Vanilla French Toast for a Cool Autumn Day

by Jenn on October 15, 2010

in Breakfast,Gluten Free

French Toast Sunday Morning's French Toast

French toast is one of those “candy-for-breakfast” meals that I treasure on cool mornings.  There’s just something so relaxing about sleeping in, shutting all the windows to block out the trains passing by and the traffic down the street, instead to just take it slow.  And this past weekend is no exception.  Why? Amidst all the bustle of our work-lives, the weekend is our time to relax.  There are some times on Saturday when we don’t get out of our apt. until noon, and it’s a beautiful beautiful thing.

I like to save French toast for the Fall because it has to be chilly out for me to really enjoy a hot breakfast.  Not just “I should wear long sleeves” chilly but “I can see my breath, and if I didn’t have a scarf on, my chin would probably fall off” chilly.  Ok, so it hasn’t gotten that cold here, and it probably won’t.  But a couple ºC feels mighty brisk when the wind is blowing.  Right now the leaves are turning, and a few are even getting some bright colors!  Maybe it’s a New Englander thing, but I’m obsessed with pretty colored leaves.  When I tell people that where I grew up, this time of year was the main tourist season because people would travel from all over just to come to my neck of the woods to watch the leaves change colors, I often get really confused looks. Seeing hills and mountainsides alive with color, nature’s very own canvas for her paintings of joy, excitement, and celebration of the past summer, have a special place in me.  They always have, they probably always will.  So it’s completely natural that I would love to go traveling around the Swiss countryside for the sole purpose of admiring the gorgeous color of the trees.

Oh wait, I do, haha.  We sort of did last weekend as we went hiking in the canton of Fribourg near Gruyères.  The hills were just starting to develop some color…at least what we could see from the fog rolling through…

Sentier des Fromageries: Gruyères-Gare to Moléson-Village

Sentier des Fromageries: Gruyères-Gare to Moléson-Village Sentier des Fromageries: Gruyères-Gare to Moléson-Village

Hiking in the fog is really a great thing.  It means you get to stay cool, and the entire landscape around you takes on this ethereal quality.  You sometimes wonder if another world might poke itself through if you squint hard enough into that dense fog…

Sentier des Fromageries: Gruyères-Gare to Moléson-Village

Makes you just wanna curl up in your comfiest sweatshirt huddling a cup of hot steaming tea, doesn’t it?

Of course we were on the Sentier des Fromageries, so our hike wouldn’t be complete without some cows and old rustic barns & huts…

Sentier des Fromageries: Gruyères-Gare to Moléson-Village Sentier des Fromageries: Gruyères-Gare to Moléson-Village

French toast seems fitting to go with a leisurely hike through the Autumn hills of Suisse.  It’s quicker than pancakes, and so stress-free.  Really, I don’t think that you can mess it up.  All you need is good bread (which, luckily, we easily buy gluten free here), some eggs, milk, and of course, real maple syrup.  Again my New England roots are showing, but I really am a purist when it comes to maple syrup.  Go splurge on the real stuff, you’ll thank yourself later.  The flavor just doesn’t compare.  And real maple syrup soaks into the bread so well, it’s key to making sure you are eating candy for breakfast :)

Also submitted to – Gluten Free Wednesdays

Gluten Free French Toast


2 eggs, beaten
1/2 – 3/4 cup milk
1/2 vanilla bean
pinch nutmeg
8 slices of good quality bread (gluten free or regular depending on your needs) *
lots of butter

1.  Whisk together eggs and milk in a bowl.  Cut vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the liquid and add nutmeg.
2. Dip bread slices in the mixture, making sure to coat every surface well.  I usually let them soak up liquid for at least 15 – 30 s.
3. Heat a grill pan and melt a knob of butter, making sure to spread it around evenly on the pan on medium high. When hot (i.e. test with some water and make sure it sizzles), fry the bread slices, 30s – 1 minute on each side – this will depend on your exact heat setting, but you want to bread to brown nicely.  Melt more butter as needed.
4. Serve in a pretty stack and pour maple syrup on top to enjoy :)

*Note – you will notice there are two types of bread in my photos.  That’s because while my husband is gluten free, I do not need to be and to save money, I eat glutenicious bread.  In order to safely prepare this meal for the both of us, I make his French toast and serve it to him first before ever attempting to even so much as take my bread out of its bag so that I don’t contaminate things for him.  Please do not attempt to mix glutenicious and gluten free foods in the same dish, you will render your “gluten free” versions unsafe for those that cannot tolerate gluten.  Please contact your certified health care professional about the exact requirements of maintaining a gluten free environment if you have a mixed gluten free/glutenicious household, and please please please do not assume that what works for me and my husband’s sensitivities will work for you.


French Toast