Breakfast

Freezable French Toast

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Freezable French Toast

2 loaves sliced bread

6 T butter, browned

3 c half-and-half
4 eggs
1/4 c brown sugar
2 T flour
2 T vanilla extract
1 T real maple syrup
2 t cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350° unless you are going to use the broiler to toast the bread, in which case you can wait to turn on the broiler and then reduce the heat to 350° for the baking cycle.

Heat butter in a saucepan until it has browned, about five minutes. Remove from heat and let cool about five to ten minutes - you want the butter to still be liquid but not so hot it that it causes the eggs to cook when you add them. Then whisk in eggs, half-and-half, brown sugar, flour, vanilla, maple syrup and cinnamon. Pour into a wide, flat container (like a lasagne pan or a big Tupperware container.)

Spray a wire cooling rack with cooking spray (or grease lightly with oil or a little butter) and place it inside a baking sheet. Two if you have them.

Start toasting the bread. You can either use a toaster or arrange the bread on the racks and broil for a minute or two on each side. The idea is to toast the bread and then soak the warm toast in the egg/half-and-half mixture so that it absorbs.

Take two pieces of warm toast at a time and submerge them in the custard for about sixty seconds (you'll start to see air bubbles as if you are drowning them - drowning them in GOODNESS.) Shake excess liquid off and arrange pieces on the wire cooling racks. Mine fit eight perfectly and I baked two sheets at once. Bake at 350° for fifteen minutes, turning after seven minutes (if you are baking two sheets switch their positions in the oven at this time.) Repeat with toast, custard soak and bake until both loaves and the custard are gone.

Let cool on the racks for thirty minutes, then place in freezer for an hour. Transfer frozen toast to Ziploc bags and freeze to store.

To reheat simply pop into the toaster and toast.

Makes 32 pieces. Serves: 1 Patrick.

Printable version here

Notes: Did that make any sense? It seems so obvious when I was doing it (toast soak bake freeze) but I am not sure if I didn't just garble things a little. The idea came from Cook's Country (a magazine I like) but I tweaked it a lot. The process takes time and is a nice weekend project, I think. The payoff comes on weekday mornings when you can create really good french toast in thirty seconds with the toaster. Ta DA! 


Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes

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There is a lot to be said for these pancakes. They are (practically) healthy. They freeze (moderately) well. You can make them (almost entirely) the night before. And they are (emphatically) delicious.

Beebo's Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes

2 c rolled oats
2 c buttermilk*

Stir to blend. Refrigerator overnight.

2 eggs
1/4 c butter (melted & cooled)

Mix together in separate bowl:

1/2 c flour
2 T sugar
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t table salt

Add flour mixture to oat mixture and stir until moist.

Preheat griddle. Use about 1/4 batter for each pancake. Flip when air bubbles start to appear.

Makes about 14 pancakes.

Notes:

I usually make the flour mixture at the same time I put the oats into the buttermilk to soak. Then in the morning all you have to do is combine the flour and oats, break two eggs and microwave half a stick of butter for 20 seconds. Not being a morning person I appreciate having to do as few things as possible before I get to eat.

*My grandmother used to drink buttermilk sprinkled with ground black pepper - this is a taste I never managed to acquire. However, I have a shameful weakness for Hidden Valley Original Ranch dip. Not the bottled stuff that tastes like paste but the little packets that you mix with buttermilk and mayonnaise. I just laughed aloud because it suddenly occurred to me to check the nutritional content on a packet in my pantry and I thought, "Huh, 100 grams of fat? That's not terrible." Then I noticed the serving size: 1/4 teaspoon. AS IF. No wonder it's so good.

All of which is to say I usually have buttermilk in my refrigerator and the stuff keeps forever. Seriously. But if you do not have any on hand here is a little trick for this recipe:

Buttermilk Substitute: Combine 2 T white vinegar or lemon juice with 2 c milk and let sit for five minutes.

Did you make it? Change it? Have a better idea? Tell me what you think in the comments.