Adding new twists to classic French toast

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Salted quiche-style French toast, top, vegetable juice French toast, middle, and classic French toast

French toast is a popular breakfast option as it can be made using ingredients already found in the kitchen. The classic French toast is fantastic, of course, but putting a twist on a classic, such as by adding vegetable juice, can lead to new and interesting discoveries.

Maki Shimada, food researcher and owner of French restaurant Irreel bis in Jiyugaoka, Tokyo, walks us through a few recipes.

With the recent rise in interest in bread, French toast has been making a comeback.

“The appeal is that you can make stale bread taste great again,” Shimada said. “It’s so moist that anyone, from young children to the elderly, can easily eat it.”

Shimada uses a resealable bag to make sure the bread completely soaks up the egg mixture.

“Just by lightly massaging [the bread] from the outside is enough,” she said. “This way, your hands will stay clean.”

First, we will make a classic French toast to get the basics down. The texture of a soft, chewy baguette is enjoyable.

Classic French toast

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • ½ baguette
  • 20 grams unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 180 ml milk
  • 50 grams frozen mixed berries
  • 50 ml maple syrup
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tbsp sugar


  • 1. Add the eggs and sugar into a bowl and beat until completely mixed. Then add milk and stir. Pour the mixture into a resealable bag.
  • 2. Slice the baguette into 3-centimeter-thick slices and place into the bag. Seal the bag, gently move the bread around to allow the egg mixture to soak in, then let sit for five minutes. If the baguette is quite hard, let it sit for about an hour.
  • 3. Heat butter in a frying pan, then take out the bread from the bag and place it on the pan. Set it to low heat and brown both sides of the bread
  • 4. After plating, top it off with 2-centimeter-thick slices of banana, frozen mixed berries and maple syrup.

French toast is quite thick and filling, and it goes great with the fruit topping. Adding sweet vegetable juice or carrot juice also complements the flavor of the French toast.

The vegetable juice French toast was made using plain sliced bread. Two slices from a five-slice loaf is suitable for the recipe.

Vegetable juice French toast

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 2 slices of bread
  • 20 grams unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 60 ml milk
  • 1 tbsp suga
  • 120 ml vegetable juice
  • Powdered sugar for topping


The Yomiuri Shimbun
Bread is placed into a resealable bag with an egg mixture and vegetable juice.
  • 1. Mix the eggs and sugar in a bowl, then add milk and vegetable juice. Put the sliced bread into a resealable bag along with the egg mixture and let it sit for five minutes.
  • 2. Heat up the butter in a frying pan and brown both sides of the bread. After plating, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

“There are times when the bread soaks up too much of the egg mixture,” Shimada said. “Please be very careful when taking the bread out of the resealable bag or flipping it over in the frying pan.”

For those who prefer a savory dish, there is the salted quiche-style French toast, which tastes great with a little powdered cheese on top, and pairs well with wine.

Quiche-style French toast

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 2 slices of bread
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 180 ml milk
  • 3 tbsp powdered Parmesan cheese
  • 2 strips of bacon
  • ¼ stalk of spinach
  • 10 grams unsalted butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  • 1. Add the eggs, ¼ teaspoon of salt, powdered cheese and a pinch of black pepper in a bowl and mix. Then add milk. Place the sliced bread and egg mixture into a resealable bag and let it sit for five minutes.
  • 2. Slice the bacon into 5-millimeter-wide pieces and cut the spinach into 3-centimeter-long portions. Add butter to the pan and fry the bacon. Then add the spinach and sprinkle a little salt and pepper.
  • 3. Heat olive oil in a separate pan and brown both sides of the bread. Plate the French toast, then place the bacon and spinach beside it.

The smell of cheese can be intoxicating, and the dish can look even more professional if a fried egg is placed on top, among other toppings.

“Feel free to use your imagination and play around with the dish,” Shimada said.