Tartine French Toast
So, one of the nice things about Tartine Bread is Chad Robertson's recipes for use of the day old bread. Sometimes one has a half loaf in the bread box and a fresh loaf just out of the oven. It is difficult to eat that "day old bread" when there is a fresh loaf sitting out calling my name.
His french toast recipe calls for a 1.5 inch thick slice of bread. That is a lot of bread. But, fortunately, I had enough old bread to make two slices.
He says to soak the bread for an hour. He says nothing about turning it over. So I put the egg mixture into a square baking pan, positioned the bread, and then poured the mixture on top of both slices and eventually filled up the bottom of the pan. I let the toast soak for 30 minutes in the fridge, and then turned the pieces for the second 30 minutes.
He suggests using 2 Tbsp of butter to grease the pan. I did not see why so much butter was needed. I took remainder of the butter out of the pan once the pan was well greased.
Here is the soaked bread, just placed in the pan:
The photo up top is of the "bottom", caramelized side, which he suggests be served facing up. You basically fry the bread on medium-low heat for a few minutes and then transfer the pan to the 350F oven for 15-20 minutes.
I found that the french toast was not quite ready enough for me on the top side, and it did not appear like it was going to get ready any time soon after baking for 20 minutes at 350F. So I turned the broiler on low for a few minutes to cook it up some since I am not a fan of wet french toast. It may very well be that the "custard" is supposed to be wet on top, but I was afraid to try it that way and his directions weren't all that clear.
He says not to turn the toast, but even after putting the broiler on, I wanted the "tops" to be cooked more, so i did wind up flipping them and letting them sit for a minute or so in the hot cast iron pan. Here is the second slice after I cut into it:
I believe that I served it to myself upside down as the darker side is probably on the bottom.
So how did it taste? I really enjoyed it. I had it with Grade B maple syrup. It was a lot of bread, delicious and very filling. Plus, it gave this vegetarian an opportunity to break out the steak knife.