Coconut French Toast
Have you ever had French toast made with challah before? Challah (hollaaaa) is a Jewish braided bread that is richer in taste and more sturdy in texture compared to a white bread. Next to brioche, challah makes some of the best French toast there is. Its denser structure allows it to soak up lots of French toast egg-milk mixture while still holding its shape. Plus, as it usually comes whole and not pre-sliced, you can cut big, thick slices for awesome restaurant style French toast at home.
After you have gotten off to a great start by choosing challah bread, take your French toast to the next flavor level by using coconut milk instead of milk. Coconut milk is a perfect creamy, delicious alternative to regular cow’s milk in this case. Because coconut milk is high in saturated fats, try the light version, which contains about 1/3 the fat of regular coconut milk. Then add a bit of coconut extract to get a more pronounced coconut flavor through the French toast. And why not top it all off with some crisp toasty coconut!
This is a fun and flavorful, yet lightened and simple recipe for a breakfast classic. Balance your meal out with a big scoop or two of Greek yogurt for protein and some berries for a fresh serving for fruit. I hope you give this updated French toast a try and enjoy a delicious morning in the kitchen!
Coconut French Toast
Makes 6-8 slices, or 2-4 servings (depending on hunger levels)
½ loaf of challah bread
1 can (13.5 oz/400ml) light coconut milk
1 tsp. coconut extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
big pinch each salt and cinnamon
butter or pan spray
Cut challah into slices about ¾” (2cm) thick.
In a shallow baking dish, whisk the eggs well. Then whisk in the coconut milk, extracts, salt, and cinnamon. Place slices into milk mixture. Let soak 1 minute, flip, and let soak another minute. Slices should feel saturated but not like they are disintegrating.
Heat a skillet on medium heat. When hot, add a pat of butter to the pan, or spray with pan spray. Butter creates a nicer crust, but pan spray adds little to no fat. Add in the soaked slices, cooking ~3 at a time, or however many you can cook at once without crowding the pan. Cook slices for about 4 minutes, until deep golden on the bottom, then flip. Cook another 4 minutes.
Serve slices with toasted coconut, Greek yogurt, and some berries if you like.
I think these taste best fresh, but you can definitely save leftovers for a few days in the fridge.
Notes: If you don’t have/can’t find challah, you can use an Italian loaf or even whole wheat! Just make sure to get one that has not been sliced yet. If you need to toast your own coconut, preheat the oven or toaster oven to 325°F/165°C. Spread ~1/2 cup of coconut (or more if you like) on a sheet tray in a thin, even layer. Toast in the oven for ~5-7 minutes, checking frequently and moving the coconut around for even cooking if necessary. This recipe can be easily halved or doubled if needed.