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
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!
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!)