When I was growing up, every Sunday morning my dad would cook our family a special breakfast of either pancakes, waffles or French toast. The French toast Sundays were always my favorite.
Thick bread slices dipped in cinnamon-y sweet batter, cooked to get a slightly crispy outer crust but still with a fluffy inside, and then drowned with butter and maple syrup.
Pancakes and waffles were always delicious too, but French toast Sundays were the best.
When I switched from a vegetarian diet to a vegan one earlier this year, I was sad thinking of all the egg-containing foods I was giving up – like French toast. Slowly through the months, though, I’ve been attempting to create egg-free recipes of some favorite eggy foods.
Not all the attempts have been successes – I don’t even want to talk about the chickpea crepe fail of October – but this French toast, oh my, it is GOOD.
It might actually rival my dad’s non-vegan version from my childhood. Whoa.
Milk is easy enough to replace with non-dairy milk in a French toast recipe. But the eggs are what give traditional French toast its familiar outer coating. So without eggs, you’d be left with seared, soggy bread, right? Wrong!
Let me introduce you to my friend… garbanzo bean flour.
Garbanzo bean flour (also known as chickpea flour, gram flour, or besan) acts as a thickener and binder, so it takes the place of eggs beautifully in this recipe (and many others). And the flavor of the flour is subtle, so it enhances the overall taste of the bread dipping batter rather than overpowers it.
The rest of the batter ingredients are simple enough – non-dairy milk, cornstarch, vanilla and cinnamon. Easy.
Add a loaf of day-old thick-sliced bread and you’re ready to rock French toast Sunday.
The bread doesn’t necessarily have to be a day old, but I have found that slightly dried out bread does work best. It soaks up the batter well and doesn’t become soggy and mushy when you cook it.
Pro tip: If you decide to make French toast without planning a day or two ahead of time, grocery store bakeries will often still have yesterday’s bread loaves stored somewhere in the back. Those loaves are perfect for French toast. All you have to do is ask! And sometimes they’re even discounted since they’re “day old.”
I hope you enjoy this vegan French toast as much as Mr. So Much Yum and I have! It’s quickly becoming one of his favorite special breakfast meals. Which I’m totally fine with because it’s so easy to make and so yummy to eat!
- 1 cup non-dairy milk
- ¼ cup garbanzo flour
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 small loaf day-old bread, cut into slices ¾ to 1-inch thick (sourdough or French work well)*
- Whisk together all ingredients (except bread) until well combined. Some very small lumps are fine.
- Meanwhile, heat large skillet on medium heat. Add a drop of batter to test for readiness - it should sizzle but not explode when it hits the pan. Lightly coat skillet with nonstick spray.
- Dunk bread slices one at a time into batter making sure all surfaces are coated, then immediately transfer battered slices to prepared skillet. Only coat the number of slices that will fit in your skillet at one time. Cook for a few minutes until golden brown, flip, and continue cooking until both sides are golden brown. Repeat with remaining bread.
- Serve hot with pure maple syrup and fresh fruit, or whatever French toast toppings are you favorite!