Who doesn't love French toast? This morning I decided it would be a good idea for a late breakfast (I suppose it could be called brunch), and then I realized we had half a loaf of some rustic white bread left over from the delicious spaghetti dinner Pam made last night.
Full disclosure: this was just a nice loaf from the nearest Trucchi's grocery -- nothing we did ourselves and nothing too fancy. Still, we did give it a little thought, as in spending a few seconds thinking about whether we should use this or use the wheat sandwich bread on hand. I don't know why we hesitated. Not only was half a loaf better than none, half a loaf was just right!
I made a simple batter of three eggs, beaten with an equivalent amount of one-percent milk. I added some pure vanilla and cardamom for flavor and a smidge of baking powder for fluffiness. I then sliced the bread into one-inch slabs and heated up the indispensable cast-iron griddle, melting just a small amount of butter on it. I was a bit concerned as it heated and I caught a whiff of the Old Bay from our most recent crab-cake meal, but in the end this was either not noticeable or blended with the inherent saltiness of the bread.
I noticed that the bread was both firm, so that it did not fall apart in soaking, but also large-pored, so that it did not hold a lot of batter. The crusts were rigid, though, so once the first side had browned, I drizzled just a bit of the batter over the bread, "trapping" some of it in the middle. Quite a bit ran onto the griddle, but nobody was harmed by that. Pam noticed a bit of a custardy center in the final product. We had considered a multi-grain bread last night, but the texture of this white bread was probably better.
And the final product was quite nice, indeed, I must admit. Served with some warmed, local maple syrup (you'll find no Aunt Jemima's in Casa Hayes-Boh), it was just perfect: mostly sweet but a little savory, mostly soft but a little crusty. Cold, organic applesauce and a fresh batch of Sumatran coffee rounded out the meal.
Sometime soon, though, I will prepare a rustic loaf of my own, just for this purpose!