? Or just baguettes?? I’ll remember this next time! Thanks!


    Stash Reply:

    This trick will work with any kind of stale bread, not just baguettes. ;) In fact, French toast was originally conceived as a way to make use of day-old bread.

    Nate’s version looks like New Orleans-style pain perdu.


  • By Amy, June 21, 2009 @ 9:41 am

    Just made the French toast. So good! What would I do without you? Eat poorly is what I would do.


  • By Kim, July 4, 2009 @ 4:04 am

    What a great idea for old baguettes, and great delicious looking pix.


  • By Suzee, November 10, 2009 @ 8:48 pm

    Wow - I would have thought the baguettes would not have gotten that soft - good to know! I’ve only used them for making bread crumbs after…


  • By Kathleen, November 10, 2009 @ 11:28 pm

    Another great leftover bread for French Toast is challah bread. One of my roommates made it for me a few years back and it is delicious! Though, I think baguette French toast is my favorite too.


    Nate Reply:

    I agree, I love challah as well, but sometimes I feel like it doesn’t stand up as well to the egg bath and ends up being a bit goopier than I want it to be. I prefer a really crispy French toast.


  • By mom, November 29, 2009 @ 2:37 pm

    Sheesh. What a time and energy waster that recipe is. Here, try this:

    Cut the bread (any decent bread will do, even whole grain) into large cubes. Beat the eggs, milk, vanilla and brown sugar in a big bowl. Use a fork or a whisk if you have one.

    Pile the bread cubes into the bowl of eggs etc. Push them all down in. Let sit while you butter a baking dish and pre-heat the oven to 350-375 degrees. Then, pour mixture into your buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon and a bit more sugar. Bake for about 25 minutes. If you want it to puff up cover the dish with aluminum foil, uncover last 10 minutes to brown. Serve with creme and real maple syrup.

    Sure, you could put chunks of peeled cored apple into this. Why not?


    Nate Reply:

    Why so negative? We’re just talking French toast here and I’ve been able to whip up some in about 15 minutes or so (a bit longer if there’s a serious hangover involved).

    I think it all comes down to whether you’d rather cook on the stove or in the oven. I’ve had baked French toast similar to your recipe and to be honest, I like my version a bit more. To each his or her own!


    danielle Reply:

    I must say, silly person before Nate’s response here- why would you bother responding to this particular recipe with a different one? If you tried Nate’s and complemented the recipe with another ingredient like reducing some canadian whiskey and adding to the maple syrup before you drizzled it over the crispy buttered fried bread , well okay..tell us..but wtf? who cares about your ‘companies coming’ recipe. Nate here, is talking about ‘in a moment’ what to do with baguette- just like buffalo wings or conception of a child- it just happens..geeez. Thanks Nate- you remind me of what to do with my constancy of baguette…love it!


    Travis Reply:

    I know this is a really old post but wow, I have no idea why someone would be so negative about this. I had some left over baguette and just made this. It was very good, and simple. I doubt it took more than 15 min total. If someone finds 15 min to be too long for making something then I would suggest they should not read food blogs. Unless you buy everything premade 15 minutes is about as fast as it gets for a cooked meal.


  • By George, March 21, 2011 @ 9:19 am

    What “mom’ is referring to above (rather negatively, I might add) would be considered more of a bread pudding than french toast or pain perdu. It is delicious also (I make mine with dried cranberries). But cubed bread is NOT french toast. Great blog Nate, thanks.


  • By Linda, September 20, 2011 @ 3:36 pm

    Try stuffing the baguette with custard and brush the above mentioned mixture on the bread. Put in the oven for about 10 minutes. Garnish with seasoned fruits and whip cream!


  • By Christine, November 16, 2011 @ 2:22 pm

    Just what I needed for a stale loaf I bread I had! Other recipes i looked at were a little too complicated for what I wanted. This = perfect!


  • By Christy, January 15, 2012 @ 1:52 pm

    The best french toast I’ve ever made! The bread turned out soft and chewy. Yum. Thank you for sharing.


  • By Amy, September 9, 2012 @ 2:03 pm

    Loved your recipe! From now on, we will never be wasting another baguette! Thank you!


  • By JulieP, October 5, 2012 @ 11:08 am

    Thanks for the recipe! I came out great! I had extra egg mix so I will save it and make more tomorrow when the baguette is even harder!


  • By Boner, October 13, 2012 @ 11:31 am

    Seriously, Mom is being super rude. Her recipe would take about 40-45 minutes including preheat, anyway.


  • By kiki, November 24, 2012 @ 5:25 am

    woah amazing. the biggest time waster of all? cutting the rock solid bread. felt like my wrist would fall off. but is it worth it? an obvious yes. my mouth drools just thinking about that french toast. and just darn, im out of bread.


Other Links to this Post

  1. The World Loves French Toast « Pastry Methods and Techniques — August 26, 2009 @ 10:33 am

  2. How Pinteresting: Baguette French Toast | — November 1, 2011 @ 9:08 am

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