Cinnamon French Toast Crunch
I know it might not seem like it from my blog, but I am totally a breakfast person. I literally am in love with so many breakfast foods, especially Chinese breakfast! It's a lot more savory than the traditional American breakfasts, which is why I think I like it so much.
However, once in a while, especially with Mother's Day coming, I like to bring on the sweetness. I am so happy I had a hankering for something sweet n' crunchy, and I happened to have everything on hand to put it together.
French toast is definitely made for special breakfasts. It was one of my favorite things as a kid because it meant that dad was actually taking a day off, which meant a tasty breakfast! My mom is more of a banana and milk for breakfast kind of woman, but dad would do it big for breakfast, and one of my favorite things he made was French toast. Of course, he made it with an egg and milk dip, but I am happy to report that it is even more delicious with the vegan replacements you see in this recipe.
It wouldn't be a true Veggie Mama recipe post without a little food history lesson, so first let's learn a lil' about this sweet and soggy (in the best way) breakfast fave.
I should have known that this delectable breakfast treat would have something to do with the ancient Romans. Those folks knew how to do it, and by it, I mean eat. There are different variations of dipped and pan fried from around the world, but it all stems from the need to make use of stale bread. Zero waste? I'm down with that. Just another thing to love about it.
For this recipe, I didn't just want any old French toast. I wanted it to be poppin'. So I added some panko breadcrumbs to the mix to add a bit of deliciously irresistible texture to it. I also just happened to make my own macnut mylk using 1 cup soaked macadamia nuts blended with 3 cups water, then strained. It was super easy to make, and super creamy too! If you haven't made your own nut mylk (insert joke here), you should definitely try sometime (insert additional joke here, just for good measure).
1 C non-dairy milk
1 tbs maple syrup
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 flax eggs
3/4 C panko breadcrumbs
1/4 C flour
1 tbs white sugar
1 tbs brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 baguette, sliced
coconut oil for cooking
powdered sugar and maple syrup, or whatever you like for toppin' and dippin'!
1. In a shallow dish mix together the non-dairy milk, maple syrup, ground cinnamon, vanilla extract, salt, and flax eggs
2. In another shallow dish, mix together panko breadcrumbs, flour, white and brown sugar, cinnamon, and ground nutmeg
3. Add 3 pieces of the sliced baguette to the wet mixture and let soak on each side for about 20 seconds. The bread should have soaked up the mixture a bit.
4. Place the wet baguette in the dry mixture and coat well. Remove and place on a baking pan. Repeat with the remaining slices until all are soaked and coated.
5. Heat a pan on medium-high heat and add the coconut oil. Coconut oil is heat sensitive, so you will likely need to reduce the heat when it starts smoking. Add 3 pieces of the prepared French toast to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown and crispy all around. You will need to continue to add a bit of coconut oil between batches because it will be absorbed by the French toast as it cooks.
6. Optional: *If your bread was on the dry, stale side, you might be able to skip this step. I decided to go for it, so the bread was a bit less soggy. Of course I ate a piece before this step and it was still so yummy.* Bake slices in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 180 degrees C, until cooked inside.
7. Plate and top with powdered sugar and maple syrup.
You can double the recipe and make the whole baguette, which is definitely recommended. My older son and husband were at school so this was enough. If they would have been home (sorry you missed out this time guys!), then a double batch would have been necessary to avoid a fight in the living room.