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This sourdough French toast is a quick, easy, and flavor-packed recipe that’s great for breakfast or brunch. Each slice is crispy on the outside yet soft and tender in the middle, making a perfect base to soak up drizzles of maple syrup!
Table of Contents
🏆 Why this recipe works
- Healthy: Compared to typical recipes, this sourdough French toast recipe contains less sugar, fewer calories, and less saturated fat.
- Low-waste: Instead of throwing away stale bread, use it in this recipe to cut down on wasted food.
- Diet-friendly: This recipe is both egg and dairy-free, making it suitable for those who follow a plant-based diet. Plus, it’s easily adapted to be gluten-free!
- Simple: Made with simple, affordable, and everyday ingredients, you can easily turn this dish into a staple Sunday brunch!
🍞 What is sourdough French toast?
Sourdough French toast is a slight variation of a traditional French toast recipe. Instead of white bread, artisan sourdough is utilized to make each bite tangy, complex, and rustic. It’s the perfect complement to sweet garnishes.
If you’re not sure what French toast is, it’s typically served for breakfast or brunch. Slices of stale bread are soaked in a mixture of eggs, sugar, milk, and occasionally cinnamon or other flavorings.
Once saturated, the slices are cooked together in a pan, resulting in crispy, golden-brown outsides with tender and chewy insides.
This recipe takes only 10-15 minutes to make and turns out perfect every time thanks to the easy-to-follow instructions!
Most food experts agree that French toast dates back to ancient Rome. In the book of Apicius (a collection of ancient Roman recipes), there is a dish called “Aliter Dulcia.” Surprisingly, it depicts a recipe that is quite similar to modern-day French toast.
The name “French toast” is said to have originated in England around the 17th century before the recipe was brought to America. Funny enough, this dish goes by “pain perdu” or “lost bread” in the country of France.
The reason for this name is that it was made at a time when food was in short supply. Instead of wasting stale bread, people transformed it into a new recipe by soaking slices in an egg mixture and cooking them.
🌱 Is French toast vegan?
Generally speaking, French toast is made by dipping bread in a batter of egg, sugar, and milk. This combination helps the bread absorb flavor and achieve its characteristic texture.
In our vegan version, we use plant milk and chickpea flour. These ingredients emulate milk and eggs, creating an indistinguishable texture from the original.
🛒 Ingredients & substitutions
Sourdough — We prefer rustic sourdough made by a local bakery for this recipe. However, you can use whichever type of sourdough you prefer. Just make sure it’s a day or two old for the most optimal texture.
Chickpea flour — Also known as garbanzo bean flour, this replaces eggs in the batter. Just a warning, do not taste the batter because raw chickpea flour has a very unpleasant taste!
Cinnamon — For a warming, sweet, and aromatic flavor in the batter. We love Ceylon cinnamon, but you can incorporate nutmeg or other spices as well.
Soy milk — To replicate the full-bodied taste and texture of cow’s milk, use soy milk, oat milk, or coconut milk.
Maple syrup — Included in both the batter and as a topping. We always recommend using 100% pure maple syrup whenever possible (how Canadian of us).
Vanilla — Much like maple syrup, it’s always worth splurging on pure vanilla extract. Our favorite variety is Mexican vanilla.
Salt — Just a pinch to enhance the flavor of the batter.
Vegan butter — Both vegan butter and olive oil work to cook the French toast.
For a complete ingredient list and step-by-step guide, scroll down to our recipe card.
Step 1 — Blend or whisk the chickpea flour, cinnamon, water, milk, maple syrup, and vanilla together until no clumps remain. We find a blender ideal for this step because chickpea flour has a tendency to stay clumped.
Step 2 — Transfer the batter to a shallow bowl or dish, and heat vegetable oil or vegan butter in a large skillet over medium.
Step 3 — While the butter is heating up, dip each slice of bread in the batter for a few minutes per side (shorter if the bread is softer, and longer if it is more rustic).
Step 4 — Fry the slices on the first side until the batter is drying and turning golden brown. This should take about 3-4 minutes.
Step 5 — Flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes, or until golden and crispy. Cover the skillet with a lid for the last few minutes to help cook the middles.
Step 6 — Transfer the slices to a baking pan and keep warm in the oven while you cook the rest. Serve with syrup and other toppings. Happy eating!
If you have questions about this sourdough French toast recipe, check out our FAQs or leave a comment down below!
🥞 Best toppings for French toast
Sourdough French toast can be topped by just about anything you can think of. Here are some of our favorites:
- Maple syrup
- Strawberry compote
- Blueberry compote
- Powdered sugar
- Dairy-free butter
- Peanut butter
- Fresh berries
- Coconut yogurt
- Coconut whipped cream
🌡️ Storage & reheating
Although it’s best to eat this sourdough French toast recipe fresh off the skillet, here are a few ideas to store leftovers:
Fridge — Keep the slices covered in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.
Freezer — Add each slice to a baking sheet lined with wax or parchment paper. Place the tray in the freezer for about an hour, or until frozen. Remove the tray and transfer the French toast to a freezer-safe bag. They will keep for up to 1-2 months this way.
Reheating — The best way to reheat sourdough French toast is in a toaster oven (just like store-bought varieties). Alternatively, heat them in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 5-10 minutes, or in the microwave.
Gluten-free — For a completely gluten-free version, use your favorite brand of gluten-free sourdough. The rest of the recipe doesn’t contain any gluten.
Chocolate — Mix cocoa powder into the batter for a rich, chocolatey twist.
Torrejas — Make Mexican-style French toast with the addition of piloncillo, star anise, cloves, and orange.
Savory — It’s common in countries like Georgia, Romania, or China to serve savory French toast. Omit the maple syrup and cinnamon and swap in savory herbs and spices to see what you think!
🧑🍳 Top tips
Stale bread — Make sure to use sturdy, stale bread to better soak up the liquid without turning soggy.
Thick slices — For the most enjoyable eating experience, cut each slice nice and thick. We usually cut ours around 1-inch thick.
Keep them warm — If you’re making more than a skillet full, keep cooked slices in the oven to stay warm. Turn your oven to 200 degrees F and store them on a baking tray while you make the rest.
Sturdy, rustic bread loaves work best for making sourdough French toast. However, it is ultimately a personal preference. Experiment with different sourdough varieties to see which one you prefer!
The trick to non-soggy sourdough French toast is using stale bread (1 or 2 days old) and not soaking it for too long.
Yes, you can bake sourdough French toast. Add the soaked pieces to a greased baking dish, pouring any extra batter over top. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20-30 minutes, or until the batter is cooked through.
🍴 More sweet breakfast recipes
If you enjoyed this sourdough French toast recipe, be sure to check out these other sweet breakfasts and brunches:
- Capirotada: A vegan version of Mexican-style bread pudding.
- Mini pancakes: Small pancakes that pack in the flavor.
- Gorditas de azucar: Mexican griddle cakes that are similar to scones.
- Gorditas de nata: A cross between English muffins and pancakes.
Easy Sourdough French Toast
- Bread knife
- Blender or whisk
- Shallow dish
- Large non-stick skillet
- 1 cup chickpea flour ($1.28)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon ($0.04)
- ¾ cup water
- ¾ cup soy milk ($0.20)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup ($0.30)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla ($0.21)
- ¼ teaspoon salt ($0.01)
- 8 slices of stale sourdough ($1.34)
- 2-3 tablespoons neutral oil or vegan butter ($0.22)
For serving optional
- Fruit compote
- Vegan butter
- Maple syrup
- Coconut whipped cream
- Fresh fruit
- Blend or whisk the chickpea flour, cinnamon, water, milk, maple syrup, and vanilla together until no clumps remain. Transfer to a shallow bowl.
- Heat the vegetable oil or vegan butter in a large skillet over medium. Dip each slice of bread in the batter for 1-2 minutes per side (shorter if the bread is softer, and longer if it is more rustic).
- Fry on the first side until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes, or until golden. Cover the skillet with a lid for the last 1-2 minutes to help cook the middle.
- Transfer the slices to a baking tray and keep warm in the oven while you cook the rest. Serve warm with syrup, fruit, compote, coconut whipped cream, etc. Happy eating!
- Stale bread — Make sure to use sturdy, stale bread to better soak up the liquid without turning soggy.
- Thick slices — For the most enjoyable eating experience, cut each slice nice and thick. We usually cut ours around 1-inch thick.
- Keep them warm — If you’re making more than a skillet full, keep cooked slices in the oven to stay warm. Turn your oven to 200 degrees F and store them on a baking tray while you make the rest.
- We calculate nutritional information for our recipes with Cronometer.
- Recipe cost calculations are based on ingredients local to us and may vary from recipe to recipe. All prices are in USD.