I think I was about 12 before I realised that French toast was the same as the 'eggy bread' I grew up with. Apparently other names for the dish include 'gypsy toast' and 'omelette bread'. I think we can probably agree that French toast sounds the most sophisticated!
When I went vegan, eggs were not an item I missed. I did, however, get the occasional craving for eggy bread. I figured it wasn't possible to veganise this particular dish, and would have pancakes instead if the urge hit.
As it turns out, vegan eggy bread (here is where French toast becomes a more useful title...) is indeed possible. Over the years, I have seen quite a few vegan French toast recipes, and I have been wanting to try it for some time. My Vegan MoFo breakfast week seemed like the perfect opportunity.
Some vegan French toast recipes just fry bread in oil, but many involve chia seeds and non-dairy milk. American-based recipes tend to include sweetener and/or flavourings (like vanilla or cinnamon) within the batter, but I kept my recipe simple this time around: just chia seeds soaked in water, almond milk, and bread. I brought sweetness in with the topping, pulling out my childhood favourite of golden syrup. Blueberries added adult nutrition, and all of a sudden breakfast was looking very exciting.
I wasn't sure what to expect from egg-free eggy bread (an oxymoron if ever there was one), but the result was remarkably similar to my childhood memories. The chia seeds worked to replicate an egg-like batter, which crisped up when cooked. The bread itself is obviously central to this dish, and it too was just as I remembered it: a mix of crisp edges, slightly soft centre, and warm delightful doughiness. The golden syrup topping was lovely, and the whole dish was really delicious.
It may have taken a while to get to this, but I will certainly be making it again.
Vegan French toast
An egg-free version of the classic egg and bread dish.
Makes two slices of French toast.
Vegan; can be gluten free if using gluten free bread.
Author: Bite-Sized Thoughts
1 tbsp chia seeds soaked in 1/4 cup water for at least 15 minutes
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, or non-dairy milk of choice
2 slices thick wholemeal bread, or bread of choice
Spray oil, for cooking
Golden syrup, to top
Fruit, to top
Combine the chia seeds in water and almond milk in a shallow dish or bowl, big enough to dip the bread in. Whisk briefly to combine.
Heat a non-stick pan over high heat and spray with oil.
Dip one piece of bread in the chia-milk mixture, coating both sides (it should be wet but not soggy). Place in the hot pan and cook for several minutes on each side, until golden and crispy in places. Repeat for the remaining bread slice.
Serve topped with golden syrup and fruit of choice.
This post is part of my participation in the 2014 Vegan Month of Food (Vegan MoFo). For this week, I am focusing on vegan breakfasts.
Are you a fan of French toast? And what do you call it?!