Most days I am a pretty basic breakfast person. A plain cheese, or ham sandwich (maybe with a pickle) will do just fine. On days when I can actually be bothered with turning on the stove that early in the day, a simple egg, or bacon (or both) sandwich is usually enough to keep me satisfied until lunchtime. The scent of fried, smoky bacon alone is homely and enjoyable enough to convince me that the rest of the day will be good. Some other mornings I am more of a sweet tooth and just want a juicy piece of fruit. However, some days I wake up so incredibly ravenous that I find myself incapable of choosing between sweet and savoury, fruit and fried food… and on those days, I might consider making a bit of a special effort for a good, substantial breakfast. This French toast with bacon, banana and honey is the perfect breakfast for those gluttonous days.
“Bacon AND banana?” you might ask, perhaps a little puzzled by the seemingly odd combination. And I would reply: “Yeah, and there’s egg, milk, honey and cinnamon in there too”. Would you respond with a look of disgust, or would you be enticed by this breakfast of champions? When I first posted this breakfast-concoction on my Instagram-account about a year ago, some people responded very enthusiastically while some jokingly questioned if I was pregnant, or just a bit strange. Not pregnant. Maybe a bit strange. Be that as it may, there is definitely nothing strange about this French toast!
I mean, just look at it. Isn’t that something you want to see first thing in the morning (perhaps only preceded by hot cup of coffee)? Caramel-y fried Banana? Good. Crispy and salty bacon? GOOD. Both on top of a cinnamon-y, hot piece of French toast? Epic. Really. The salty, smokiness of crispy fried bacon contrasts really well with the sweet, slightly caramelized and soft banana slices and it adds just enough of that savory crunch many of us crave throughout the day (this can’t just be me, right?). Best of all, this breakfast will definitely get you fully energized and ready to tackle the rest of the day!
Tip #1: Making French toast is a perfect way to use up stale bread. It is actually recommended to use bread that is 2 or 3 days old, since it absorbs a lot of the milk and egg mixture without completely falling apart after being dipped into it. Fun trivia: the name for this dish in French is actually ‘pain perdu’, meaning ‘lost bread’ – the name specifically makes reference to the use of stale bread which otherwise would be ‘lost’.
Tip #2: Want to make your French toast even more epic by going for a full “Elvis-style” experience? Peanut butter and banana sandwiches (with or without bacon) have often been referred to as the favourite snack of Elvis Presley (Oh man, I am full of fun trivia today). Spread a thin layer of peanut butter on your French toast before topping it with the banana and bacon, for an extra gluttonous experience. You can, of course, omit the bacon for a vegetarian option!
French Toast with Bacon, Banana and Honey
- 4 slices of white bread, or brioche
- 1 large egg
- 90ml milk
- ½ tablespoon caster sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 25g butter, for frying
- 4 large-, or 8 thin rashers of bacon (1 large, or 2 thin per toast)
- 1-2 bananas, cut into 1cm thick slices
- Honey, to serve
- In a deep plate, beat together the milk, egg, caster sugar and cinnamon until well combined.
- Melt half of the butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Place the banana slices into the hot pan and brown slightly on each side for about 30 seconds. Do not leave the bananas in the pan for too long as they will turn mushy. Remove the banana slices from the pan onto a plate and set aside.
- In the same pan, fry the bacon over medium-high heat until crispy. When the bacon is done transfer to a plate covered with a piece of kitchen paper.
- Wipe most of the bacon grease out of the pan with a piece of kitchen paper. Melt the remaining half of butter in the frying pan.
- Dunk slices of bread in the milk and egg mixture, letting both sides of the bread soak up the mixture really well. The inside of the bread should be moist without falling apart. Work in batches of 2 slices of bread at the same time.
- Place the soaked slices of bread in the hot pan and cook for a few minutes on each side until golden brown on the outside, but still slightly moist on the inside. Check if the toast is done by piercing the toast with a knife; the inside should be moist, but not soggy and raw. If the pan gets too dry in between different batches, add a little bit more butter before frying the next batch of toast. Keep cooked French toast warm under a piece of aluminum foil while you cook the remaining slices.
- Serve the warm French toast topped with the baked banana slices, crispy bacon and a good drizzle of honey on top.