The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Several things on my mind

alinehuey's picture

Several things on my mind

Love this site!

I have baked bread since I was 20 years old and I am now 55. My dad was in the air Force and we spent four years in France where I fell in love with the bread. My mother would send me to buy a loaf and I would break the end off (heaven) and eat it riding the bike home. The most wonderful treat was a piece of bread and a chunk of chocolate.

I just bought The bread baker's Apprentice and started reading. I am excited to try some of the breads in the book.

I do have a question that someone may be able to answer or can give me a place to start. When I was in high school (1971) I went to the Concord Hotel in NY for a DECA program.I had the most wonderful thick french toast for breakfast. Does anyone know what kind of bread they might have used? The bread itself seemed sweet and light.

Thanks for all the great ideas you all share here.

Soundman's picture

Hello alinehuey,

As you know, you've come to the right place. Giving yourself the challenge of rediscovering wonderful flavors of the past is a great way to start!

Good luck with that French toast!


xaipete's picture

Ciabatta is a natural for French toast.


Steve H's picture
Steve H

Sweet and light?  Day-old brioche?

xaipete's picture

That's a good choice too.


ehanner's picture

I'm glad you brought up French Toast. I suspect this is one of those flavors that one enjoys as a child and establishes a set flavor for the memory. My wife got me started with her version when we first started dating 26 years ago and she swears it was her secret weapon on me.

I often see people say how good their left over bread is for French toast but for me it would have to be a medium thick slice of some soft white bread, soaked in a tray of eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon and a little vanilla.. I always plan on a little over 1 large egg for every slice of bread and with the milk the bread is soaked through and very much absorbed so it's soggy. After heating in a buttered skillet over a medium heat for a while I flip it and cook until it is no longer raw. Top with fresh cinnamon and serve.

I wouldn't think a ciabbata would work for this style of French Toast. I usually use Italian. Hope this starts the juices flowing.


sephiepoo's picture

When I read your comment about the french toast, my first thoughts were right along with everyone else's comments about brioche, but maybe also challah? I've had excellent french toast made from challah and it's also an egg bread so it'd be similar, albeit not as rich.

bakermomof4's picture

I agree the Brioche or Challah would probably be good for French Toast, because they are encriched breads as is the Portuguese Sweet Bread that I use often when it starts to get staled (that is if there is any left after everyone at our house has their share) for French Toast, and add ground cinnamon and vanilla extract to the egg mixture.

LindyD's picture

I'm familiar with the area and the Concord during that time period, so I'm guessing it was Challah.

The Concord was a popular destination - only 90 miles north of Manhattan - I was a young ski bum at the time and remember teaching Buddy Hackett how to ski (he was playing the Concord).

Goodness, the strange things we remember...

Marni's picture

Weren't those two hotels neighbors?  Grossinger's was  a kosher hotel, if they were the same type of hotel and catering to the same clientele, I'm going with challah.  I use it for french toast at home.  Day old challah is best.  I would guess they would use the challah that they didn't serve at the Friday night Sabbath meal for Sunday's breakfast.


alinehuey's picture

Thanks for all the ideas. Yes it is odd the things we remember when prodded.

I think I will make some Challah and try it out. I remembered that it was a Jewish establishment but did not know challah was Jewish.