These French toasts are incredibly pillowy, lightly sweet and so satisfying. Top them off with your favorite garnishes and you’ve got yourself the perfect weekend brunch recipe!
Growing up, two of my favorite brunch dishes were thin, French-style crepes and French toast. I would always get so excited about the weekend, because I knew my mom would make either one of those delicious sweet breakfasts.
French toast had a particular special place in my heart though. Although I made crepes alone way before French toast, when I learned to make French toast & realized how easy it was to make and they quickly became my go to (and my mom’s too since she’s never been one to love spending lots of time in the kitchen).
My childhood French toasts were a bit different than these ones though... They were made with simple sliced white bread. This made the slices a little bit too soggy, something I realized in retrospect. That is why I made this specific recipe with thick crusty bread. You know the kind that has these gorgeous air bubbles inside. Yep. So good & absolutely perfect for French toast.
The key about making a successful French toast, is making sure that each of your slices of bread absorb a good amount of liquid. Don’t worry, if your bread is thick, it will not be too soggy. On the contrary, this will allow you to enjoy a lovely crunchy crust as well as a deliciously pillowy center.
Also, because I wanted to make a vegan version of a childhood classic, I used a mix of chia seeds and chickpea flour to act as the eggs. When mixed together with the other ingredients, the chia seeds and the chickpea flour will thicken your batter, just the way a regular egg would.
Another key tip I learned as a child is that we all end up drenching our French toast with maple syrup. Therefore, I kept the maple syrup in the batter to a minimum: 1 tablespoon.
A FEW NOTES ON THIS RECIPE
As mentioned earlier, I highly recommend a using thick rustic bread slices to ensure that your French toast does not end up soggy.
Also, feel free to use any kind of milk. I personally made this recipe with almond milk, but it would work just as well with soy milk, cashew milk, oat milk and even hemp milk. However, I would not encourage you try this recipe with full fat coconut milk as it might turn out too heavy.
In terms of toppings, have fun with them! Use whatever you have on hand. This French toast would be delicious with:
Any kind of berries
Coconut whipped cream
Vegan ice cream (why not, you’ll make this recipe on the weekend anyways ;))
Caramelized apples, pears and peaches
Any kind of chopped nuts and much much more!
I hope you guys give this recipe a try and if you do, make sure to leave a comment below and let me know how you find it! Also, feel free to share this recipe or your creations on Instagram by tagging me (@muriellebanackissa).
Happy Brunchin’ !
Rustic Vegan French Toast
Prep time : 5 minutes
Cooking time : 25 minutes
Total time : 30 minutes
Yield : 5 slices
1 1/2 cup unsweetened plant based milk
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp ground chia seeds
1 tbsp chickpea flour
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
Coconut oil or vegan butter for frying
1 large crusty loaf of bread, cut into 5 slices *
Caramelized banana slices**
Preheat oven to 200ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add milk, maple syrup, chia seeds, chickpea flour, vanilla, cinnamon and salt to a large bowl.
Mix to combine.
Heat a pan over medium heat. When hot, add a teaspoon of coconut oil or vegan butter onto the pan and spread evenly.
Dip one slice of bread into your French toast mixture, making sure it absorbs quite a bit of liquid. Gently tap the slice of bread on the side of your bowl to get rid of any excess liquid.
Place slice on the pan and cook until golden brown.
Flip and cook until golden on the second side.
When ready, transfer to the oven to keep warm.
Repeat with the remaining 4 slices.
Transfer to a plate and enjoy with your favorite toppings. I personally garnished my French toast with caramelized banana slices, fresh strawberries, pecans and a generous drizzle of maple syrup.
* I cut my slices of bread in half for photo purposes, but feel free to keep them whole.
**To make caramelized bananas, simply heat a pan over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil or vegan butter. Add slices of bananas and cook until golden. Flip and drizzle 1 tablespoon of maple syrup. Cook until caramelized. Serve warm.