French toast sticks require only a dusting of confectioners’ sugar and maple syrup for serving, however berries, sliced fruit (like bananas, peaches, etc.), and compote are also recommended. These are great on their own for breakfast or brunch, but also make a stellar dessert when served with a scoop or two of ice cream.
Cut each slice of bread into thirds to make sticks. (Don't worry about making each piece perfectly straight and rectangular.)
For the batter, mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla extract. Pour the wet into the dry ingredients and fold, using a spatula, until just combined. The batter might be a little lumpy and that’s perfectly fine, just make sure not to overmix.
In batches, immerse a few of the sticks into the batter and let sit for 3 minutes. Transfer the bread sticks to a wire rack set over a baking sheet to drain while the oil heats.
In a large, deep skillet, heat about 1 1/2 inches vegetable oil over high heat until it reads 350° F on a deep-fat thermometer. Working with a few at a time, fry the bread sticks for 3 minutes, flip, and fry on the second side until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Dust with confectioners’ sugar, drizzle with maple syrup (or serve some in a cup alongside for dunking), and serve with fruit or any of its iterations, if you like. Serve immediately.