May Meeting Theme: French Toast
After a year and a half of Zoom meetings and isolation, we were craving COVID-friendly, in-person social time. On the heels of our outdoor summer picnic, we decided to take advantage of a crisp, but sunny September day to hold our first-ever pancake breakfast. The attendees deemed it a success!
As we eagerly consumed our flapjacks and bacon, we explored the idea of transitioning our meetings from Topic/Discussion/Education-centric to Social/Food-centric - much like our annual picnics. One idea generated from that meeting was French Toast. BRILLIANT! And eight months later, here we are…
Over the years, Peggy experimented with several different kinds of bread for French Toast. We found Schar’s Artisan Baker White Bread to be our favorite - until we tried Schar Baguettes. Artisan Baker - we thank you for your past excellent French Toast service, but your colleague will take over the #1 slot.
A few reasons why I like the baguettes; the crust, and the overall size. I like the crust-to-center ratio. The crust gives you a nice crunch to compliment the creamy custard-like texture of the center. Also, the sturdy crust allows you to easily eat the slice with your fingers. Never know when you’ll need French Toast On the Go!
Having an unsliced loaf to work with gives us the flexibility to cut the bread to a personal preferred thickness. Too thin - the bread can fall apart [as we all know, gluten-free breads don’t need help in that area]. Too thick - the bread doesn’t cook in the middle. I like the bias cut because it allows the customization of grilled surface area - and it looks cool. Want a larger sized slice? Increase angle. As you can see in the picture, I was conservative with my angle on those slices.
French Toast Experts (FTEs), suggest the bread be slightly stale (one to two days old), and sliced about three quarters of an inch. Those guidelines may need slight modifications for gluten-free bread.
Peggy was inspired by a local restaurant’s glutenous Banana Bread French Toast. Realizing we had a couple of loaves in the freezer, she decided to try it.
Thank you Peggy & Al for sharing the banana bread!
Not wanting to waste leftover bread from March’s Sandwich-a-palooza, we stashed the Canyon Bakehouse Mountain White and Schar Artisan Baker breads in the freezer to nourish us another day - French Toast Day!
While there are two basic ingredients - eggs & milk (or dairy-free alternative) - for optimal results, they must be in proper proportion. If there’s too much milk, the egg won’t cook resulting in wet and soggy bread. Not enough milk or too much egg, you’ll get scrambled egg toast.
FTEs suggest one egg for every one to two slices of bread, and about ¼ cup of liquid per egg. Of course the custard proportions may need some adjustment due to the size of gluten-free bread (it’s smaller), and most GF bread is dry to begin with.
FWIW - Peggy uses about two eggs per entire baguette.
Canyon Bakehouse getting the spa treatment…
…and now a tanning session.
Schar baguettes taking a few laps around the pool…
…and getting all nice and toasty after the chilly dip with their Artisan buddies in the background.
Our last contestant on “Who Wants to Get Toasted” is Peggy’s Homemade Banana Chocolate Chip bread. Saved them for last because we weren’t sure how messy the chocolate chips would get.
Mmmm, French Toasty goodness.
Our chief French Toast architect Peggy with trusty flipper in hand.
What’s French Toast without great toppings? Members brought their faves to share.
Coconut Keto Clusters and Dragon Fruit.
Never heard of either…but WOW…both were extraordinary.
Not the smartest idea, but I probably could’ve eaten this entire bag of innoFoods Coconut Keto Clusters.
Dragon fruit has been described as being mildly sweet, tasting like a blend of pear and kiwi.
Thank you Kimberly for sharing your CostCo finds!
Click the links to learn more: Pitaya Dragon Fruit, innoFoods Coconut Keto Clusters
You just can’t go wrong fresh fruit! Love blueberries!
Thank you Donna for sharing these flavorful, antioxidant packed blue orbs!
Bananas Foster Sauce and fresh bananas
While I’ve heard of this, I’m just a small town boy and never had the opportunity to try it.
OMG - we WILL make this! I think it’s safe to say, this was a hit.
Here is Luann’s recipe: Bananas Foster Sauce Recipe.
Thank you Luann and Tony for sharing this “Nectar of the Gods”
Real Maple Syrup, Butter, and Powdered Sugar
The trifecta of French Toast toppings!
Thank you Donna for sharing the butter!
Fresh picked Daffodils
Beautiful people, beautiful food, and a beautiful table.
Thank you Don for sharing the bounty of your flower garden!
My (first) plate…
This is a collection of Canyon Bakehouse, Schar baguettes, and Schar Artisan breads topped with everything but the kitchen sink and powdered sugar.
Hmmm, looks like all the plates are empty or soon to be empty.
Gotta love our small, but fun group…
Last but not least, THANK YOU to St. Stephen’s Lutheran, ELCA (Home of the Totally Gluten-Free Communion) for opening their doors to us. <3