Back in Toronto we had a lovely Sunday morning ritual....paper version of the Sunday NY Times in bed with freshly brewed coffee followed by a trip to the kitchen and my Honey whipping up some French Toast. Then we moved to Halifax and a couple of things changed.
One: the Sunday NY Times arrives (at the only place it EVER arrives in Halifax) at 6 PM...so much for reading in bed.
Two: French toast (in my humble opinion) can only be made with challah (egg bread) or, as first and only runner up, brioche. Nothing else will do. And so far...one and a half years later, I haven't found any that remotely remind me of the challahs in Toronto or Montreal.
But....and it's a big BUT... I have started making my own breads thanks to a hand-me-down bread machine from my daughter and two outstanding cookbooks. I've already written about Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and I've even made fancy challah with raisins from it that was delicious. The other book, The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook
(I will be writing about it because the recipes I've tried so far are awesome)...Dakota Bread, French Whole Wheat Bread, and Pumpernickel Rye. All those get started in the bread machine and then baked free form in the oven. I really dislike the esthetics of blocks of bread. I digress...
On Friday my Honey made the comment that it's been ages since we had French toast, which, naturally, had us both craving it. I mentioned that the only way we were going to get some was if I made the challah myself. Since I didn't hear any objections....and since I was planning on spending Saturday with my daughter and grandson but needed (or at least wanted) day old challah for Sunday, I decided that the bread machine version was definitely the answer...especially since for the first time, a block loaf appealed to me. In Toronto and Montreal, the best options for French toast are Bulkah challah (I'm sure I'm not spelling it right, but...) which is a better option for sandwiches and stuff than is the braided version, tapered at both ends. It's baked in a loaf pan and looks more like any other loaf bread.