This is definitely Sunday Brunch Deep Fried French Toast, and here’s why: it fries up puffy and crisp on the outside and soft and pillowy on the inside.
Plus, look at it! So impressive! From a family recipe from a family friend in Louisiana.
You can make this French toast treat with store bought bread or make it from homemade or brioche or other sweet bread. For a less sweet version, you really might enjoy making it with potato bread, and I won’t even be mad at you if you decide to start with cinnamon rolls. After all, a treat is a treat!
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Why Deep Fry French Toast?
The short answer is “because you can.” I mean, if people dip candy bars or Twinkies in batter and fry them, it hardly seems a stretch to batter and deep fry some soft slices of bread.
Think of it as a Monte Cristo sandwich without the sandwich fixin’s.
French Toast with Louisiana Roots?
This recipe comes from a lady named Susie Friou, originally from Louisiana, who attended my parents’ church for a few years about 35 years ago or so.
I’m not really sure if it’s a recipe that hails from Louisiana, but since Susie Friou made it and she was from Louisiana, by the transitive property, this French toast is from Louisiana as well.
The first time I had it, I think Mrs. Friou made it for the youth group during a beach trip. I was amazed at the deliciousness.
I loved it so much that my mom made this very same recipe for me, my date and our friends for midnight breakfast after senior prom.
Use Fresh Bread for this Deep Fried French Toast
Most French toast, baked French toast, stuffed French toast, and bread pudding recipes call for day old or stale bread. That’s because the beauty of a custard-based French toast is that the dry bread soaks up the custard.
This deep fried French toast isn’t custard based though. It’s batter-based. And that means that the batter isn’t going to soak into the bread.
If you did use stale bread, you’d simply end up with battered and deep fried dry bread. Gross.
Nope, for this, you want fresh, flavorful, enriched bread. Since the batter contains only 1 egg, you’ll need to get the rich egg flavor from the bread itself, and that means using challah, brioche or even cinnamon rolls.
Note to self: try this with cinnamon rolls.
To Add Sugar to the Batter or Not
I recently had someone comment that their French Toast was too salty and they couldn’t eat it. They didn’t like that there was no sugar in the batter.
If you are concerned that the toast itself is unsweetened, Hit it with some powdered sugar as soon as you remove it from the hot oil.
I don’t recommend putting sugar in the batter, because the sugar will burn in the fryer before the batter is completely cooked through.
If you are very sensitive to salt, you can reduce the amount called for in the batter to 1/4 teaspoon.
Brunch Is Time to Pull Out All the Stops
Brunch seems to have gotten a bit of a bad rap these days. Like “brunch” is some sort of ironic meal.
But for me, making brunch means you can sleep in a little bit and still have time to make some special dishes, maybe even to share with friends.
Some of my favorite brunch dishes can even be started the evening before and then shoved in the oven in the morning like my Moravian Sugar Cake Baked French Toast or Apple Cider Doughnut French Toast Casserole.
If you’re not into sweeter dishes, or want to provide a savory option along with your sweets, you can always make a breakfast casserole like this Sausage, Spinach, and Mushroom breakfast casserole.
Once everyone has enjoyed their magical brunch, they’re back and on their way so you can spend the rest of your day watching Netflix. Or nibbling on leftover deep fried French toast.
Peach Berry Sauce, Two Ways
And that sauce? I made it two ways.
- You can enjoy it with whole blueberries and bits of peach for a rustic sauce
- or you can puree it with an immersion blender and strain it for more of a “syrup” experience.
If you’re feeling frisky, mix the puree with some real maple syrup and have the best of both worlds. However you decide to enjoy your deep fried French toast, I know you are going to love it.
I really hope you love this fancy brunch recipe, you guys! If you make it, please share a photo with me, either in the PCO Facebook Group or on instagram by tagging @onlinepastrychef and using hashtag #pcorecipe. Thanks, and enjoy!
- 3/4 cup (about 3 oz) all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, (that's a lot, but it gives flavor. You'll want to use this much, I promise)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 6-8 1 "-1 1/2" pieces soft, , fresh, rich bread (such as challah, brioche or even cinnamon rolls)
- Oil for deep frying, , about 1/2 gallon or so
For the Blueberry Peach Compote (or Sauce)
- 1 pint blueberries, fresh or frozen
- 1 pint sliced peaches, fresh or frozen
- 3-4 Tablespoons honey, or sweetener of choice
- pinch salt
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Whisk together the buttermilk and egg.
- Thoroughly whisk the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture.
- Allow the batter to sit for about 5 minutes. It will get very thick and poufy.
- Bring the oil up to 350F in a large Dutch oven or other deep pot.
- When the oil is just about at temperature, coat two pieces of bread with a thick coating of batter. Make sure to cover all sides.
- Hold each battered piece of bread with tongs and shake over the bowl to remove any excess batter.
- Carefully drop into the hot oil. Repeat with the second slice.
- Fry about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per side until deeply golden brown and crisp. Allow to drain on paper towels and store in the oven at 200F to keep warm.
- Repeat battering and frying with the remaining pieces of bread.
- Serve with your choice of real maple syrup, jam or peach-blueberry compote or sauce (recipe follows)
For the Blueberry Peach Compote (or Sauce)
- Place the berries and peaches in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the sweetener, salt and lemon juice.
- Heat over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Crush some of the blueberries against the side of the pan, but leave most whole.
- Taste and adjust sweetener if necessary.
- Cool slightly, and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Refrigerate leftovers for up to a week
To Make This Into Sauce
- Puree the compote in batches in a blender or using an immersion blender. Press through a fine mesh strainer.
You can cut a pocket in thicker slices of bread and stuff each piece with whatever sounds good: jam, cream cheese, chocolate chips, peanut butter, etc. As long as you don't overstuff them, the batter should keep your filling from leaking out into the oil.
You should have just enough batter to coat your bread. Feel free to double the amount (just double everything including the baking powder to 4 teaspoons and the baking soda to 3 teaspoons/1 Tablespoon). If you do have extra batter, you can carefully drop tablespoons of the batter into the oil fry them until golden brown, let them drain for a minute on paper towels and then roll them in sugar or cover them with a boatload of powdered sugar for short-cut beignets. Seriously good!
Nutritionals are for 1 of 8 slices of French toast and 1/8 of the sauce.
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Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1 slice
Amount Per Serving Calories 319Total Fat 4gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 40mgSodium 647mgCarbohydrates 64gFiber 3gSugar 18gProtein 9g
The stated nutritional information is provided as a courtesy. It is calculated through third party software and is intended as a guideline only.
Thanks so much for spending some time with me today. Enjoy the French toast, and have a lovely day.