Rye Bread French Toast
Rye bread is not just for sandwiches anymore. More and more we see rye and other whole grain breads being used as croutons, replacing Tuscan bread for panzanella and fresh crumbs for veggie burgers and loaves. I love the hearty taste and texture of rye and I think it works wonderfully in this no fuss breakfast recipe, especially paired with sweet pure maple syrup.
Look for a rye bread that is made in the traditional fashion, with a dense crumb. If the bread is very fresh, I’ll lightly toast it first, otherwise, stale bread works great right out of the bag. Often times I’ll toast it anyway as something magical seems to happen to the flavor of the rye once it’s toasted.
Remember to add flavorings more or less to your taste. All breads are different so you’ll see there is a range of measurements. If your bread soaks up the milk faster simply add a little more milk and spices. There are no eggs, so the recipe is not only vegan, but stretching it to serve as many people as you’re feeding is a snap.
8 slices of rye bread (lightly toasted)
2-3 c. soy milk (flavored or unflavored)
1/2 t. cinnamon (more or less to taste)
1/4-1/2 t. pure vanilla extract (more or less to taste)
2 t. pure cane sugar (optional)
Pinch of salt
Vegetable oil, for coating the frying pan
Pure maple syrup, for topping
Non-dairy spread or vegan margarine (optional)
Confectioners sugar (optional)
Toast the bread and set aside. Pour the soy milk into a wide shallow bowl, and begin whisking in the cinnamon, salt, sugar (if using), and vanilla extract. Blend well.
Heat a heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, on medium to medium high heat. Brush the skillet lightly with a little vegetable oil. Whisk the milk mixture again and dip the toasted slices just until they lightly absorb the liquid. Fry the slices in the hot pan just until the toast begins to turn a rich golden brown. Add additional oil to the pan, if necessary, a very little at a time, and fry all the slices.
As soon as the toast is done, spread with margarine (if desired), drizzle on the maple syrup, and dust with confectioners sugar, if you’d like. Serve the french toast hot with fresh fruit, vegetarian bacon, or even as a dessert with topped with jam, lemon curd, or non-dairy ice cream.
When I use this as a dessert recipe I have occasionally added a little dark rum to the soymilk, and then topped it off with fresh sliced banana. Heavenly.