Fantastic French Toast

  • Downhome Magazine
  • Posted: Nov 30, -0001 12:00 AM
Friday February 25, 2010

One of the things I love about living in New England are the changes in the seasons and the new activities that come and go with each passing month. We had a really good winter this year (if you like snow, that is) as western Massachusetts experienced a lot of snow. It was almost like being home in Newfoundland, without the strong winds and five-foot-high drifts. After getting in my share of pond hockey, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, a new activity is on the horizon. With daytime temperatures now climbing above freezing and with cold nights, late February and early-mid March are prime maple sugar-making season, also referred to as sugaring. I'm fortunate enough to have a father-in-law who has activities that keep the family very active, including making our own maple syrup in his very own sugar shack. Last weekend we trudged up and down the hills through the deep snow tapping the sugar maples and repairing the lines so the buckets at the bottom of the hills can fill with sap. This coming weekend there will likely be enough collected to start boiling the sap down to syrup. It will take a lot of time and lots of firewood (and maybe a few cold beverages will also be sacrificed) but in the end the family will be rewarded with anywhere between 15-25 gallons of amber gold, aka maple syrup. Once you start eating the real stuff you can never go back to the fake, flavoured variety.

With this weekend just around the corner I thought I'd post a recipe for French toast (so simple) made with homemade maple-oatmeal bread and served of course with real maple syrup. The last recipe I used to make maple-oatmeal bread is not my own, as I found it on the King Arthur Flour website (please note that I did not add the maple sugar or maple extract). While I plan on making some changes to it to put a personal spin on it, I haven't had a chance to do it yet. It is a good bread recipe and there are many others on the Internet. If you are like me and love homemade bread, notably molasses (lassy) bread or raisin bread then you will absolutely fall in love with maple-oatmeal bread. This bread is soft and aromatic with a hint of maple and cinnamon and the goodness of oats. I love it so much I can't have it around during the week, and I save it for a weekend treat.

You may make french toast any way you are used to, but what I wanted to share today was for you to try it with this maple-oatmeal bread. When used as French toast it will be the ultimate weekend breakfast. I like to cut my slices thick and dip them into a mixture of beaten eggs (mixed with a drop of milk or cream). Sometimes I add cinnamon and/or vanilla to my French toast batter, but that isn't necessary here as the bread has loads of flavour. Simply fry the french toast in a little butter until browned on each side and enjoy with a hot cup of coffee, some fresh fruit and of course real maple syrup!

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About Me...The Wicked Newfoundlander
I'm originally from Newfoundland, Canada, and very proud of it! I moved to upstate New York in 2007, and I spend much of my time working and playing throughout New England. Besides my wife, our dog and hockey, I'm passionate about food. I love to cook and create great tasting food. I also love tasting and critiquing food, and comparing regional cuisine (notably Newfoundland and New England dishes).