French toast (Pain perdu)

“Today I learnt why it’s called French toast, but this recipe is far more interesting than that story!”

Growing up, there was only one breakfast I can remember my dad making me. He never really cooked that much. So naturally when he did, those moments stuck out. This breakfast was, you guessed it; French toast.

I mean, there was a reason he didn’t cook so much, because quite often it involved tossing a rather ecclectic mix of ingredients together and making it work. It usually would turn out like mush. However, I think his French toast was quite possible the one that didn’t.

I remember my Mama always used to giggle at the ingredients he popped in. Cinnamon, syrup, sugar, salt – when Mama made it for us, it was simply egg, milk and bread. But sorry Mama – I think Dad was onto something here.

Want to skip to the recipe?

You don’t need egg!

you don't need egg in the vegan french toast mix

It’s been a long time since I’ve eaten egg. And I have no plans to again.  I can still remember the texture though and this French toast recipe, vegan, and without eggs, does a pretty good job of replicating that.

If you’ve ever used flaxseed as an egg replacer, you will know how it reacts with liquid and how it thickens. If you haven’t, and you’re plant-based or vegan, I’d suggest making it a cupboard staple due to it’s versatile application in many recipes. It not only has a range of great nutritional properties but it really boosts the texture and acts as a decent egg replacer in cakes, sauces and in this recipe.

It can be pricey in most local food shops, but I’d suggest shopping around, browsing the offers in your local supermarket, online or even via Amazon.  You generally only need a teaspoon in most recipes, so a 500g bag should last you a decent chunk of time.

Old bread?

Ideally this recipe works a lot better with bread that’s at least a day or so old. Just because there’s always the chance it could go soggy – and nobody likes soggy bread. However, the cornflour in this recipe will give it a bit of crisp – so don’t worry too much if you’ve just nipped to the shop to buy some – it’ll still work. Maybe just add an extra bit of cornflour to ensure there is crisp AND of course don’t soak for too long to ensure the middle is just as crisp as the edges.

 

The Recipe

PREP TIME: 5 mins

COOKING TIME: 5 mins

COST: < £3

MAKES? 4 SLICES

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices of thick cut bread (wholemeal, crusty or ciabatta usually work and preferably a day old at least)
  • 1 cup of plant milk (soy or almond work best)
  • 2 tablespoons of cornflour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons of maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 1 teaspoon of ground flaxseed
  • 2 teaspoons of vegan butter or coconut oil for frying

Toppings:

I usually think pancakes and then pick from any of those toppings. So think, berries, banana, maple syrup, agave syrup, coconut, pecans, almonds, speculoos, chocolate hazelnut spread, pears and apples – go nuts!

Method:

  • In a jug combine all of the ingredients except the bread and butter/oil
  • Whisk together well
  • Add the vegan butter/oil to a frying pan over medium heat and melt
  • Whisk the batter again to prevent the cornflour from sticking to the bottom and pour into a shallow, wide bowl – big enough for a slice of bread
  • Dip each side of the bread and let soak for 5-10 seconds depending on the thickness of the bread
  • Add one slice of bread to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown
  • Add more butter/oil to the pan as required between cooking each slice
  • Serve with you choice of toppings

Have you given this recipe a go? Let me know how it turned out.