Monday, December 17, 2012

ON SUNDAY,

you pop in the CD.

Dash. Do you know what this is?

A speedy rhythmic boom boom boom bounces around the living room.

No. But it sounds intense.

You point to your chest.

It's this. In here. But it's yours. From when you were in my belly.

He looks left. He looks right. He looks like he wants to run away.

What? It's me? When I was a baby? 

Yes.

I was beating my own heart in there?

Yes you were.

Wow.

The dog barks, the rain rushes down, and you make French toast—your son's heartbeat rocking through the house.

BAKED BAGUETTE FRENCH TOAST
printable recipe
serves 4
You can soak this overnight but the texture will be more like a soufflé. If you do it 30 minutes before baking, it's a bit crunchier. But both techniques work well. You want the baguette to be stale but not as hard a a rock. You could save scraps in the freezer for a few weeks until you have enough for this dish. 

ingredients:
1 baguette, a bit stale
3 tablespoons butter
3 eggs
2 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
pinch of kosher salt
3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
powdered sugar for the top

ideas for toppings:
warm maple syrup
warm maple syrup mixed with warm honey
Nutella
jam

directions:
Preheat oven to 375°F.

Trim 1/2 inch off of each end of the baguette and feed scraps to the dog. Slice baguette in half. Cut into serving-size pieces (4-5" long). Place bread cut-side up in an ovenproof dish and butter the top of each piece. Don't overlap the pieces.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the eggs. Add milk, vanilla extract, orange juice/zest, and salt. Whisk until foamy. Pour over bread. Flip the pieces around every 10 minutes or so to make sure both sides are soaking up the liquid . Leave in the liquid for about 30 minutes total. You want the bread to be wet but not soggy and falling apart. When you bake it, the bread should be resting in a small pool of the liquid but not drowning in it. You might need to pour off a few tablespoons of the liquid if the bread doesn't soak most of it up.

Make sure all pieces are cut-side up. Sprinkle turbinado sugar all over the top. Bake until the bread is puffed up and golden (30-40 minutes). You might need to throw it under the broiler for optimum crispy crunchy caramelized beauty. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and eat right away (but it does reheat nicely). Serve with optional toppings listed above.

39 comments:

  1. Beautiful. All of it. I just found our new Christmas morning breakfast :)

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    Replies
    1. my mom often makes a baked french toast with apricot sauce for christmas breakfast. and you can soak this the night before and throw it in the fridge to make things easier. but the texture will be quite soft. almost like a soufflé. i like it a bit crisper. happy holidays!

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  2. "I was beating my own heart in there?" What a sweet question. I love talking with my kids about their time in the belly. I always crack up when they describe some kind of apartment-like set up where they lived as neighbors until Otis was born.
    On a different note... That french toast looks bad ass!!
    xxoo
    E

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    Replies
    1. thanks, e.
      'twas badass.
      it puffs up and takes my breath away each time.
      ah. the magic. the magic, eh?

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  3. Phyllis, you always have me in tears. You make me wrestle with everything inside me. You are so good at weaving deep emotion and every day reality; it's incredible.

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    Replies
    1. thank you. means so much coming from you. the weaving bit is what i love to do. really missing it this week. hoping to get back to some writing next week. happy new year!

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  4. Love your site and your heart. This will be on our table Christmas morning - I'll do it as soon as our four are finished with their the 10 minutes it takes to tear into 20-some hours of work!

    Merry Christmas!

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  5. YES! I love using up stale baguettes like this, and I love the idea of baking french toast, so I don't burn the shit out of it. Tick and tick. Will be making this at the next stage of our roadtrip.

    And I wish I had a recording of Nelle's heartbeat. Even better? When she used to get sweet hiccups in there. I loved that :)

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  7. Incredibly sweet post. The french toast looks great too. Happy holidays!

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  8. This looks so delicious! I lived in France for awhile and always ran up against the "what to do with the stale baguette" issue. This looks like a perfect solution.
    -Hannah

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    Replies
    1. i have so many bags of frozen baguette scraps in my freezer. i also love to use them in the summer for panzanella. and bread crumbs.

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  9. Adorable story, and it looks so delicious! Going into my "to cook in the new year" file.

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  10. this is a beautifully sweet story; my heart just swelled!

    and one of my favorite dishes, glad to have a recipe to try out!

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  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  12. What size pan are you using?

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    Replies
    1. this particular pan is about 10" by 12". but any size works. just depends on how much stale baguette you have.

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  13. I made it this morning - a mini version just for myself, dividing the recipe by 3. Delicious! I think I prefer it to standard French toast. Thank you for the recipe. I love the photos too, and the story.

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  15. Wow, this looks wonderful! Just perfect for this sunday's breakfast!

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  16. Really this is a best french toast recipe..you are easy to make french toast

    this is my favorite breakfast.

    here many how to make ideas: http://howtomake.us/

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  17. Hi Phyllis, is that French toast bread. If that so I would love to print this recipe for my collection. I love those kind of french bread the combination for the topping was adorable thing that I could appreciate and wanna try this at home. This could watering mouth recipe for me. Nice to keep that guys.

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  18. Yummm! What a great way to use up all those accumulated stale baguette ends!

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  19. What makes "french toast" and not bread pudding? Don't get me wrong, I am going to make this, it looks yummy, but it is very close to the recipe my grandma used for bread pudding.

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    Replies
    1. it's almost the same! although when i make bread pudding i usually have random scraps of bread (sometimes even cubes) and i add more eggs. so it's more like a pudding.

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  20. Oh my gosh! These sound so good and your photo makes them look to die for!!

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  21. Can you replace the baguette with another type of bread such as challah?

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  22. I ended up using a baguette that was already cut up, so I didn't get to do it exactly like you, Phyllis. I used Sunny D and Valencia Orange Peel as well since they were all I had around the house. Its in the oven as I type this, so I'll let ya know how it turned out. If the smell is any indication as to how it tastes, I think its a success!

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  23. Replies
    1. bethany. tell me more. how long did you cook it for? was the baguette stale?

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  24. i made this for my fiance this morning (halved everything since it was just the two of us), and it was AMAZING. thank you for the wonderful recipe, we will be making it many more times!

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  25. Just tried this minus the blackberry sauce, it was perfect. I regret not making the sauce :( Just finished shoveling more snow and I am about to dig into seconds of your wonderful fr. toast and it is even better than the first time I tasted it. Thank you.

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  26. Hi Phyllis
    Your recipe for baked baguette French toast looks amazing! I can't wait to try it. I recently mentioned your recipe in my latest blog post about French toast. If you have a chance check it out. www.cupsandspoonfuls.com

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  27. We made this for my daughter's first communion brunch and it was a huge hit. We baked it the night before for only 20min and finished baking the next morning, using the broiler for the last couple of minutes. Delicious! Thanks for sharing.

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  28. I wanted to let you know that I included your recipe in a blog post today. Check it out here: http://sweetsugarblossoms.blogspot.com/2014/11/french-toast-round-up.html
    Thanks for sharing! =)

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