English Muffin French Toast and Buttery Pancake SyrupPosted: 15 April 2011
I love blogging. I love writing, I love cooking, I love combining the two into something that I love even more. I read blogs every day and my favorites are the ones that are updated daily, sometimes twice a day. I really love feeling like I know the blogger and the positive treasure trove of amazing recipes I’ve discovered is totally worth the time and effort. I wish I were able to add posts more frequently. Tuesday was a good example of me running out of hours before I finished my mental to-do list for the day.
I skipped the gym and planted our garden. I managed to make a really delicious pizza but it was already dark out and I was so hungry, I didn’t bother to stop and take pictures of it. Or of the beautiful asparagus we had on the side. I realized as I was taking it out of the oven that it was a beautiful pizza and I should have taken a few pictures of it. Oh well. So many days like this happen. By the time I get to the gym after work, get home and get cooking, the kitchen is getting dark, I’m hungry and tired and I end up making something delicious but have nothing to actually show you. And even if I had taken pictures, they wouldn’t look as good as they would have if taken during daylight. What’s a food blog without the delicious pictures, right? I realize the dilemma I’m facing is a timeless one. What I want to do is often delayed because of what I have to do. How do so many food bloggers manage to take so many delicious pictures during the daylight hours?????
Alas. If I could have my improbable wish list instantly fufilled I would choose the following:
1 – a different house with a giant, beautiful, sunny kitchen located exactly halfway between work and the gym.
2 – a kitchen full of fantastic pots, pans, dishes, linens, etc.
3 – a Parisian work schedule; i.e. 4-5 hours of work a day.
4 – the ability to apparate/disapparate, Harry Potter style. Well, actually, Hermione style because we all know she’s better at everything than Harry Potter is and if I was only as good as Harry, I’d likely end up splinching myself.*
Keep in mind, this isn’t my ‘if I won the lottery’ wish list. That would include houses in Fiji and yachts and butlers and trips to Italy and all the other typical wish list stuff. Until my Parisian work schedule kicks in I’m just going to have to keep trying to make as many things as I can on the weekends.
Speaking of weekends, we’re back to our regularly scheduled brunch recipes. Now then. Who doesn’t love French toast? No one, that’s who. It’s deliciously gooey, sweet, and can turn even a crappy piece of bread into something lavish and tasty. It had been over a year since I’d whipped up some French toast and I realized that was a huge mistake. This is an easy recipe and not really unique except that the bread is actually English muffin bread and the syrup is my own original recipe. I made the syrup on a morning when I realized we were almost totally out of syrup. Guess what? Pancake syrup is not hard to make. It’s delicious when homemade and you can avoid ingredients that have 14 syllables when you make it yourself. Shelf stable. Ha!
English muffin bread, French toast style? I know, I’m recklessly throwing caution to the wind and meshing the two cultures to bring you ‘Tale of Two Cities Toast.’ Heehee! I may have exceeded my self-imposed dorkiness limit on this post. Oh well!
If you can, buy a loaf of English muffin bread at Breadsmith. It’s the best. I promise. If you can’t get that, you should be able to use a loaf of English muffin bread offered at your local grocery store. You can also make your own if you desire. I have tried making it numerous times and thanks to a slanted oven, a mental block where bread is concerned, and an overly warm house I have never successfully made it. I buy it. It’s totally worth it. The air pockets that usually allow this bread to deliciously crisp when toasted act as a natural sponge for your egg bath. The result? Pieces of French toast that are dense and custardy but with a much lighter texture thanks to the air pockets. Amazing.
English Muffin French Toast
6 slices of English muffin bread
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat a griddle on medium-high heat and spray generously with non-stick spray. Or melt butter in the pan. I prefer the butter method but non-stick will work too. Gently dunk each slice of bread into the egg bath. Make sure to coat both sides completely with the egg mixture.
At no point should you think to yourself, “I’ll just let this piece of bread sit in the egg bath while these other two are cooking.” That is a bad plan. You will end up with no more egg bath and one extremely bloated piece of French Toast. I did this once when I was in high school and it’s stuck with me. If you have more egg bath than you need, you can let the last piece of bread soak up the leftovers. Delicious.
Buttery Pancake Syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon butter
pinch of salt
In a small sauce pan, combine your water, sugar, brown sugar and corn syrup. Stir together and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the flame and let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes. When the mixture begins to thicken, remove from the heat. It will continue to thicken upon cooling.
Mix in your vanilla, butter and salt. Stir to incorporate, then let cool. Serve over pancakes, waffles, French toast, etc.
Store in an old store-bought syrup bottle and keep refrigerated.
*Harry Potter 7, Part 1 is out TODAY on dvd! T-minus 3 months exactly until Part 2 is released. Please tell me I’m not the only one counting down?