It was very exciting to have finally successfully made bread. We gave one loaf away to friends, but that still left us with more bread that we could eat between the 2 of us. So… it was time to come up with some meals that included bread. Which led me directly to grilled cheese and French toast.
Grilled cheese was up first. I browned some shallots in butter first.
Then I sliced some apples very thin and layered it up with Gruyere and the shallots and placed each sandwich in a pan with hot butter to brown up.
The bread was browning but the cheese wasn’t quite melting yet… so I turned the heat down and let ‘em melt.
And melt they did.
Boy were these good! The sharp cheese combined with the sweet apples and shallots made for an incredible grilled cheese sammie. The homemade bread browned up nicely and maintained a crunch on the outside with some fluff on the inside.
Next morning it was French toast time. I actually realized that I hadn’t made French toast in quite some time, and really didn’t remember exactly what to do. One thing I always disliked about French toast at restaurants is when it is nicely browned on the outside but still tastes like normal bread on the inside. I decided that if I really buried these slices in the egg and cinnamon mixture and left it for a while to absorb, that should do the trick. Problem is, the bread was so fresh and fluffy that it started to fall apart. Damn. Had to just make do.
They browned up really nicely and tasted great… on the outside.
The inside was still lacking in the flavor… so I vowed to learn a better way.
It was just a few days later that I saw a perfect “How To” from America’s Test Kitchen. Turns out, if you bake the bread first to dry it out, that solves the problem that I saw and helps it absorb the right amount but not be soggy. (Here is their recipe)