Not for the faint of heart, this recipe is for those with a serious sweet tooth and a disregard for calories! I have been pretty obsessed with french toast for most of my life, always on the hunt for that perfect one. Since going vegan, I really wanted to find an tasty alternative to the traditional egg batter. My goal was to retain the perfectly balanced soft-on-the-inside, crunchy-on-the-outside texture. I have succeeded, ahahahaha, taking over the world, one vegan slice of french toast at a time. Enjoy…and my apologies (not really) for any subliminal messaging about saving animals you may experience while in the glorious vegan sugar coma.
Ingredients (these are guesstimate measurements so please feel free to tweak):
- 1 loaf ciabatta bread (Trader Joe’s makes a great one)
- 1 cup almond or soy milk (original sweet)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon (to start then add to taste)
- ¼ -½ stick Earth Balance vegan butter (or just use Earth Balance original vegan spread)
- maple syrup: same amount you would usually pour over pancakes or waffles (¼ cup should be plenty)
- coconut oil cooking spray (or you can try an alternative)
Ingredient info: If you are uncertain about the sugar’s origins and the potential use of bone char to refine it, use an organic vegan sugar instead. If you can’t find Earth Balance vegan butter sticks, just use their spread.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place foil on a roast pan (it is shallow in depth and has sides, preventing spillage of liquid), making sure to cover the sides. Spray the foil with coconut oil cooking spray. Set aside
- Mix almond or soy milk, vanilla extract, light brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon in a bowl or squarish container. This doesn’t have to be blended perfectly, just mix with a whisk or fork a little to blend the ingredients.
- Cut the ciabatta bread into ½ inch slices.
- Quickly soak each piece of bread in almond milk mixture on both sides. Then once thoroughly coated in mixture, immediately place each slice on foiled pan.
- If there is any remaining almond or soy milk mixture, pour a little over the bread in the pan and save the rest to do the same at a later time during the cooking. You can also just refrigerate any extra milk mixture for 1-2 days if you want to reuse it for another batch or if you would like to mix it with oatmeal/rice. —I have broken the next few instructions into steps since they are a bit repetitive.—
- Place pan in oven and cook bread for approx. 10 minutes. (1st step)
- Turn bread over with tongs. Bread will be a little soggy and may fall apart so be gentle. You can wait to turn bread over till a little later if desired but beware, if you wait too long, the bottom of each piece will burn more easily. (2nd step)
- Cook for 4-6 more minutes. You can also pour a little more of the almond milk mixture onto the bread if you have any remaining. Don’t use too much liquid though; it is okay to have some left to refrigerate. (3rd step)
- Pull pan out and place a couple pats of Earth Balance vegan butter onto each piece of bread. Do not worry about spreading the butter out, the heat of the oven will distribute it just fine. (4th step)
- Cook for another 4-6 minutes (5th step)
- Turn bread over with tongs and cook for another 3 minutes. (6th step)
- If bread looks slightly brown on both sides and is getting firm/caramelized, or you see any trace of black on edges, it is done.
- Timing is really just an estimate as it will depend on how your oven heats. Keep an eye on the bread throughout, cooking and turning in small intervals.
- Once done, they are ready to serve immediately with a decent drizzle of maple syrup. Do not drown them in maple syrup or you will lose some of the french toast flavor. You can add a little powdered sugar atop if desired but it really isn’t necessary as this dish is sweet enough on it’s own. 🙂
Serves: 2-3 people
Any bread not eaten immediately can be stored in the fridge in a ziplock or container for another day. They make awesome indulgent sweet snacks or a next day breakfast! Just heat them up with a little maple syrup for about 40 seconds in the microwave.