Having Valentine's Day on a weekend this year creates a unique opportunity for celebrating by serving the ones you love a heartfelt breakfast, and maybe even breakfast in bed! If you've ever tried using McGrath's bread for french toast, you know that it requires a little different treatment than lightweight store-bought bread, but it's worth the extra trouble. Here is one way to go about turning out some delicious french toast (It doesn't have to be just for breakfast. Any meal will do.). It's not the only way, and it may or may not be the best way, but what I can say is that it's really tasty.
This is how we do it:
Slice up the loaf of McGrath's bread in ~3/4" slices. We like the fruited varieties (American Harvest is our favorite) or Original, but any will work well. Even the cheesy ones are viable options if you're up for trying something unusual. Savory french toast would better be served with a side of savory seasoned cream cheese (herbs, onion, bacon, anyone?) instead of the usual jam or syrup.
Lay the slices in a single layer in a shallow casserole dish or rimmed cookie sheet/jelly roll pan. Mix up a custard of milk and eggs, plus maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon for sweet toast, or salt and pepper for savory toast. Pour the custard over the slices until almost covered and allow to soak for 15-20 minutes, flipping part way through.
After a good soak, pour off the excess custard from the pan into a cup with a pouring spout, like a glass measuring cup or gravy boat. Heat up the skillet on medium heat (we like to use cast iron), and add a generous amount of coconut oil or butter. Transfer the soaked slices to the hot skillet and let it sear on the bottom. After about 30 seconds, having allowed the bottom surface to seal up some, pour extra custard over the top to fill in all the nooks, crannies, and 'rooms' created from the bubbles in the bread, until it is saturated. After a couple more minutes, once the custard puddles have begun to solidify (probably not completely) and the bottom is a nice toasty color, you can quickly flip the slices to brown up the other side. The key is to not cook them too quickly. The innermost part of the soggy bread and the holes filled solid with custard need enough time to thoroughly cook without burning the outside. This could be as much as 4 minutes per side. Repeat this cooking process with all the slices, and don't be surprised if you have to mix up some extra custard solution for pouring into the holes, as this method uses a lot more than what you are probably used to using.
Kevin is not one for recipes (his bread-making guidelines for proportions he considers to be "formulas", not recipes), so this is my best interpretation of his instructions, vague as they are. It works pretty well for him! He also mentioned that if you use McGrath's Original, which generally has more holes, it's fun to tuck an extra little treat into those holes, like frozen blueberries or chocolate chips, before filling them in with custard.
Enjoy, and have a delightful Valentine's Day!