Yesterday, in an uncharacteristic move, I served a pair of French toast dishes for brunch. I made two pans of baked blueberry and strawberry French toast, both rich with half and half and butter. Then I made a third pan of dairy-free baked French toast, that one rich with peanut butter and flavorful with bites of brown sugar-crusted banana. Surprisingly, the banana-peanut butter combo was the biggest hit, and friends gobbled it up alongside slices of bacon, roasted potatoes with homemade tomato chutney, and bloody Marys.
Though I’ve long advocated baked French toast as a brunch staple, I rarely serve platters of the rich, carby main. This is because I don’t love sweet breakfasts and brunches, and the host has to eat too.
But yesterday’s gloom and a desire for ease saw me running home from the supermarket two hours before friends were due to arrive with loaves of fluffy Portuguese white bread ready to be turned into French toast. I loved serving the two variations, and though my oven suffered from being overstuffed with pans of potatoes, bacon, and the French toast, brunch came together and we had a blast.
Also, I though I’d mention that I had never made my own bloody Marys before yesterday. But I’m one hundred percent stirring them together for all future brunches. (I followed Ina’s recipe.) Do you have a signature bloody Mary ingredient?