Each Thursday, Emily Vikre (a.k.a fiveandspice) will be sharing a new way to love breakfast -- because breakfast isn't just the most important meal of the day. It's also the most awesome.
Today: Let's talk about toast.
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I’ve been trying to think of something clever to say about toast, but I’ve been coming up short. I think maybe it’s because toast is more about substance than wit. With a good piece of toast you can anchor almost any ingredient and turn it into a meal. How many other foods can make that claim? And while a bad piece of toast won’t necessarily ruin a breakfast, a good piece of toast can definitely make a breakfast. Actually, a good piece of toast, with a copious amount of butter, can be breakfast -- marmalade or honey optional.
I bake most of my own bread, and my go-to for baking and then toasting is a crusty, country-style bread: the perfect vehicle for delivering your morning egg or for soaking up extra sauce from dinner. But, sometimes, I like to make a loaf of bread that feels especially meant for breakfast, which usually means adding a little sweetness to complement the savory, and perhaps something like oats or nuts for extra substance. This loaf, sweet from maple, nutty from oats, crusty on the outside, but with a soft, moist crumb, makes perfect toast for breakfast. It’s good with a salty slice of ham or with spoonful of good preserves. Or simply with lots and lots of butter.
5 cups all-purpose flour (you can replace a couple cups with whole wheat if you wish) 1 1/2 cups rolled oats 1/3 cup maple syrup (preferably grade B) 1/4 cup melted butter or olive oil 2 teaspoons salt 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast 2 1/4 cups room temperature water
I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (www.vikredistillery.com), where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.