10 February 2013

Maggie's Vegan French Toast

Breakfast as a vegan can be super easy (think oatmeal and fruit), but many people think it's a difficult meal to veganize due to Americans' heavy reliance on things like eggs and breakfast meats. However, that perception is wholly unfounded! It's easy to veganize nearly every breakfast food you can think of, often far more easily than you might imagine. For example, commercial mixes for pancakes and waffles are often vegan (though check carefully, because some are not), substitutions can lead to things like a killer vegan quiche, and there are a ton of faux meat things you can buy.

One of the few breakfast tastes that eluded me, however, was french toast. Sure, I could make something cinnamony and delicious, but I couldn't get it to have that "eggy" taste that I associated with the french toast of my pre-vegan days. But after a ton of experimentation and recipe perusal, I zeroed in on a french toast recipe that has the flavor and texture that I love. The keys are the use of garbanzo bean (chickpea) flour, high quality bread gone stale, and a slow cook time.


Maggie's Vegan French Toast
Ingredients
2 c. vanilla soymilk (I use "light" but see Helpful Hints)
4 slightly rounded T. flour, at least half garbanzo bean flour
3 tsp. sugar
3 T. nutritional yeast
cinnamon to taste
slices of stale bread

Directions
1. Combine all ingredients (except bread) and combine well. I opt to put half of each ingredient into a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake (and then repeat with the other half), but you can use a whisk or a blender as well.
2. Pour mixed batter into a pie plate or a similarly shaped dish.
3. Put in as many pieces of bread as will fit, allowing them to soak up the batter. Flip them once or twice.
4. Cook the slices over med-low heat in a non-stick skillet or on a non-stick griddle. You may want to grease the skillet/griddle a bit, as these things are sticky! Flip once.

Helpful Hints
  • The use of garbanzo bean flour in this recipe gives the french toast that "eggy" taste. Make sure to use at least 2 T. of garbanzo bean flour, but feel free to use only garbanzo bean flour.
  • I use light vanilla soymilk because that's what we have in our house. However, feel free to use any non-dairy milk that you like. 
  • When you soak the slices, you want them to begin to lose the crispness they had because they were stale. As they absorb the batter, they will begin to soften in the middle of the bread, but you want to start them cooking before they are soggy. 
  • We used 2/3 a loaf of french bread cut into 3/4 inch slices and had batter left over. This recipe would work for a whole loaf. 
  • The night before you plan to make this, cut your bread into slices and leave it out to get stale. I left mine on a cookie-cooling rack so it would have air all around it. Then, I left the cooling rack in the oven with the door open all night (because one of our kitties really likes to eat bread). 

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