Last night, as Nate finished up what seemed like the paper that would never end, I browsed the already forty three recipes I have lifted from Gourment’s website deciding which among them I could actually make successfully. “Buttermilk French Toast” caught my eye immediately. I am, as everyone knows, the pancake queen- in my repertoire of restaurants, breakfast places outnumber all other categories by far (swiftly followed by Italian places). There is very little that measures up to the comfort of eggs, hash browns, hot chocolate and pancakes. When I was living at home (wow, am I not anymore? that’s a terrifying and horribly saddening thought), and my dad would travel a lot, dinner usually consisted of breakfast. It was a special treat since my dad can’t handle breakfast for dinner (it makes him nauseas apparently?). Despite my love of breakfast, however, I have never made French toast (or as some call it Freedom Toast). In a lot of ways pancakes are easier- they come in box, you add water and bim-boom-bang you have pancakes. French toast does not come in a box.
So, I say, half to myself, half to Nathan “oooo Buttermilk French Toast.” That is when my boyfriend of almost a year chooses to reveal that he can in fact make French toast. If you’ve ever played the computer game bookworm, when you achieve a certain amount of points the little green bookworm on the side of your screen who has been eating your tiles and beaming at you in a slightly creepy way the entire game says (in this really high pitched voice) “level up!,” meaning that you are now one level higher. This is what happened in my head when Nate revealed his secret talent for French toast. He leveled up- and promptly promised to make me French toast in the morning.
After a fairly poor night of sleep (techno from above combined with an oven for a bedroom), we wake up at the crack of dawn (ten forty five am) and begin to prepare the feast- which I happily invite Liz to. I am sent out for supplies- buttermilk, butter, bread and ketchup (because Liz is out). Once I get back there is a small struggle to decide which recipe to make- the Gourmet one recommends using Challah bread when I just bought white. After much (and by much I mean about two minutes) of deliberation, Nate decides that the recipe out of How to Cook EVERYTHING Vegetarian would be best and goes to work whisking and measuring. “The batter is too thin!” he complains with concern. It took a lot of soothing to talk him down from adding more eggs, more flour, more something to thicken it up. Forty five minutes later, a full batch of French toast is done, still warm from incubating in the oven, and placed on the table. Despite its thin consistency, brunch was delicious and readily consumed by Liz and I (Nate got some too), complete with maple syrup and butter. Oh, what a beautiful morning.
Buttermilk French Toast–
- 1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
- 4 Large Eggs
- 3 Tablespoons Sugar
- 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 12 (1/2 inch- thick) slices Challah (from a 1lb loaf, not the end slices)
- 4 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
(1) Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. (2) Whisk together buttermilk, eggs, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Pour into a large 4-sided sheet pan, then add bread in 1 layer and soak, turning occasionally, until bread has absorbed all liquid but is not falling apart, about 20 minutes. (3) Heat 1 1/2 tablespoon butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides. Transfer 4 bread slices with a slotted spatula to skillet and cook, turning once, until slightly puffed and golden brown, about 3 minutes total. Transfer to a large shallow baking pan and keep warm in oven. Cook remaining bread in 2 batches, adding 1 1/2 tablespoon butter between batches.