I love grapevines. And I’m not talking about gossipy ones. I mean the kind that bring you really good ideas. And often good recipes. And priceless cooking hints.
So our kids were sitting around with Merle and me, talking about food—not unusual—when Rebecca said, “We found a brand new little bakery at Central Market. The guy bakes all kinds of bread, but he puts Wilbur Buds into the one variety. It looks and smells so good!”
(Note to anyone who hasn’t bitten into a Wilbur Bud: Think Hershey Kisses, only deeper and richer.)
At which moment Kate jumped out of her chair. “Hey, Aubrey told me at supper club that she used the Wilbur Bud bread for French toast—and then she swooned, it was so fantastic.”
I suddenly had the main course for our next family brunch. I got to our farmers market crazy early the next morning, just as the new baker was unpacking his boules and focaccias.
When I served this French Toast with Wilbur Buds to all of us a few days later, our kids said, “Okay, we have a new family tradition.” I would never have known without the grapevine.
What good things have you learned from the grapevine?
adapted from Fresh From Central Market Cookbook, page 125
(Note: If you can’t find Wilbur Buds, drop a generous handful of chocolate chips over the slices of bread once you have them in the baking pan.)
Makes 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chilling Time: 4-36 hours
Baking Time: 45-50 minutes
Standing Time: 5 minutes
1-lb. Wilbur Bud boule, or plain French baguette or loaf of Italian bread
8 large eggs
3 cups milk
4 tsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. butter, cut into small pieces
1. Cut bread into ¾”-thick slices and arrange in greased 9 x 13 baking pan.
2. In a good-sized mixing bowl, beat eggs. Add milk, sugar, salt, and vanilla, mixing till well blended.
3. Pour over bread.
4. If you aren’t using a Wilbur Bud boule, drop Wilbur Buds or chocolate chips over the bread. Push the chocolate pieces down into the egg-milk mixture.
5. Cover and refrigerate 4-36 hours.
6. When ready to bake, uncover and dot with butter.
7. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned.
8. Let stand 5 minutes.
9. Serve as is, or with syrup, honey, yogurt, sour cream, and/or fresh fruit.