Geoffrey Zakarian Explains Why Restaurant French Toast Tastes So Much Better Than Homemade

Geoffrey Zakarian and French toast
Geoffrey Zakarian and French toast - Static Media / Shutterstock / Getty

Iron Chef winner Geoffrey Zakarian has dished out advice on everything from the most flavorful steak au poivre to extra-boozy Long Island iced teas. Recently, he spoke with Tasting Table to give us the lowdown on why French toast is always more satisfying when you order it at a restaurant. If you've ever dug into this treat at your favorite breakfast joint, you know it's the ultimate crave-worthy meal first thing in the morning, in a way that can seem tricky to replicate at home.

According to the chef, the difference comes down to two main elements: the use of high-quality yeasty bread and allowing it time to properly soak. While you can use regular old white bread at home, you may want to give yours an upgrade — try subbing in thick-cut slices of brioche instead. We'd also recommend challah or a country loaf as two of the best types of bread for French toast, both of which can stand up to the wet ingredients without disintegrating. When it comes to soaking, consider a longer time frame than you may be used to. "You can't just dip quickly and fry," says Zakarian. He recommends soaking thick bread overnight and pan frying it in butter the next morning, noting that "the bread should feel heavy from being soaked with the batter."

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How To Get Restaurant-Quality Results At Home

french toast stack with berries
french toast stack with berries - Jmichl/Getty Images

It's not just the ingredients or technique that make a difference in restaurant French toast, as the equipment used by a chef matters too. Luckily, you can replicate this part in the comfort of your kitchen. Zakarian recommends a nonstick cast iron pan. As he tells Tasting Table, "Cast iron is a good conductor of heat, gets hot and stays hot evenly, and creates that great crisp on the bread." Once you do fire up your skillet, make sure to keep the heat at medium or lower to further prevent any sticking.

Another Zakarian-approved way to upgrade your French toast at home is to incorporate a tasty flavor, like a strawberry syrup topping or a soak that involves chamomile-infused heavy cream. If you're looking for a more tropical vibe, combine crushed macadamia nuts and shredded coconut to dip your slices into after the egg soak. Of course, before you get fancy, start with Zakarian's initial advice and make sure your basic ingredients and preparation techniques are top-notch.

Read the original article on Tasting Table