“What does the best man at a French wedding do?”
“Make French toast!”
“Why is the French Toast the best team in the baseball game?”
“Because they have the best batter!”
Okay, I’ll try to stop, but in my defense, it’s way past my breadtime as I write this. My mind is crumbling, but I am not toast yet. There are still some ideas left in me, although I think they may be a bit stale. Perhaps, I should settle down, wrap up in a blanket, get warm and toasty, and go to bed to stop all this syrupy humor!
In all seriousness, National French Toast Day is November 28, 2022. So why write about it in October? Because I began playing with this recipe in September to, well, toast my birthday! It took several incarnations to get the recipe right, and I wanted to give you, Dear Reader, ample time to experiment with this recipe before the big toasty day.
You say you haven’t heard of National French Toast day? Well, you’re in good company because neither had I until recently. How did this obscure holiday come to be? Based upon my research, no one source seems to know. However, I did learn some interesting facts about a sweet and savory dish that is a weekend favorite food for many.
The origin of French toast is debatable. One source dated it back to a collection of 4th or 5th century Latin recipes. While another source dated this eggcellent dish back to sixteenth century Europe. Additionally, the French were historically known for reclaiming old, stale bread, dipping it in egg batter, and frying it up.
It’s been known under a wide variety of names such as, “poor knights pudding,” “pain perdu,” “eggy bread,” and “French fried bread” to name a few. The name, “French toast,” according to one popular Maryland breakfast restaurant, first appeared in American print in 1871, in the Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink. Regardless of its origins, or name given to this recipe, most of us can agree, French toast is one delicious dish of tasty goodness.
There are many variations for making French toast, but the basic formula includes bread, dipped in batter, typically made out of eggs and milk, and fried in a pan. Some recipes call for added seasonings such as vanilla and nutmeg, while others call for rich cream and egg yolks with a dash of cinnamon. Other recipes insist on thick bread, while others aren’t as picky.
While reading through numerous recipes for French toast, I saw variations in cooking methodology. Some cooks swear by frying in oil, while others enthusiastically endorse butter. There were several variations of baked French toast, and even recipes that call for frying up the batter-dipped bread, then dipping it again in the batter, and baking it up. I even found several French toast casserole recipes that made my mouth water.
This recipe uses an airfryer, and it offers variations for those with Celiac disease like me (hence the use of gluten free bread and crispy rice cereal). I personally made this plant based as well by using non-dairy milk and a plant based liquid egg replacement, but that is a highly personal choice that may not be your preference. The point is, the recipe is flexible and can meet a wide variety of dietary needs. Plus, using the airfryer, rather than a butter or oil, can be a healthier option for those needing to cut back on dietary fat. That being said, this recipe can be prepared in the traditional frying manner with butter or oil.
The use of Rice Krispies was intentionally designed for fun; after all, I created this recipe in honor of my own birthday. I personally loved the way it added extra texture, visual interest, and the taste did not detract from the overall flavor of the batter. In fact, the cereal gave the recipe a fun and festive vibe that made my inner-child, who needed to be honored on her birthday, smile!
Rather than wait for National French Toast day, why not give this recipe a try?
From my home to yours, I toast to your health and cooking endeavors!
Rice Krispie Airfryer French Toast sticks
with gluten free and vegan options
3 large eggs or plant based equivalent
½ cup favorite milk, dairy or non-dairy
1 tablespoon maple syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon nutmeg, optional
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 cup Rice Krispies
4 slices of thicker bread, cut into “sticks” (gluten free if needed)
In a small shallow pan, stir together egg, milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract, nutmeg (if using), and salt.
On a separate plate or shallow dish, spread out Rice Krispies.
Dip bread into batter mixture.
Press battered bread into cereal twice, coating both sides.
Place battered and coated bread sticks into the airfryer, without overlapping, into a single layer.
Turn the airfryer on 375 degrees and cook for 7-8 minutes.
Repeat the process, if needed, until all “sticks” are cooked.
Keep “sticks” warm until ready to serve.
Top with favorite toppings, syrups, spreads, and/or fruits.
Recipes can be doubled or tripled if needed.
Refrigerate leftovers for up to three days.
You’ll need a few basics to make this gluten and plant based if needed/desired.