1/4 loaf fresh Ciabattaforgotten in the bread box until stale, not moldy
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 Sugaror to taste
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmegground, ideally freshly ground
1 tablespoon vanilla extractor one full bean, scraped of its seeds
I love stale bread. As most people know, as long as it is not moldy, it can be put to great use.Bread crumbs, croutons and bread pudding are but a few applications of this dehydrated delicacy, but there is one use for stale bread that outshines all of the others. No, I am not talking about doorstops.
Recently, in a moment of early morning lucidity, a thought naturally came to mind as I perused the stale ciabatta remnants in the breadbox; French Toast, the king of all daybreak tasties. A little cream, whole eggs, vanilla and sugar as a base provide the perfect medium for the brunch cook’s arsenal.
Adding some cinnamon and nutmeg makes for a great morning meal, and topping it off with some fresh fruit salad is not only healthy, but entices us to use less syrup on our French toast, ergo we can pretend that it healthy for us. Never mind the cream and whole eggs and you will be just fine.
The trick with using ciabatta, or any other typically over-chewy, hole-laden and crusty bread, is to let the bread soak and hydrate in the egg medium more than you would Texas toast or other standard loaf-bread.
And do not fear the bread if it breaks, as the egg concoction will bring it all back together as it cooks. Just handle it carefully as you place it in the pan, manipulating any stray pieces back into place, and all will be well.
So, as you make your French Toast of stale-breadly goodness, just remember to have some good coffee brewing, your fresh fruit salad, and to really knock it out of the ballpark, line some of the hot toast with some smooth and creamy brie cheese, or even better, St. Andre triple cream cheese. Just think of fruit and cheese and you can imagine how incredible it is.There is no better way to wake up in the morning, excepting the mess we just created in the scullery. Oh well, back to the kitchen sink.
- Combine everything but the bread, adjusting the seasoning if you are brave enough to try raw eggs. I do it, but am not liable if you choose to do so
- Dip the bread in the mixture and then cook in a hot pan on medium heat lined with melted butter. The less dense and more chewy the bread, the more time it may need in the egg mix
- Be sure to not have the pan too hot, as this will scorch the toast. Monitor the pan and toast and pull off the heat if you find that this is happening
- Serve with accoutrements of your choice, such as fresh fruit, syrup, or cheese (see below)
- Eat, get the food-sleepies, and then clean that darned kitchen
Photo Credit: Emily.