Sunday, March 18, 2012

bread. butter. sugar.

i'm procrastinating. there are a few things that i know that i should be getting my head into right now for work....but i'm not really feeling like it. it is such a lovely sunday afternoon. so i'm thinking if i take some time to write a posting and ogle over some pics i've taken, i'll be able to be more stern with myself and ignore the sunny spring like day in san francisco and delve into what needs to be done for work.

there is a snack that i've had since i was a kid that consisted of a vietnamese baguette, butter, and sugar. i don't know if there is a name for it. it is something that my mom made for me when i was a kid and didn't realize that other folks had it growing up until i saw it briefly appear on a vietnamese restaurant menu for brunch as a side dish. i also saw variations of bread, soft butter, and sugar at various bakeries in the mission....and remember thinking that bread, butter, sugar....must be one of the simple comfort foods for many cultures. yet, i never varied from how i made it for myself... some type of baguette (rustic french, pain d'epi, etc.), butter, and sugar....that is until a couple of days ago.

it is funny how cookbooks or what we read have an impact upon us. i finished reading through mission street food by myint and leibowitz recently....which is a great read btw...and there was this recipe for toast crunch which included buttering both sides of thick slices of bread, coating it with sugar, and then using a torch to create a hardened sugar crust. maybe someday i'll try that...but i think what stayed in my subconscious was buttering both sides, then toasting it, and then adding when i was at market yesterday morning, i saw one of the bakers at acme loading up some sweet loafs on the shelf. i never noticed them before. when i am at acme, i get into my mode of my usual bread purchases (i.e., rustic baguette, upstairs bread, and the epi) and honestly don't do a lot of looking at other bread options when i'm in my "market mode". then i thought...what if i made some sugared butter bread with thick slices of that sweet loaf?

so i did.

when i arrived home and decided to make the sugared toast. i looked at the loaf and thought how my mother would not approve. she pretty much thought soft white loaf breads were crap...which admittedly...the ones that she was thinking about specifically are the "wonder" breads and the like for. acme bread is not wonder bread. one day, i will write a story about how bread can be used as metaphor of a silent yet dangerous war in a multicultural household.

yet, not today.

today, i just want to write about how i came about making spicy sugary buttery toast that i enjoyed quite a bit.

so, i took the sweet loaf and sliced off a couple of thick slices. i kept marveling at how soft and spongy it was and the lack of crust. admittedly, i kept poking at it. then, i heavily buttered both sides with soft sorta melty straus butter that i nuked in the microwave earlier. then i toasted it. while it was toasting, i prepped my sugar.

these days, i have various kinds of sugars in my pantry. while a common item i have in my pantry is vanilla sugar (just mixing vanilla bean and baker's sugar), i now also have other flavored sugars which just include mixing an aromatic ingredient like coffee beans, uk black tea, or whole chilies with baker's sugar. my intention is to use them as sugar rims for cocktails to pair with some of the infused whiskeys i made and for anything else i feel like playing with. so i decided to take some of the vanilla sugar and mix it with some ground organic cayenne to add to my toast.

it turned out to be a pretty decadent breakfast....all of that spongy white bread soaking up all of that butter...and the super fine spicy vanilla sugar in all of the nooks and crannies.

after i took a bite, i thought...this is rather great in a "this-is-obviously-not-something-to-eat-everyday-but-if-i-could-get-away-with-it-i-would" kind of way.

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