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Vanilla French toast with banana and maple syrup

My son was off from pre-school yesterday with a poorly tummy so I spoiled him all day. We watched two movies (The Princess and The Frog then Rio), and ate this syrupy fried bread for lunch. I quite enjoyed myself, as did he. I still remember the thrill (even if you were ill) of staying at home, tucked under a duvet cover, telly on, heating full blast. I was happy to recreate that for him. I really miss him now he’s there 5 days a week and question every day if it’s the right thing to do. He’s so little still!

Anyhoo… This is an adapted recipe from Gwyneth Paltrow’s first recipe book. It’s one I have mentioned before on here. Forget any preconceptions you may have – it’s a wonderful family cook book, I very much recommend it. She uses brioche, which would be extra yummy. I expect it soaks up the egg and milk mixture much more than my sturdy homemade loaf did. If you are using thick white bread also, then you’ll find that the mixture will go quite far, you’ll probably have quite a bit left over. Likewise if you use brioche it will go less far, so judge the amount it will serve on that basis. It’s not something that requires precise measurements, so don’t worry too much about that…

Just a note on the amount of milk – it’s a lot! That means that you don’t have to soak the bread for long, if you soak some breads for too long they will fall apart – so keep an eye on that.

To make enough for 4 people: 
3 slices of bread (this depends on the bread – a rustic loaf will soak up less, a brioche say will soak up more)
1 or 2 bananas, sliced thinly
2 eggs, beaten
250ml whole milk
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out
Butter for frying
Pinch or two of caster sugar for each slice
Maple syrup, for pouring
Icing sugar, to decorate

  1. Beat your eggs and mix with your milk. 
  2. Scrape the vanilla seeds out from the pod and add to mix, making sure they are mixing in and not sticking together in a clump. 
  3. Soak your bread slices for a few minutes, pressing them down to get as much soaked up as possible. 
  4. Fry a good knob of butter in a frying pan until frothing. 
  5. Add the bread slices, sprinkling one side with sugar (do the same on the other side once it’s been  flipped). 
  6. Fry on both sides for a few minutes, until crispy and brown. 
  7. Serve sliced in two, with a knob of butter on top to melt, some bananas, then some syrup and a final dusting of icing sugar. 


  1. November 21, 2013 / 1:57 pm

    Your recipes all look amazing, and like something potentially I could rustle up myself! I am definitely going to be trying this at the weekend!!

  2. February 13, 2014 / 5:02 pm

    This is the latest reply EVER! But hey! Thanks for comment. It is very easy and you just reminded me that I should make some too! : )

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