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Bread a flop? It's toast...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I'm writing on breadmaking in a future post and have been baking earnestly with varying results. Some loaves have been wonderful and others have not been quite so successful. It's disappointing when something doesn't work but in this instance, I've managed to cook away the failure.

As you can see from the picture on the right, this loaf was a bit too dense and slightly gummy ­­– I put it down to the baking pan being too small as well as my adding too much water to the dough. I also think the portion of wholewheat flour that I had in it was past its prime and so was a little "sluggish".

When bread gets stale, you make French toast. There's no waste and it's a nice way to use up what's left of the loaf. Well, it works just as well with homemade bread that didn't quite rise to the occasion. Somehow, the closed crumb works to the toast's advantage. It's not limp and there are crunchy bits in the thick crust.

I wouldn't suggest you deliberately sabotage your bread dough and ruin it just so you can make French toast, but if this happens to you, at least there's something to do with the bread other than feed it to the birds.

After publishing this post, I took another look at the main picture and noticed that the two pieces of French toast look like a broken heart that's been put back together. This is just me being philosophical, but that seems to be a metaphor for this dish ­­– harmony after heartbreak over an unsuccessful union! Awww... (yes, I know, that can be an expression of endearment or a groan!)

French Toast with Cinnamon Sugar 
Makes 4-5 slices
2 medium eggs
¼ cup milk
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Bread, sliced 1cm thick
¾ cup brown sugar*
¾ teaspoon cinnamon*

Combine brown sugar and cinnamon on a large platter. Beat eggs, milk, vanilla and salt to combine. Heat a little butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Dunk bread slices into the egg mixture until well soaked, let excess drip off, then fry in the skillet till brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Do this in batches and repeat until all the egg is used up. Immediately dredge hot toast straight out of the frying pan with the cinnamon sugar (the sugar will melt slightly and caramelise). Serve warm.

* Unless you like a thick coating of cinnamon sugar on your toast, this amount may be more than you need.

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