5 great French toast recipes: Yes, you can eat breakfast for dinner

Classic French toast

Classic French toast

(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

There's a simple magic to French toast: The way the soaked bread puffs in the pan, the toast crisping to a rich, golden brown in the hot fat. You can top your French toast with a sprinkling of powdered sugar, or maybe a drizzle of warm maple syrup. This is dessert for breakfast. With each bite, the crisp, almost brittle crust gives way to a tender, soft-as-a-pillow interior, subtle with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg and fragrant notes of vanilla.

You can't beat the simplicity of classic French toast. And yes, you can even it for dinner. Here are five of our favorite recipes. Simply click on the photo to go to each recipe.

Square One Dining's French toast

Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

Square One's take on French toast is thin slices of brioche dipped in a rich, homemade crème anglaise, then grilled to fluffy, golden perfection. You almost don't need butter and maple syrup. Almost.

Mascarpone-stuffed French toast with orange compote

Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

Thinking stuffed French toast? You'll love this take on the classic. Small, mascarpone-stuffed rounds are lightly scented with cinnamon and fried, then topped with a bright orange compote. And it's perfect for company. Just make the compote and assemble the "sandwiches" ahead of time, then fry shortly before serving.

1892 East's crispy French toast

Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

Extra-crispy: Straight from Huntsville, Ala., the trick to this French toast is a combination of cornflakes and buttery palmiers, which add great crunch and rich flavor. With a topping of apples and a dusting of powdered sugar, it makes for a perfect start to the day.

Savory stuffed French toast

You can also make savory French toast. This version is stuffed with bacon, Gruyère cheese and dandelion greens and pan-fried to ooey-gooey perfection. It works well any time of the day.

Classic French toast

And sometimes you just can't beat the classic.

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