Sweet Hawaiian bread battered and deep fried to crispy perfection on the outside, but light and fluffy on the inside, then served with tropical butter and finished with a sprinkle of toasted coconut.
Ten years ago, my husband and I took a trip to Hawaii to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We were staying on Oahu at the beautiful Ko Olina Resort, but traveled in to Honolulu for a special Brunch on the Beach street fair held on Sundays during the summer. We were lured to Brunch on the Beach with a promise of good food and free Hawaiian entertainment.
We weren’t disappointed. When I saw the beautiful French toast plate Duke’s Waikiki was serving, I had to have it. It was almost too pretty to eat. Each plate was served with an exotic orchid on top. I snapped the above picture before we dug in, and that was years before I started food blogging.
And it tasted even better than it looked. I had never had deep fried French toast before, and it took French toast to a entirely new level. It was crispy on the outside, but still light and fluffy on the inside. With sweet tropical butter dripping off of each French toast stick, it was the best street foot I’d ever eaten.
I dreamed about that French toast for years. When I stumbled on Red Star yeast’s recipe for Hawaiian Sweet Bread, I knew the time had finally come to try and recreate the deep fried French toast sticks at home.
I searched for some deep fried French toast recipes online for inspiration. My recipe is a combination of the Punalu’u Bake Shop’s Sweetbread French Toast recipe and Our Best Bites Puffed French Toast.
This French toast is fantastic and pretty close to the French toast I remember eating that day in Hawaii. My tropical butter wasn’t nearly as good as Duke’s. I guess that just means I need to keep working on it.
This recipe made more French toast sticks than my crowd could eat for one breakfast, so I froze the leftovers. They froze well and tasted almost as good as they did the day I made them. So my advice is to go for it and just fry up the entire loaf.
1 loaf Hawaiian Sweet Bread
6 eggs beaten
1 cup milk
1/2 cup half and half or heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Canola oil for frying
Cut bread in to 1 inch slices, then cut into 1 1/2 inch sticks.
Preheat 2 inches of oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 365º F.
Beat together egg, milk, cream, sugar, salt and vanilla. Dip slices of bread in batter and fry until golden brown. Turn once. Let your oil get back to 365º before cooking each batch.
Serve warm with Tropical Fruit Butter. Garnish with toasted coconut.