How this came about: I was gifted the most beautiful levain loaf by my friend and wicked-talented baker Beth, of Sweet Daisy Bakeshop fame, and when I got home with it, I realized that I hadn't had any beautifully made local bread in far too long, so French Toast for dinner was the only logical solution!
I always have eggs on hand from Mudluscious Gardens, so I knew the toast part would be great, but horror of horror, I'm out of Vermont Maple Syrup (yes, it has to be). Not to worry, there are plenty of odd jars of this and that around, and I'm pretty pleased with what resulted.
This is a scavenge-type recipe, so amounts are .... 'to taste'. As for the French Toast, that also changes from time to time - this time, it was as follows.
A side note to say that this bread is a round loaf, so to get a good slice for the French Toast, I had to lop off a piece, cutting about 3" into the loaf. That means the slices that followed would be nice sized ovals that would make for great servings. It also means I had a lovely 3" piece of bread "end" that was just sitting there, daring me to wait until the French Toast was done to taste its goodness. I lost that dare. Worth it.
|French Toast on one of my favorite plate designs. The copper|
blue/green glaze creates a beautiful frame.
For two generous slices of levain (will feed two normal servings or one "I don't care how this looks I'm eating it all" serving).
1/3 cup cashew milk (or milk of your choice)
pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 large slices from the loaf of levain, or 4 slices of your favorite bread for the occasion
Beat the egg, and mix in the next four ingredients. Dredge the bread in the egg mix. Heat a skillet or griddle to med/high heat, and place the dipped bread in the skillet. Turn after it's golden brown (time will vary depending on how thick you slice it!), and serve with fresh or prepared fruit and syrup of your choice.
1 banana, sliced into 1/2" discs
1 small nob of butter
When you finish the last of the toast slices, drop the nob of butter in the skillet, then toss in the banana slices. Stir to coat, then drizzle some molasses on top - maybe about a TBSP total, but more or less depending on the size of your banana. Stir lightly to coat, being careful not to mush up the bananas as they get warm and soft. Carefully flip them over after about a minute, then let them cook on that side only about another 30 seconds. Put them on top of the cooked French Toast Slices.
If you happen to have the same jars of jam in your fridge as I do, then you can make this. Or, you can use other jars of jam, and instead of the popsicle you can use a bit of juice or even water.
All-fruit popsicle (this was a mixed-berry pop)
Put a generous dollop (amount dependent on how much French Toast you want to cover!) of the jam and preserve in a small sauce pan over med-low heat. Take the popsicle off the stick, and add that to the pan. Let it all melt, stirring to mix thoroughly. Pour this over the bananas and the French Toast.
Optional: Zest a lemon and cut it up into thin strips and sprinkle on top.
*the jam was gifted to me by the maker, so if you don't make your own jam, get someone to make it, it's great! Same suggestion for the figs, but if you're in the Asheville area you can find great Fig Preserves at the Gypsy Queen Market & Deli.