Falling in Love with French Toast: Banana Bread French Toast
This scrumptious banana bread French toast will change your life.
We love French toast. Doesn’t everyone? We love a good bread, one of substance, soaked in an egg wash, maybe with a touch of cinnamon,and then cooked until it just starts to get crusty but not tough. There are a thousand ways to fix and serve French toast. We go to an extra effort to match the syrup with the toast and what we and our family likes. We’re not stuck on plain French toast or maple syrup.
We stumbled across a picture of banana bread French toast—I don’t remember where. It opened a new world for us. We’re not through exploring that world.
About the Syrup
You have to understand buttermilk syrup to appreciate it. Buttermilk is very tangy, acidic. Most people don’t like buttermilk plain but it is so useful in baking. It’s the acid that gives buttermilk that sharp taste.
But when you take the acid out of buttermilk, it becomes very smooth and mellow. When you add a sweetener, it tastes like caramel—maybe with some buttermilk tones. I’ve never found anyone who is not delighted with the taste of buttermilk syrup.
But how do you take the acid out? You don’t really—you neutralize the acid. You add a base and create a chemical reaction between the acid and base. You get a lot of bubbles (nice science demonstration for the kids) and a sweet, caramelly syrup.
Baking soda is commonly used as the base. The only trick is getting the right balance of acid and base to completely neutralize the acid taste without leaving hints of baking soda.
We make buttermilk syrup mixes. (You add water and butter.) We take that balance right down to neutral, a pH of 7. We’ve added flavors to create eight varieties like coconut and banana buttermilk syrups. The coconut buttermilk syrup is a mixture of coconut and caramel. Not bad for a morning treat.
Banana Bread French Toast Tips for Success
- Pick a good recipe or mix for your banana bread.
- Consider adding cinnamon chips. (If you use our mix, it has cinnamon chips in it.)
- Use the ripest of bananas, dark and starting to get squishy. If you don’t have bananas like that, add banana flavor. (When our bananas get to that stage, we freeze them for banana bread and muffins. We make so much banana bread that we go to the store and buy their extra-ripe bananas—at a discount—and freeze them.)
- Consider adding nuts. The nuts add flavor and a delightful crunch to your French toast.
- Make the banana bread the day before and refrigerate it overnight. Not only does it taste better the second day but chilling makes it firmer and easier to handle without breaking.
- Cook the French toast until it’s almost crusty but not tough.
Your fun with bananas doesn’t have to end here. All you need to do is tell us where to send more yummy ways to use your bananas, and you’ll get a free mix too!
Keep reading below for more banana French toast ideas.
What You’ll Need (And Shopping Tips)
If you don’t have a recipe that you have proven and trust, use our Cinnamon Chip Banana Bread Mix.
It has a pop of banana flavor and a burst of cinnamon in every bite. It’s the best banana bread you’ll ever have, and it’s no wonder that it would make such amazing French toast.
If you need cinnamon chips, you can buy them online though they can be hard to find except in fourth quarter. Consider trying ours: Buy a large bag of cinnamon chips.
Get a buttermilk syrup mix. You can make your own but since buttermilk varies, it’s tricky to get the right balance between buttermilk and the base. You can choose from a variety of flavors.
Next Banana Bread French Toast Discoveries
Crusted French Toast
As I finish up this article, Kelli is in the test kitchen making more banana bread. On the agenda is a pecan-crusted banana bread French toast. After dipping the banana bread in the egg wash, she’ll dredge the slices in crushed pecans. The heat of the griddle will toast the pecans. We have done this with other French toast and with cornflakes and it is yummy.
Mixing in Pineapple
I’ve always liked pineapple and bananas together in my baking. We’ll try adding some well-drained crushed pineapple to the mix. We may need to tinker with the moisture amount. (We’ll let you know in a later article.) Alternately, we’ll use a granulated dry pineapple that has worked well for us. (We use that granulated pineapple in our Hawaiian Pancake Mix to make really great pancakes.)
Adding Flavored Whipped Cream
We’ll make a pineapple whipped cream for topping, probably a pineapple and cream cheese whipped cream which is a great combination. Strawberry whipped cream and chocolate whipped cream are delightful with cream cheese added. The cream cheese adds both flavor and stability so it doesn’t melt so quickly. If you decide to try these, beat the cream cheese and sugar together to break up the cream cheese and avoid lumps. Use two ounces of cream cheese for every one cup of whipping cream.
We have never thought to put Banana Buttermilk Syrup on our banana bread French toast. We’ll try that this week. There is more that we—and you—can do with your banana bread French toast with different flavors and syrups. Stay tuned. It will be a fun journey.
(Updated April 13, 2015)