Somewhere along the line, my boyfriend and I started referring to french toast as “franch” toast. I don’t know how or why. It’s one of those stupid things that you can’t trace the origin of, but somehow stuck nonetheless. After enjoying “franch” toast at Herbivore in SF, we decided we wanted to try to veganize it at home. From someone who has never even cooked non-vegan french toast, this was a little unnerving for me. It turned out to be really, really simple–just how I like it!
First thing’s first, though. I can’t be certain that the bread he picked up at the store is vegan, and here’s why. I’ve trained him to be on the lookout for certain things, like whey, casein, and L. Cysteine. However, since the french toast at Herbivore was made with sourdough bread, we decided we wanted sourdough. I know nothing about bread but it turns out, sourdough gets its name from “sour culture.” I glanced at the ingredients when he arrived home this morning, which kind of made me feel like an asshole because it was like I was already second guessing him–and the word “culture” was a red flag to me. When I think of “culture” I think of live milk cultures, such as acidophilus. I know that there are certain soy yogurts that use live milk cultures, and I won’t eat those for that reason. A quick google of “sour culture” brought me to just the question I was inquiring about: “is sour culture vegan?” The consensus is maybe, but it’s complicated.
Sourdough starter (B): also known as “starter culture”, “sourdough culture” or “sour culture”. It is usually made with a mixture of flour and water inhabited by yeast and lactobacteria containing no animal ingredients. Sometimes yogurt is used in the starter. Bread made from a sourdough culture is called sourdough bread. (source)
So, maybe this sour culture was made of purely flour and water and non-animal bacteria and yeast. But there’s always the chance that yogurt was used. There’s really no telling, unless I called up the bakery and told them that inquiring minds would like to know. I wasn’t going to do that. I’m not to that point of my veganism yet–which I’ll get to in a later post.
I’m constantly learning and growing as a vegan. I have surely eaten my share of non-vegan fare, always accidentally, and each time is a lesson for learning and growing.
But, wrong post. Let’s get back to vegan “franch” toast!
Super Simple Vegan French Toast
Yields as much french toast as you can handle. Seriously.
2 cups soy milk
**use vanilla soy milk if you have it. if you don’t have it, like I didn’t, add 1 tbsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp whole wheat flour
1 tbsp ground flax seed
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 banana per serving
sourdough bread slices
oil of choice for frying (I used coconut)
Mix soy milk (with vanilla if using plain soy milk), flour, flax seed, sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl to form batter. This will be an incredibly runny mixture that shouldn’t even be called “batter,” so don’t worry when it isn’t thick. Warm oil in a frying pan or skillet. When oil has warmed, dredge bread slices in batter mixture. Fry until golden on either side. I added sliced raw bananas to mine but my boyfriend grilled his bananas with cinnamon. I was envious of his grilled bananas. But do whatchu do!
just scrumptious with earth balance, syrup, and powdered sugar
If you’re feeding a hungry family, this batter should last you. We made six slices and still had tons left over.
Do you have any funny names, like “franch” toast, for anything ordinary that you and your significant other and/or family use? (Another that comes to mind for me–as a kid, I thought pancakes were pronounced ‘pan-a-cakes’, so my entire family called them that. No one ever told me it was wrong until a friend’s mom corrected me on a Saturday morning after I slept over at their house!)