For some reason, one of my favorite breakfasts as a kid was french toast. My mom would simply use wheat bread, eggs, a splash of milk, and cinnamon, but I thought it was one of the most amazing things ever. Actually, one of the funniest stories about my childhood involves french toast. My mom accidentally put corn starch on my french toast instead of powdered sugar (she kept them in identical yellow tupperware containers) and wondered why I wouldn’t eat it. Even though I told her it tasted funny, she told me to eat it anyway. She finally realized her mistake after I had eaten it. Guess I had my fill of starch that day.
The other day while passing through Austin, I stopped at the South Congress Cafe for some brunch before a long trek back to Longview. Their brunch menu was quite impressive, but I was immediately drawn to the carrot cake french toast. I considered some other options, but kept coming back to it so I decided to get it. It was AMAZING. It was three thick cut slices of carrot cake, soaked in eggs and milk, and then grilled to a crispy brown perfection. It was also served with an awesome cream cheese, pecan, and cinnamon sauce on the side. I’m not sure why I never thought of making quick breads or loaf cakes into french toast, but the idea stuck and I tried it a few days later in my own kitchen.
I used a banana bread made with Shiner beer that I found at Central Market (delicious!), but feel free to use any banana bread (or carrot, zucchini, etc.) that you prefer. It’s really up to you!
Banana Bread French Toast
6 small slices, or 3 large slices cut in half, of banana bread
1 free range egg
a splash of coconut milk/almond milk/rice milk/etc.
a pinch of cinnamon
grapeseed oil for the pan
powdered sugar or maple syrup to serve
Preheat a heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat.
While your pan is heating up, gently whisk together the egg, milk, and cinnamon until combined. It is best to put this in a wide, shallow bowl. Next, dunk your slices of bread in the mixture, making sure to coat all sides very well. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of your pan, then gently place as many slices of bread that will fit in the pan. Pan fry the bread until each side is deeply golden (or dark brown, depending on how toasty you want them), about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Drain on a paper towel, then consume immediately with the topping of your choice (mine is usually a dusting of powdered sugar).