Thursday, February 14, 2013

Buttermilk French Toast

It seems like the decision to make French toast usually stems from the realization that a loaf of homemade bread is on the verge of becoming a doorstop. That said, there are few better ways to use up an otherwise good loaf of bread before your options are limited to making croutons or breadcrumbs! A few weeks ago, we made a recipe of homemade white bread and we used the leftovers for this recipe.

I like to use unsliced bread for French toast. This gives us the option to cut the slices as thick as we like. Generally, the slices are at least one-half inch in thickness. This provides enough room for the bread to soak up the yummy custard mix before it hits the griddle. This insures a nice, moist piece of bread that not only deliver flavor, but stand up to the butter, syrup, preserves or whatever else might go on top.

Using buttermilk is optional, but it adds such a wonderful richness to the French toast that it’s worth picking some up. This recipe calls for two cups (16 ounces) and yielded eight hearty slices. You could also use whole milk, evaporated milk or coconut milk. For our last batch, I added some shredded coconut to the mix. This adds a great flavor and makes the dish extra special.

Buttermilk French Toast

Hearty bread (I like a white bread, but you could also use brioche, raisin bread or a wheat bread)
6 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
½ cup shredded coconut (optional)

Cut eight slices of bread – at least one half inch thick. Set aside. If the bread is a little dry, it will absorb the egg/milk mixture better. Crack six eggs into a large bowl and beat well with whisk. Add buttermilk and spices (and coconut, if using) and beat well.

Heat a griddle or large skillet on stove to medium/medium-high heat. Using a pair of tongs, dunk each slice of bread into bowl. Let bread soak up mixture for ten seconds or so. Bread will become heavy and delicate, so carefully take bread from bowl and place directly onto hot griddle or skillet. Depending on the size of your griddle/skillet, you should be able to do three or four at a time.

Check bottom of bread after a couple of minutes. When it is medium to dark brown, flip bread over and cook the other side. When second size is done, transfer to plate (keep in a warm oven if you are doing additional batches). Serve with butter, your favorite syrup, dusted with powdered sugar or spread on some preserves. It goes great with salty breakfast meat like bacon, sausage or country ham. Enjoy!

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