Sunday, October 6, 2013

(Vegan) Bento Bread Scraps, Crusts, and Heels French Toast Casserole (or Muffins!) Recipe

After trying a variety of different recipes that skipped an egg substitute (because I'm too lazy to make flax eggs!) I finally ended up giving in and just converted my original one. My previous attempts had all been rejected by Miss Z, for being too mushy or too banana-y, or just generally blechy. 

Vegan Bread Scrap French Toast Casserole (or Muffins!)
  • 5 cups (gluten-free) bread scraps and heels, torn into small bits (1" or smaller.)
  • 4-5 "flax eggs" (see below)
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup applesauce or mashed banana
  • 1/3 cup (gluten-free) pancake mix or flour mix
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • non-dairy butter or coconut oil, slightly chilled
  • non-stick cooking spray or oil 
Flax Eggs
Mix 1 Tbsp flax meal with 3 Tbsp warm water for each egg (can make all at once.) Let sit 15-60 minutes (in fridge is best.) You can make these up to 3 days in advance. Chia seeds or meal also works well, same ratios.)

For Topping:
1 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp sugar
(optional) 1/4 c (gluten-free) quick-cook oats

Preheat oven to 400 F
1. Grease 9"x13" casserole dish and melt 2 Tbsp coconut oil or non-dairy butter in it before dumping in all the bread scraps and spreading them evenly. 
(Or for muffin pan, grease and place a tiny sliver of non-dairy butter or coconut oil in each cup. Divide the bread pieces evenly among the muffin cups, pressing them down to stay below the top of the pan.)

3. In a medium to large bowl, mix flax eggs, milk, maple syrup, applesauce, pancake mix, 1 tsp cinnamon, and vanilla.

4. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread scraps, lightly mix to coat all the bread pieces, and let it soak in for at least 5-minutes, then stir again.
(For muffins, pour slowly and let settle a bit. You may need to top off with extras.)

5. Combine 1 tsp cinnamon with 3 Tbsp sugar (and oats, if using) and sprinkle evenly over the top of the scraps, and then add slivers of non-dairy butter or coconut oil around the top. (Or drizzle 1 Tbsp melted.)
(For muffins, add a thin shaving of non-dairy butter or coconut oil on each one.)

6. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until brown and crispy on the outside. 

(Makes 1 pan - serves 4-6, or 12-16 muffins)

  • Gluten-free bread tends to get mushy fast if you let the mixture soak in, and usually the top layer gets really crunchy. If this is too "blechy" for your kids, try just pouring the mixture over the bread scraps without mixing, then quickly add the topping and non-dairy butter slivers, before putting in the oven. The mixture should settle and soak in as it cooks, but results will vary each time.
  • Gluten-free baked goods really need help not tasting blah, and usually require extra seasonings and spices. So don't be afraid to be more heavy-handed with the cinnamon!
  • For frozen bread scraps, check tips from Rachel's Random Ramblings (note: gluten-free bread might not freeze well, depending on brand)
  • When making shaped sandwiches, if you cut the bread first, before adding fillings, the scraps will be "clean" and you can save them in the fridge or freezer until you have enough.
  • A great use for those pesky heels too!
  • To re-heat, microwave one muffin or  serving of casserole on High for 30-seconds. 
  • Store any extras in an air-tight container in the fridge. They should last at least a week. 
  • They taste great with either powdered sugar, maple syrup, or fruit jelly or compote. Or anything else you'd put on French toast! (My husband likes peanut butter and syrup! Freak.)
  • You can prep ahead by having the bread scraps pre-torn, and the "egg" mixture mixed the night before - just be sure to give the egg mixture another whisk before adding to the bread scraps! 

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