It’s hard to beat the simple pleasure of a Saturday morning spent lazing around with those you love. And for mornings such as these, a little brekkie really hits the spot. I came up with this french toast recipe two summers ago – not surprisingly on a morning very much like today’s. If you don’t have the time or patience to make homemade bread, any low-sodium bread will work well. Just add a little cinnamon-sugar and vanilla to the dipping batter. But if you take the time to make the loaf and freeze it sliced, it’ll be ready whenever you’re in the mood.
SODIUM CONTENT: 40 mg per serving
FRENCH TOAST LOAF:
2 1/4 t. dry active yeast
1 1/3 c. warm milk
1 c. warm water
1/2 c. honey
1 t. ground cinnamon
4 T. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
5-6 c. all-purpose flour
8 slices bread (french toast loaf or other salt-free low-sodium bread)
2/3 c. milk or soymilk
1 T. unsalted butter
To make the french toast loaf, measure yeast into a large mixing bowl. Pour in milk, water and honey stir gently. Let rest a minute or two, then add remaining ingredients. Stir until dough begins to form, then turn bowl out onto a clean, lightly floured surface. Knead dough by hand until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Butter a clean mixing bowl and place dough inside. Cover bowl – I use clear plastic wrap with a rubber band around the rim to keep it in place (plastic hotel shower caps also work remarkably well for this purpose). Set bowl in a warm place and allow dough to rise until doubled in size, about 2-3 hours.
Once dough has doubled in size, gently turn bowl out onto a clean, lightly floured surface. Knead dough 8 minutes. Form dough into a loaf shape and place into a well-buttered loaf pan. (If two loaves are desired, cut into two even pieces and repeat procedure with 2 pans.) Cover pan with lightly oiled plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours.
Once dough has risen, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place pan or pans on middle rack in oven and bake until bread is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Remove pan(s) from oven and cool 5 minutes before removing bread from pan and placing on wire rack to cool. Cool fully before slicing.
To make the french toast, heat griddle or skillet over medium-high. Pour milk into a pie plate, add eggs and whisk well to combine. Melt butter on griddle. Dip slices of bread in the milk-egg batter, place on griddle and brown on both sides. Remove and serve immediately. Great with real maple syrup, fresh fruit, powdered sugar, jelly or whipped cream.