Posted on August 13 2012

My dad’s bread, a French Toast recipe, and a giveaway

Just about one year ago, exactly, my dad set out to make his own bread.  He mentioned wanting to find a great recipe to get the ball rolling, and I suggested the Tartine Bread cookbook.  I’d never made the Tartine bread, or anything from any Tartine cookbook at that point, but I knew their bread was my favorite and the cookbook was beautiful.  After a few trials, dialing in the basics to make it works for his set up, my dad figured it out.  He’s become quite the bread wizard, experimenting with different variations all the time.

The loaf he uses for his everyday bread is amazing – I’ve enjoyed many a sandwich with that bread.  Spending a few days at my parents’ this past weekend, it began calling out to be made into French toast.  The last section of the cookbook is full of recipes for day-old bread.  How clever and practical!  I used their French toast recipe to make the fanciest breakfast delight for my family.

(Keep reading for the best French toast recipe I’ve ever used, and a Tartine Bread cookbook giveaway after the jump!)

Tartine Bread French Toast

2 slices day-old Country Bread, each 1½ inches thick

(note: Rustic bread works best, and French bread would also hold up to soaking in the custard.  Pre-sliced loaves of bread would get a bit soggy!)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Custard Base:
3 eggs
2 tablespoons sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk

In a bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the custard base.  Place the slices of bread in the bowl for about 1 hour, until the bread is saturated.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Heat a skillet over med-high heat, and melt the butter to coat the pan.  Place each slice of bread into the skillet, cooking for approximately 3 minutes, pressing on them occasionally with the bottom of the spatula to help seal the bread and it cooks evenly.  Ladle more custard base into the center of each bread slice.  If the liquid leaks out of the bottom, the bread isn’t sealed, so continue cooking for 1 minute, pressing again slightly to help the custard seal.  When they are sealed, transfer the skillet to the middle rack of the oven without turning the toast!

Bake the slices 12-15 minutes, and then shake the pan to see if the custard is still liquid.  If so, continue baking.  The thickness of the slices impact the bake time, so they may need to bake for up to 20 minutes.  The custard soufflés when fully cooked, so look for inflated slices when they’re done!

To serve, place each slice of toast caramelized-side up on the plates.  The recipe suggests spreading a Hachiya persimmon over top of each slice.  (I imagine that would be delicious, I didn’t have one handy!)

I want to share this cookbook with one of you!  To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment letting me know your favorite way to eat bread!  All comments need to be left here on this post by midnight Thursday August 17, 2012.  I’ll be announcing the lucky winner on Friday morning!

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UPDATE: THE WINNER!

I’m so excited to announce the winner!  It was so much fun reading all the ways everyone enjoys eating good bread!  Thanks to the random number generator, congratulations is in order to comment #22: Sue!  I enjoy a good Monte Cristo, too!  (Please send an email with your address to: kastner (dot) emily (at) gmail (dot) com!)

  1. Judi says:

    My favorite way to eat bread? Out of the oven, warm, with unsalted butter and a sprinkle of sea salt.

  2. Melissa says:

    My favorite way to eat bread is warm or slightly toasted & coated with jam.

    Learning to soak the bread in the custard mixture completely revolutionized my French Toast making. It’s so much better!

  3. Amy D. says:

    Lightly toasted and buttered with drops of honey.

  4. Colleen says:

    My favorite way to eat bread? BLT, yum. Bread pudding, yum. Bruschetta, yum. Something I really love is Welsh rarebit. Sounds fancy and exotic, British isles style, right? Actually it’s just toast with cheese sauce, nom, nom, nom.

  5. Jodie says:

    Since I’m in Turkey, I love to have the typical Turkish bread warm out of the oven – crispy on the outside and soft and warm on the inside – with some real butter smothered all over it!

  6. mazawi says:

    peanut butter and homemade jam – that’s how we do.

  7. gail says:

    i love to eat it plain, out of the oven

  8. Megan says:

    Oh! My favorite is toasted with butter and honey.

  9. Avery says:

    Does “ALL THE TIME” count?

  10. Erin says:

    Definitely bread pudding! My favorite and most indulgent use up for stale bread.

  11. Katherine says:

    I love bread in general… but you can’t beat a fresh slice, still warm from the oven with a little butter on top. YUM.

  12. sarah says:

    oh my lord that looks delicious! my favorite way to eat bread is with some mozarella, tomatoes, and basil on top. just ask every single potluck i’ve brought exactly that to this summer…

  13. Stephanie says:

    MY favorite way to eat bread is lightly toasted with butter.

  14. shannon says:

    Torn off a hot fresh loaf and dipped in seasoned olive oil.

  15. Danielle says:

    My favorite way to eat bread is toasted with butter & honey.

  16. Sarah says:

    What a great giveaway! I love to eat bread fresh out of the oven with honey and butter. mmmmmmmmm so delicious!

  17. Barbara says:

    Your Tartine Bread French Toast is fantastic!!
    My favorite way to eat bread? With ham and mozzarella!
    Thanks, GREAT giveaway!

  18. Dianne says:

    Fresh bread is one of the best things in the world. I love getting a piping hot baguette from the bakery to eat little bits of it all the way home…or simply any bread toasted with nutella!

  19. suzzanne nakama says:

    My fav is french toast, but nothing like yours. I’m drooling.

  20. Emily says:

    Toasted with butter. Or with thick slices of tomato and mozzarella during summer.

  21. Wendy says:

    I think every way to eat bread is my favorite!! Well, except with butter cause I have an issue with butter (blame my mom :)

  22. Sue says:

    Never has to be anything fancy, but a “to die for” sandwich is the Monte Cristo with raspberry preserves to dip it in…oh my!

  23. Sarah says:

    It love a giant homemade pretzel, straight from the oven, made by my one true love! sooo good…

  24. Sara says:

    My favorite way would be a lightly toasted piece of freshly baked bread with a bit of honey apple butter smeared across the surface. So tasty.

  25. Emily says:

    Oh–with smashed avocado, a bit of Tapatio, and a sprinkle of sea salt!

  26. Shar says:

    I’m pretty content with the simple things in life. Just toast it and spread generously with butter and I’ll be happy as a clam. Occasionally, I’ll add some raspberry jam for variety.

  27. Charlee says:

    I love toast and would say my favorite way to eat it is with a perfectly poached egg! Strong runner up would be warm from the toaster with Butter & Jam.

  28. Lindsey Royal Anderson says:

    I love the simplicity of bread and butter. I like the bread cooled just enough so that the butter keeps its form slightly (versus melting completely, leaving me wondering if there is butter at all anymore while my hands are actually all greased up!), and even with a tiny smidge of sea salt atop!

  29. Katherine says:

    Warm quick bread-pumpkin, banana, spice, etc.-right from the oven with a pat of creamy butter

  30. Lauren says:

    A piece of toasty sourdough spread covered with avocado (better than butter) sprinkled with sea salt and pepper in nothing short of divine – and a lovely slice of tomato and you’ve got lunch. mmmmmm

  31. rosanna says:

    The smitten kitchen recipe for spring panzanella is an amazing use for bread. i can’t stop eating the buttery, garlic-y, parmesan-y cubes before the whole dish is assembled.

    Also, toasted with avocado, salt and pepper.

  32. cindy says:

    looks great!

  33. Stephanie M says:

    I love just barely cooled bread dipped in some olive oil that’s been flavored with a touch of sea salt. Simple and perfect.

  34. Anna T. says:

    I’m joining the toasted, with butter crowd. Another good option is toasted with Nutella.

  35. anna blewett says:

    I’m in the UK and this time every year my mum goes to a tree at the side of a quiet road next to a cornfield to pick bullace – a small wild hedgeplum. They make a pinky caramel-coloured jam: sharper than cherry plum, more complex than victoria. The best thing ever is this jam, spread on melty salted butter, on a thick slice of toasted crusty bread. It rights all wrongs.

  36. Nicole says:

    In a panzanella or savory bread pudding!

  37. Malia says:

    A delicious olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a bit of parmesan mixed together on a saucer for dipping oven warmed bread

  38. Rachel Laug says:

    Toasted, cooled, spread with copious amounts of butter and just a little Marmite(that my American husband absolutely hated but now loves!). Comforts me of every shred of disappointment or homesickness and makes any victory sweeter!

  39. Eric says:

    I’m simple and how I like my bread depends on what I feel like each morning. Right now I love peanut butter on toast and sometimes I load it up with banana and honey!

  40. Anthony says:

    My favorite way to eat bread is sliced fresh off a new loaf, toasted lightly, buttered with salted butter and slathered with freshly made jam.

  41. Alisha says:

    With strawberry jam!

  42. Fiorella says:

    I love anything with blueberries… this includes french toast and not too much butter … the less butter the better. SHOCKING, I know.

  43. kendrah says:

    okay, okay- i’ll enter to win the bread book. i definitely need to learn a thing or two. and my favorite way to eat bread would be with peanut butter and jam.

  44. Rachana says:

    You have 49 responses! Go you Emily! I personally been obsessed with French Toast and just simple toast with butter. No real creative juices on my response! I passed Tartine again and thought of you!

  45. Melanie says:

    So many yummy comments-love the french toast recipe! My favorite way to enjoy: Crusty French Bread, warm out of the oven, slathered with butter, then with a spoonful or two of husband Ike’s garlic-heavy basil tomato sauce, then with good parmesan or romano, and perhaps a sprinkle of olive oil. So basic but so good.

  46. Jenn says:

    Hot from my mother, with butter…. real butter… next to my mom with a cup of tea that has honey in it.. with still floured hands from making ti with her…

    OR…

    With my son… with much the same description.

  47. Jenn says:

    (from the oven.. oy I’m tired)

  48. Jess says:

    Toasted with some orange marmalade. :)

  49. Jennifer says:

    Hmmm… One of my favorite ways to eat day old bread is in ribolita (bread soup). For fresh bread I like it toasted and topped with olive oil, fresh sliced tomatoes, basil, and salt. Yum!

  50. Darcy Wilkin says:

    Ever take one of those vacations that you thought would be so relaxing? But instead, you ended up being forced into a macrobiotic diet that left you incredibly hungry all the time? And you were offered coffee by your hosts, while being told (by them), “It smells good, but I wouldn’t put it in my body”? Or you were awakened way, way too early to go on a “walk” that ended up being a hike up a MOUNTAIN? On no coffee? And once you realized that this was going to be awful but you can get through, you’ll just zone out on TV, there was no TV? And then you were going to see the beautiful scenery in the area – “a little tour”, they called it – and you wound up looking at bronze plaques listing the names of sailors who were lost at sea? A whole lot of bronze plaques? Ever take one of those trips? I did. It was terrible. But I did learn that I absolutely LOVE toast with tahini, honey and salt. Tahini: because peanut butter is, and I quote, “toxic”.

  51. Monica says:

    One of my favorite ways to eat bread in summertime
    In Romania was: a slice of cold watermelon with some teleme
    White soft sheep cheese (or feta cheese) and fresh soft sourdough bread on the side. I know it sounds weird, but it’s such a tasty combination.

  52. Elise says:

    Warm from the oven, if I’m lucky, with homemade strawberry jam!

  53. Claire says:

    toasted with butter. yum :)

  54. Jen says:

    I love sourdough bread toasted and topped with olive oil spread and hot sauce. The sour in the bread and the vinegar in the hot sauce are the best!!!

  55. Athena says:

    A new French bakery opened in town last month so I’ve been buying fresh baguettes every once in a while, and eating warmed slices with butter and cheese I bought in Paris. Nothing special or fancy but my absolute favorite way to eat bread.

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