Oh, ho ho.
Sometimes when you are 30 you forget things.
Like the fact that it is Monday. And you usually post a recipe to your blog.
And then you realize this little tidbit of information at 8:37 p.m. on Monday evening.
Well then. It was bound to happen.
And it will probably happen again.
Therefore, you get two recipes. Huzzah.
Winner, winner, chicken-dinner.
Except it's not chicken. It is, however, the easiest homemade bread on the planet. You can't screw it up. Promise. (Well, okay - yes you can. If you get the water too hot and kill the yeast. Don't do that.)
It is also French Toast with caramelized bananas. This is my gift to you. Across the internet. For Valentine's Day. That's not weird at all.
*this recipe is adapted from The Savory Sweet Life's recipe
Please note that this is a hearty, rustic bread. And since you don't knead it, it needs to rest overnight. So mix up a batch before you go to bed and then leave it alone. Then wake up in the morning to a bread perfect for soups or toasted and slathered with butter and local honey. Or for French Toast.
1 1/2 cups spelt flour*
1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour*
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/2 cup lukewarm water (between 100-110 degrees F)
*You can make this bread with 3 cups all-purpose if you'd rather. I just like spelt and the hearty texture it gives the bread.
1. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
2. Pour in the water and mix until you all ingredients are incorporated and you have a wet, sticky dough.
3. Cover the bowl with a clean, wet kitchen towel and place in a warm spot.
4. Allow dough to rest overnight.
You will need a an oven-safe pot and lid to bake the bread. I scored this awesome one at T.J. Maxx a few years ago and use it for all kinds of stuff. My sister uses a cast-iron skillet with a lid to bake hers.
5. Cut a piece of parchment paper so that it covers the base of the pot. Place it into the pot.
6. Sprinkle a small amount of flour onto the dough - just enough so that it's not sticky when removing it.
7. Place the loosely formed dough ball in the pot and then place the oven-safe lid on top. Place in a cold oven.
8. Turn oven on to 450 degrees and set timer for 30 minutes.
9. After 30 minutes, carefully remove the lid from the pot and allow the bread to bake for another 25-30 minutes. The bread should have a nice golden brown crust.
10. Carefully remove the pot from the oven and remove the loaf from the pan. Place onto a cooling rack and allow bread to rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Rustic French Toast with Caramelized Bananas
Please note that this is an egg-free recipe for French Toast. It wasn't quite as "custard-y" as normal French Toast, but with the caramelized bananas it is so dang good that you won't even miss the egg batter. I made it for my Mister as a trial run and even he liked it. And he's picky and particular about food. So there you go.
For the French Toast -
*based on this egg-free recipe
1/2 cup milk (I used almond)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 teaspoons salted butter
4-5 slices of no-knead bread
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, cornstarch, and vanilla until there are no lumps and it is nice and smooth.
2. Place a large saute pan over medium-low heat. Place the butter in the pan and allow it to melt completely. While waiting for the butter to melt, soak the bread pieces in the milk combination; let each piece soak for 1-2 minutes (flipping halfway through).
3. Once the butter has melted, place each piece of bread in the pan and allow to cook for about a minute. Alternate to the other side and allow to cook for another minute or so. Continue alternating both sides until each side has a golden brown crisp. Remove from heat.
For the Caramelized Bananas -
2 ripe bananas, sliced
2 teaspoons salted butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar (you can use more or less to taste)
1. Place the sliced bananas and the butter into a medium pan over medium-low heat. Allow the butter to melt completely. Stir to coat banana slices.
2. Add the brown sugar to the pan and stir constantly until the sugar has dissolved and there is a nice syrup.
3. Remove from heat and immediately pour over the french toast.
4. Serve warm and enjoy.
Happy Early Valentine's Day across the internet. Caramelized bananas are my gift to you. And bread. Consider yourself loved.
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