Tag Archives: Bannetons

Decadent Baked Eggnog French Toast

One hears artisan baker stories, especially wood fired artisan baker stories, that success of a ‘good bake’ is reliant upon, barometric pressure, phases of the moon, humanely harvested wood and the sacrifice of all things virginal.

This is our first recipe post, please allow a little indulgence. We’ll get to the recipe in a second…

…We can not say for certain such folkloric commodities have any currency in the bakery. In farmerdotter’s bakery we take science to the bank. Much more precise and the returns are much more predictable.

That is the main reason we have little if any bread left over from a bake. A good, well proportioned recipe not only yields a wonderful product it yields remarkable little waste. The capacity bake for farmersdotter is 60 x 700 gram loaves divided between 6 varieties.

We scale close. So close that less than half a loaf per variety remains after all loaves are placed in the bannetons for their final proof. That is less than 1 kilo on 42 or under 2%. Just enough for a personal nosh.

Fortunately I miscalculated on a recent bake and we ended up with an extra sourdough loaf or twelve. Anyway, after a week or so our bread begins to stale. That is the perfect time to consider french toast.

After some trial and error, farmersdotter has come up with this recipe we think worthy of smothering with expensive butter and real maple syrup.

Baked French Toast

Baked French Toast

First, in order to have enough product to make this recipe you need to consistently over spend on farmerdotter bread. We recommend either Raisin & Anise Rye, Flax to the Max or the Similkameen Sourdough. We think it prudent to try all three. Variety is the spice of life!

I digress…

Decadent Baked Eggnog French Toast:

Yield 8 – 10 servings

Ingredients:

  • 8 large eggs
  • 1-1/4 cup milk
  • 1-1/4 cup eggnog or…
    • substitute 1 cup heavy cream, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg, 1 teaspoon grated cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • citrus zest
  • 8-10 slices days-old Sourdough, Flax and/or Raisin Bread

Process:

  1. Combine and beat eggs in a bowl.
  2. Add milk, vanilla and eggnog or eggnog substitute to beaten eggs and whisk mixture well.
  3. Place 75% of mixture in a baking dish
  4. Dredge bread slices into mixture and saturate both sides. Cover with remaining mixture then refrigerate, covered, overnight or for at least a few hours.
  5. Place a parchment lined cookie sheet or baking dish into a preheated 375-400 degree oven .
  6. Fry one side of the French Toast in a well buttered skillet on medium-high heat until crispy.
  7. Lightly fry second side to a light brown.
  8. Place fried bread onto parchment lined cookie sheet or baking dish, crispy side up and continue to bake for 30 minutes or until mixture is thoroughly baked.
  9. Remove from oven and top with confectioners sugar and citrus zest.
  10. Serve with butter and real maple syrup.
  11. Sliced banana is nice too!

Baking Notes:

  1. For a crispier finish, add confectioners sugar to the baking dish parchment just prior to placing fried french toast. This will caramelize the sugar to the french toast but the timing must be close to prevent the sugar from burning.
  2. If you choose this method then add your citrus zest after removing the french toast from the oven. High heat may give the citrus zest a bitter aftertaste.
  3. For an interesting diversion read the BBC account of the Great Canadian real maple syrup caper


Bannetons, Bagels and Bread Oh My!

Some images from our last bake. farmersdotter raises the bread in bannetons prior to baking. The bread, usually three at a time, is carefully placed on a large paddle or ‘peel’ then inserted into the oven.

Bannetons

Bannetons

We would like to eventually get set up to bake a good Montreal style bagel. We need to retool a bit and that will take a little time. The test recipe, however worked well. Poppy seed is my favourite!

Bagels

Bagels

Perhaps the most gratifying time of the bake is once the bread comes out of the oven. It is placed on the resting racks and after only a few seconds the bread begins to ‘sing’ a lovely cracking sounding chorus as the crusty exterior cools.

Singing Bread

Singing Bread


First Bake

In preparation for todays opening of the Penticton Farmers Market, we had a very busy go of it yesterday on our first bake. farmersdotter has nurtured her starter for about a month now and it turned out very well. Very active, full of good boozy smells and bubbles. It will bake a very respectable sour dough. At 2:00pm we were ready to move the dough from the mixer for the first rise.

First Batch

First Batch

Throughout the day we had been keeping a close eye on the oven. Trying to gauge the best time to remove the fire and let the oven temperature even out in time for the doughs second rise in the beautiful bannetons, the hand made wood baskets used as bread molds.

Bannetons

Bannetons

We added an Olive/Rosemary bread to the bake for grins and giggles.

Olive & Rosemary

Olive & Rosemary

By 11:00pm the oven temperature was averaging 450f throughout and the bread was performing well in their little wooden nests. It was time to wash the oven floor of ash residue, pack it full of fresh bread and see if the work of the past few weeks would pay off in the first bake. It did. The bread at rest smelled wonderful and was ‘singing’ for quite a while.

Resting

Resting

It turned out we were able to sell all the bread that was baked. We received wonderful comments and encouragement.

farmersdotter

farmersdotter


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