Last week, I had a strange urge to make French toast. Not that French toast is strange. Or that craving French toast is strange. Certainly not. What’s strange is that my craving arose at 5:45 a.m. on a Wednesday. Shouldn’t I have been sleeping? Yes, yes, I should have been sleeping. But instead I was awake, and I was thinking about French toast.
So I went to my local market, and bought some thick-sliced country bread. But when I got home, I realized that my early morning brilliance did not take into account the fact that French toast requires stale bread, not fresh bread, which will yield a soggy mess.
Luckily, I have a trick that enables you to enjoy French toast if that sudden urge strikes but you don’t have a loaf of stale bread sitting on your counter. Slice the bread into thick slices (or leave your bread slices whole if they’re pre-cut) and place on a wire rack. Bake in a preheated oven at 300°F for 8 minutes.
Okay, that’s not my own trick. It comes from Cook’s Illustrated, but I’ve used it before, and it works, and now I’m telling you about it. I still recommend using a hearty, rustic bread – no thin sandwich bread allowed in French toast land.
Once you get your bread sorted, you just need a few ingredients to make this simple vegan french toast, emphasis on the world simple. You’ll need some plant-based milk-I used Oatly oat milk because it’s super creamy and makes for a creamy custard, as is required for any good French toast.
I then add chickpea flour because, along with the nutritional yeast, it gives the custard a subtle “eggy” flavor that’s reminiscent of traditional egg-based French toast. You can find chickpea flour or garbanzo bean flour at well-stocked grocery stores, online, or at Middle Eastern and South Asian markets (it might be called besan flour).
If you can’t find chickpea flour, feel free to substitute your flour of choice—whole wheat, all-purpose, spelt, gluten-free flour, etc.
I like to serve this simple vegan French toast with berry compote or stewed berries to make it feel a little more special and elegant, but pure maple syrup always gets the job done. I hope you enjoy this easy vegan French toast recipe!
French Toast Ingredients
- 1 1/2 cups oat milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup chickpea flour
- 2 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Coconut oil or vegan butter for frying
- 8-10 slices of crusty bread such as country white bread, ciabatta or sourdough, cut into thick slices (day-old bread is preferable*)
- For serving: pure maple syrup, Berry Compote (optional), or vegan whipped cream (optional)
Simple Berry Compote Ingredients
- 1 1/2 cups (~180-200g) mixed berries of choice*, fresh or frozen and defrosted
- 1/3 cup (~64g) organic cane sugar (or maple syrup to keep refined sugar-free)
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
French Toast Directions
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the oat milk, maple syrup, chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, cinnamon, nutmeg, and kosher salt. Transfer the mixture to a shallow dish or pie pan.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat with some coconut oil or vegan butter.
- Dunk a slice of bread in the batter for a few seconds on each side, ensuring the bread is soaked. Then flip the bread and repeat.
- Once the skillet is hot, cook each slice of bread for 2 minutes or until golden brown, then flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- Serve with pure maple syrup and, if desired, the Berry Compote (recipe below). Or, you can add some vegan whipped cream on top!
Simple Berry Compote Directions
- Place the berries, sugar, and orange juice in a saucepan, and cook on medium-low heat for about 10-15 minutes, gently smashing down the berries as the mixture cooks. Allow the mixture to simmer for an additional 10 minutes until thick and jammy.
- You can prepare the compote in advance and store in the fridge.