Breakfast foods are always a point of contention for a lot of people. Do you eat sweet or savory breakfasts? What should the size of your breakfast be? Should you eat breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince, and dinner like a Pauper? Or the reverse order? Should there be a lot of protein or tons of carbohydrates? You can find a multitude of answers in different research, newspapers, or even magazines. For me, it’s not about the research, it’s about the honey.
But that’s a problem here in Korea. The honey isn’t quite what I’m looking for. I’m talking about honey that’s thick and dark with levels of flavor and as unpasteurized as possible. The kind of honey that needs no vehicle to make it from five-pound glass tub to my mouth other than a spoon. I have dreams of Wade’s Honey from Ithaca’s Farmer’s market, and yet I settle for 1kilo-sized bottles of a mix between honey, syrup, and straight up sugar water. I’m trying to get over my snobbery.
But not all was lost, since I had two friends traveling back to the states for quick trips. They did the polite expat thing and asked others what was requested back from the US of A, and I, without hesitation, replied “Me honey.” Grammar didn’t matter; it was all about the honey.
Within two weeks I went from having no honey, to two big things of it: one Organic and one filled with a honeycomb. Remember the cereal Honeycomb? Yeah, the real thing is nothing like that. It’s a piece of the waxy-comb cut off and stuck in the middle of the honey. For some it’s just an aesthetic appeal. For me, I chew on the wax to get all of the honey out. Yes, I realized I sound like an addict.
I didn’t want to waste the honey though; it was something I had to reserve for good times, for the best of times. And then the culinary stars aligned: honey, my first yeast bread, the morning time. Honeycomb French Toast.
The best way to make French Toast is to let your bread go stale – this will help in the absorption process when marinating in eggs because the bread’s structure won’t break down with so much added moisture. What I like to do is take a couple of slices of bread (or leave a few out the night before to get them nice and stale) and soak them in the egg-vanilla-milk bath for 10 minutes all the way up to over night. I really want my bread to be thoroughly saturated so that the bread-pudding consistency is true on the inside, and the sweet-crisp crunch is on the outside.
After the long and trusty process of making my French Toast, I skipped on the syrup or jam, and went straight for the honeycomb, crushing it up with the honey and spreading it over the warm, freshly seared pieces of homemade bread.
It might not have been the “best” breakfast according to research or studies or even my next door neighbor who prefers the spicy tang of kimchi in the morning, but according to me, honey addict – It was near perfection.
What you’ll need:
Stale Bread (preferably French bread or homemade. Wonder bread won’t work, folks)
Beat eggs, milk, vanilla and syrup together. Dip the stale bread in the mixture and flip. Then leave it for a few minutes. You can leave it over night, if you’d like – just be careful picking it up in the morning). Place the slices in a pan with butter over medium heat and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side. They won’t be completely finished, so then place them in an oven at 350, and bake for 5-8 more minutes. The result? A crispy, sweet, doughy, perfect pile of breakfast magic.
Serve with honeycomb.