My mom’s special French toast was always my favorite. Slices of Roman Meal wheat bread were dipped into beaten eggs and milk and then she’d add her secret ingredients. She’d press the egg-dipped slices into a mixture of crushed corn flakes and sweetened shredded coconut. She’d melt butter in a skillet to brown on both sides then serve with a generous amount of maple syrup. It was heavenly and I thought that’s how all French toast was made. Imagine my surprise when I ordered French toast at a restaurant as a teenager and found they had forgotten the corn flakes and coconut.
I often cooked my Mom’s French Toast for brunch when my husband and I were dating, and it was always his favorite. This past weekend, after reminiscing about the pre-kids years, I thought I’d make him French toast for Father’s Day (conflict of interest?) Just as we have matured over the years, this recipe has, too. With pride, I present to you my “Love You the Most French Toast”. I’ve taken my mom’s banana bread recipe and combined it with her French toast skills. Anyone who takes a bite will know you’ll love them forever. It’s suitable of the most momentous of events, but also casual enough for a Father’s Day brunch with three energetic children.
1 1/2 cups (190 grams) flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (kaneel in Dutch) or pumpkin pie spice
1 large egg
3 medium smashed bananas See Pearl of Wisdom below
3/4 cup (150 grams) white sugar
1/4 cup (60 ml) vegetable or sunflower oil
Preheat oven 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius)
Grease or spray an 8x4x2 loaf pan ( 2.4 L 30x13x8 cm loaf pan is what I used in EU)
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in the center and set aside.
In another medium bowl combine the egg, bananas, sugar, oil. Mix until well incorporated then add egg mixture all at once to dry ingredients. Stir just until combined (mixture will be lumpy).
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes then remove loaf from pan and cool completely. Wrap with plastic wrap and store overnight before slicing. (Ideally – I know how sometimes us women are rushed about these things. . .)
To complete the “I Love You the Most French Toast”
Of course, the quantities below depend on the amount of slices you’re planning on ‘toasting’ The following is for 4 slices of toast, which is about half the banana bread loaf. Adjust accordingly to the amount of hearts and stomachs you want to warm.
2 large eggs
Splash of milk
2 cups (50 grams) crushed corn flakes
1/2 cup (30 grams) shredded sweetened coconut See Pearl of Wisdom below
In one small bowl combine the 2 eggs and splash of milk and beat gently with a wire whisk or fork.
In another bowl crush cornflakes (I usually just smash them with a bottom of a juice glass, but a plastic bag and rolling pin would suffice as well). Add shredded coconut and mix.
Slice banana bread into 1-inch (2 ½ cm) slices. Dip slices, one at a time, into egg mixture (both sides), then pat both sides into cornflakes mixture.
Heat skillet or griddle over medium heat and add a pat of butter to the pan. Once butter is melted, drop prepared slices of banana bread into skillet and brown (be careful not to burn the coconut). Flip and repeat.
Serve warm with extra butter, maple syrup, and/or powdered sugar – if you desire.
Pearl of Wisdom Bananas: The riper the better – even brown spotted ones will do. This is a great way to turn old bananas into something yummy.
Pearl of Wisdom Coconut: I’ve tried this with european kokos, but it doesn’t seem to have any sugar added to it. The crunch is just the same, but might need an extra helping of syrup. Otherwise, add sweetened coconut to your American store grocery list – I found mine at Graré outside of Antwerp.