My husband and I are huge fans of fresh French bread for dinner. It is great with a little butter or dipped in olive oil and herbs. Any meals that have soups, stews or sauces are always great when accompanied by fresh crusty French bread. And I can buy it fresh at the store anytime I need to pick up a few groceries. My husband likes the crusty edges and me the toothless one likes the soft interior parts. So we make a good team. However, we only get through, at best, half of the loaf of bread. Then we always have half a loaf of leftover French bread, day old and no longer crusty on the outside. And we never know what to do with the leftovers. I usually end up taking the (now hard) leftovers and making breadcrumbs out of it. A good use, but I’m always looking for a better use for the leftover bread. When I have time the next morning to make breakfast, I can use my leftovers, and make a super yummy breakfast as well. French toast with my leftover French bread is awesome, and I have a great recipe that makes it allergy friendly and it can be soft and easy to eat for the toothless eater. Add some fresh fruit , eggs and sausage and you have a great Sunday brunch!
French Bread Dairy Free French Toast
1 ½ cups rice milk (Soy milk also works)
1 tsp grated orange zest
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
1 good squeeze from a honey bear
A dash of kosher salt
½ loaf of leftover French Bread (Or other crusty bread leftovers)
Unsalted butter or margarine
Optional for Serving:
Fresh chopped fruit (or frozen fruit) with a little added sugar
Good preserves with lots of chunks
Begin by beating the eggs in a shallow bowl. I love my rectangular pyrex baking dish for this. Then add the rice milk, orange zest, vanilla, honey and salt. Wisk the batter until well combined. Slice the bread into ¾ inch think slices. Soak the bread in the batter for several seconds or on each side. I make sure I also get all of the crusts coated. Heat a large skillet over medium heat with a mixture of butter/margarine and vegetable or canola oil just to coat the bottom. Fry the soaked bread several pieces at a time until golden brown on the first side, 3-4 minutes. Flip the bread a fry 3-4 more minutes. French toast can be kept warm in a 250 degree oven until its time to eat. Serve the French toast with different fruits and syrups. I like to use my griddle for the toast, since I can cook most of the slices at one time with the griddle (plus the griddle is the way to go for a brunch party).
This is a very basic recipe that is easy to make alterations and substitutions with. I love a citrus version with lemon and orange zest as well as orange juice substituted for ¼ cup of the milk. This can be served with mandarin oranges and is a summery version. My favorite is to chop fresh strawberries and macerate them in a little sugar and top the French toast with powdered sugar and the strawberries. This dish is easy to alter for other food allergies with various milk substitutes and the bread can be switched out for a gluten friendly bread. You could even top the toast with coconut whipped cream and coconut shreds. Have fun trying different toppings until you find one you like!