Sunday, March 11, 2012

Pain Dore aux Bananes

When I was younger, french toast (pain dore rather) was a treat we only got maybe once every month or two, and always on Sundays. My mother didn't mess around with all the fancy versions and did a straight-up, old-school white bread dipped in egg drenched in syrup type of french toast, and that was the way we loved it. Now, as an adult, I've been experimenting and tasting a ton of different styles of french toast: peanut butter and jelly, whole wheat honey, stuffed cream cheese and strawberries, maple glazed, you name it, its been made. And probably tastes delicious. But this, to me, is my all time favorite winner of the french toast category. Et ca adonne, because I always have either frozen banana bread, or 20 frozen bananas in my freezer, waiting to be made into bread.

This is the banana bread recipe that I found worked best with french toast. The result is a much lighter and fluffier bread than usual, a bit more like a cake than the typically dense bread. This recipe is something that I reserve exclusively for french toast, because it is far from my usual recipe (think brown sugar, whole wheat flour, roasted bananas and roasted pecans).

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup mashed bananas (that's about 3 medium, for me)
1 egg
2.5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk

1. In a large bowl, beat the butter into a creamy texture.
2. Add sugar and mashed bananas. Mix well.
3. Add the egg and continue mixing. Mix dry ingredients separately.
4. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients with small amounts of buttermilk until all ingredients are combined.
5. Pour into a greased and floured 9 x 5 loaf pan
6. Bake at 350ºF (180ºC) for approximately 60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean in the middle.

Now that you have made your banana bread, its time to make it into french toast. Half a loaf is more than enough for two people, so when I freeze this, I cut it into two. Make sure it is completely defrosted before making it.

Egg Mixture (for 5 slices/2 people)
2 eggs
1 tsp of honey (warm it up for 10 seconds)
1.5 tsp of cinnamon
splash of milk

Mix that all together in a bowl. Next melt some butter in a pan. When that is done, dip the bread into the egg mixture, giving it a couple seconds on each side to make sure it is really soaking, and fry in the pan until golden on each side. When I'm feeling whimsical or when I'm serving this to guests, I sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar, and slice strawberries and fresh bananas in a pattern on the top. Serve with maple syrup. And ladies, please, do yourselves and your taste buds a favor and go with real 100% pure maple syrup. None of that Aunt Jemima crap. It really is worth it.

Felt too lazy to do the pattern thing.

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