October 19th, 2008

Fronch Toast

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Serves 6

I couldn’t tell you what it is about chickpea flour, but this French toast looks and tastes just like the “real” thing. Chickpea flour is quite easy to find these days—if you don’t have a Middle Eastern grocery store nearby (where it may be called besan flour), try a health food store or one of those “gourmet” markets. I like to use a nice crusty baguette for this recipe, but if you want to use sliced bread, make sure to lightly toast it first (see below). Serve with fresh berries, sliced bananas, and pure maple syrup.

Loaf of Italian or French bread, baguette shaped, preferably stale
1/2 cup soy creamer (rice or soy milk would make a good substitute, preferably rice)
1/2 cup rice milk or plain soy milk
2 tablespoons corn starch
1/4 cup chickpea flower
Several tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

Slice the read into 1-inch rounds. The bread should be a bit stale. If not, leave the slices out overnight or put them in a 350° oven for 3 or 4 minutes to dry them out—you don’t want to toast them. (If you’re in a rush, feel free to skip this step—the French toast will still taste good.)

Pour the soy creamer and rice milk into a wide, shallow bowl. Mix in the corn starch and stir until dissolved. Add the chickpea flour and mix until it is mostly dissolved; some lumps are okay.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add enough oil to create a thin layer on the bottom (a tablespoon or two).

Soak the bread slices (as many as will fit into your pan) in the mixture and transfer to the skillet. Cook each side for about two minutes; if they are not brown enough when you flip them, heat for 1 or 2 minutes more on each side. They should be golden brown with flecks of dark brown. Serve immediately.


* If you are cooking for a bunch, and you want to serve everyone at the same time, you can keep the cooked slices warm in a toaster over pre-heated to 325°.

* If you ever, ever get a chance to buy apple-maple jam, do it! It is the most wonderful thing over French toast. You can often find delightfully unusual flavors of jam at farmers markets, craft shows, and little out of the way places in Vermont.

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