I actually can’t remember if I’ve ever bought Wonder Bread. And I probably purchased my last loaf of store packaged bread several years ago. Our bread is fresh baked, from Whole Foods, local bakeries, Bread Alone or one of the other many bakers that sells at the NYC Greenmarkets. It’s great because we get a better selection than white, wheat, rye. We get whole wheat sourdough, rye with caraway seeds, peasant breads and crusty soft baguettes. On the flip side, we don’t keep bread in our home 24/7 like a lot of families just because we can’t eat it fast enough before it spoils. Sliced bread is still good 3-4 days later, but baguettes start hardening the next day. So I turn that day old bread into tasty treats, like homemade breadcrumbs, croutons, and my favorite–French Toast.
French Toast is one of those borderline breakfast-dessert foods. It’s majorly egg based (automatic breakfast) but then it has a sweet richness to it which makes it feel more dessert like. Especially when you add some powdered sugar and fresh fruit. Day(s) old bread works best because when the bread is a bit harder, it soaks up the batter but still remains firm. Not soggy like fresh bread would be. Other than the bread, it’s also made from basic ingredients you should always have in your home–eggs, milk, butter and a bit of extract. Traditionally people use vanilla extract. My little secret is almond extract, to give it a deeper dimension, but I also encourage bringing in other flavors like cinnamon, ginger, fruit, etc. Top it off with fresh fruit, jam or syrup and you’re set.
Brooklyn Locavore’s French Toast
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 c milk
- 1 tbsp almond or vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 day old baguette, sliced about 1″ thick
Whisk eggs together until fully blended in a medium bowl (large enough to dip bread slices in). Add milk and almond extract and continue whisking. Melt butter in a large nonstick frying pan or cast iron pan over medium high heat. While butter is melting, dip bread into egg mixture, coating both sides well. Cook bread in frying pan about 4 minutes on each side until golden brown.
Plate French toast and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve immediately with fresh fruit or warmed maple syrup on the side.