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The Plainsman's Kitchen | French Toast

More breakfast games, so more breakfast food.

Here we are, another early kickoff, and once again, I have no words for how the season is unfolding. This is my favorite breakfast when I need to impress guests or just need something a little comforting to start the morning. I generally make my own bread a day ahead for this recipe, but you can always get a nice artisan loaf from the grocery store. I am still new to baking bread and have had the most success with this recipe. I modified it slightly because I don't need the bread to be ultra light. I warn you the bread is a bit dense, but that makes it ideal for French toast (less likely to soak up too much egg).

Dutch Oven Bread
Adapted from Steamy Kitchen

4 cups bread flour
2 teaspoon active quick rising dry yeast
2 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups warm water

Measure ¼ cup of the bread flour and put aside. Place remaining 3 ¾ cups bread flour in the mixer bowl. Spoon the yeast on one side of the bowl, and the salt on the other side. Pour in the warm water and mix until the dough comes together in a mass.

Knead dough with dough hook for two minutes. Let it rest for seven and then knead again for another three minutes. If you are doing this by hand, then your formula is six minutes, seven minutes, seven minutes. The dough will be rather sticky. Start to add a bit of flour (from the flour you set aside earlier) as you knead. You may use the entire serving or you may not - it really just depends on the dough. Work the bread into a nice, compact ball. It should feel "satin-y" smooth on the surface.

Place this dough in a large lightly oiled bowl (I use unrefined coconut oil). Turn dough over so that all sides have a thin coating of oil. Cover with plastic wrap and set in warm place for 1 1/2 hours to let rest and rise. Dough should almost double in size.

After the dough has risen fully, punch dough down and form back into a ball. Poke the surface - the dough will "show" the indention but then slowly rise back.

Cover the loaf with a damp kitchen towel. Let the dough rest on a well-floured cutting board for 30 minutes. After resting, take a sharp paring knife and make a deep "X" on the surface of the dough ball.

Bake inside a covered cast iron pan after coating the rounded dough with oil and sprinkling with kosher salt. Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, then remove lid to finish it off for another 15 to 30 minutes.

My Notes
Different variations of this recipe suggest heating the dutch oven before placing the dough inside. Some suggest adding water to the hot dutch oven in order to create steam. I have tried these variations but in my oven, using a non-heated dutch oven works out just as well.

I like King Arthur Bread Flour, and so far, I have had the most success with Red Active Dry Yeast. I am partial to coconut oil, but olive oil will work nicely too.

French Toast
Adapted from Orangette

1 cup milk
4 large eggs
1 tbs sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, etc.
Bacon grease
6 slices bread, about ¾ to 1 inch thick

Whisk first set of ingredients. Soak bread on each side for 1 minute.

Cook in a skillet on medium heat. Total cook time is 4 mins. Some days I am able to cook one side for precisely two minutes, flip and repeat. Other days, I cook 30 seconds on each side and flip. Serve with melted butter and pure maple syrup.

War Damn Breakfast!