Summer in Oxford, and the streets stink of champagne. The river gets steadily browner with each passing week, as confetti-covered students free of exams leap into it one by one. The last few days of my second year have been a chaotic blur of rushing deadlines, last-minute meetings, choked goodbyes, late nights, early mornings, coffee.
I’m home now though, and it’s nice to have a chance to slow down and reset. Nothing says relaxation like an indulgent breakfast; to take time more time over breakfast is to revel in the fact that you’ve got up late and don’t have to rush straight out of the door. However, I’m not interested in breakfasts that are too high maintenance (if I’m making them myself, that is) because who can be bothered with that. French toast is a good compromise; it is a little more fiddly than my standard smoothie or porridge breakfast, but still very quick and not too much washing up.
French toast is typically made of thick white bread, cream, butter and lots of sugar, which does not set anyone up well for the day ahead. This version is much lighter but still delicious! I love topping mine with fresh fruit, thick yogurt, almond butter, toasted seeds, or with a drizzle of syrup or grated chocolate. The options are endless! You want a fairly thick, dense, but wholegrain bread — I found wholewheat sourdough to be perfect, but I’ve also used rye sourdough and regular wholewheat and it’s worked fine.
- 4 slices of dense wholegrain bread, like wholewheat sourdough
- 4-5 tbsps pure maple syrup or honey, to taste
- 1 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsps vanilla essence
- 1 tbsp coconut oil or butter, melted (plus more for frying)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
- In a bowl, mix together the beaten eggs, milk, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, cinnamon and vanilla until well combined.
- Pour this into a shallow baking dish, then lay the slices of bread in it so that they soak up the mixture. You want each piece to soak for at least 30 seconds on either side — ideally all the mixture should be soaked up if done properly.
- In a large frying pan, heat half a teaspoon of coconut oil or butter. When the pan is hot, add a slice of bread and fry for around a minute, then turn over to the other side. Repeat with all the slices.
- Serve with toppings of choice and enjoy!