Fresh Bread Is Ruining Your French Toast

Fresh Bread Is Ruining Your French Toast
Don't mess it up with fresh bread.

French toast is not only a glorious start to the weekend, it’s also a great way of using up leftovers. I don’t like waste. I do like luxe-yet-easy-to-make breakfasts. It’s a match made in heaven.

Look in your fridge and you’ve probably got all the ingredients for the perfect French toast just sitting there. It’s basically just bread soaked in an egg mixture, then fried in a pan with lots of butter.

But the secret to really great French toast is in the bread, of course. You might be inclined to go for a stock-standard white bread loaf, or even brioche. You would be wrong.

You want stale sourdough. While fresh sourdough is an absolute delight on its own — or slathered in top-shelf butter — it’s when it’s a day or two old that magic happens. I even used sourdough from my freezer and it came up a treat. Sourdough holds together better than those lighter white breads, and is nowhere near as sugary as brioche.

How to turn stale bread into the best French toast

This recipe is extra luxe — it’s a collab between Westward Whiskey and Cornersmith (masters of using up everything in your pantry).

What you’ll need:

  • 4 slices of stale sourdough bread
  • 3 tbsp full cream milk
  • 2 eggs
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp butter for frying
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp Westward Whiskey


  1. Start with the whiskey butter (oh you read that right). Mash the unsalted butter and whiskey together with a fork until you have a whipped butter consistency (think like the stuff you get with Macca’s hotcakes). You can keep it in the fridge for up to three weeks.
  2. Whisk the eggs, milk and cinnamon together in a bowl (go for a fairly wide, shallow one to make it easy to dip the bread into). Soak the bread on both sides. Melt the remaining butter in a pan and then fry the eggy bread for 2 minutes each side or until golden and crispy.
  3. Top your French toast with the whiskey butter and, if you want, some honey or maple syrup and fruit (peaches, nectarines and strawberries are excellent options).

Lah-di-dah and low on cost. A great start to the day.


  • It is interesting to note what the French call “French Toast”. I asked this question of a French colleague when I was working in France a few years ago. She told me it is called “Pain perdu” which literally translated is “lost bread”. It’s origins are exactly as you have said in this article, a way of using bread that is stale or otherwise “lost”. And believe me, the French love their bread!

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