French toast died and gone to heaven: Your best versions

Remaking stale bread with flavorful syrups and toppings, here are doughnut-bacon, maple-pumpkin versions and more

Published October 12, 2010 12:20AM (EDT)

Every week, your challenge is to create an eye-opening dish within our capricious themes and parameters. Blog your submission on Open Salon by Monday 10 a.m. EST -- with photos and your story behind the dish -- and we'll republish the winners on Salon on Tuesday. (It takes only 30 seconds to start a blog.) Please note that by participating, you're giving Salon permission to re-post your entry if it's chosen as a winner, and acknowledging that all words and images in your post are your own, unless explicitly stated. And yes, mashed potato sculpture counts as a dish. Emphatically.

This week, we asked for your best bostocks, pastries made of soaking stale bread in syrup, topping it with deliciousness, and baking til toasty and tender.


Maple pumpkin ginger bostock by Lucy Mercer: It's fall, and Lucy is showing us how to crisp up bread with pumpkin butter and maple syrup. Is it possible to not want to eat that immediately?


In the Tahiti category:

Tropical coconut bostock by Linda Shiue: Like Paul Gauguin showing up in Tahiti, Linda plays with the notion of what a classic French pastry might look like brought to the Pacific islands (and then magically relocated back to the U.S. in 2010). What results is a whimsical, delicious version built on sweet "Hawaiian" rolls, a Southeast Asian coconut jam, and tropical fruits.

In the Doughnut category:

Coffee-soaked doughnuts with bacon by Mucy Lercer: Lucy's Bizzarro twin also paid us a visit this week, daring to go where no French pastry chef has ever dared to go before: to the Krispy Kreme, soaking the South's favorite doughnut in coffee syrup and topping it with crisp bacon and whipped cream. Oy.


Pineapple-coconut bostock by Theresa Rice: This week's Kitchen Challenge marks, we may nearly guarantee, the first time Gauguin has ever played a central role in two separate recipe contest entries. Also drawing on his "gone native" era, Theresa creates a version built on the flavors of rum, pineapple and coconut, topping it all with sautéed pineapples.

Stacked orange-blossom bostocks by Paul Hinrichs: Readers of Paul know that he, by nature of character, will not do things the easy way, and so for him, bostock is a reason to bake your own bread, grind your own almond paste, and candy your own oranges. If you have a little bit of the die-hard from-scratcher in you, here's a chance to find a kindred spirit.

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Fall is the finest time for apples, and in many parts of the country, that means clamoring for the childhood nostalgia of apple picking in orchards with cider and doughnuts. But now we're all grown up, and what seemed like endless afternoons of running around in crisp air are more like 10 minutes of, "Oh, isn't this beautiful!" followed by, "OK, now what? And what are we going to do with 25 pounds of apples?"

So this week, let's give our friends with these precious (and oppressive) bounties a hand! Anyone can find all the pie, tart, turnover, crumble, crisp, betty, buckle, cobbler, slump and grunt recipes you can shake a fallen-off apple branch at, so particularly exciting would be savory dishes that use apples, or unusual or inventive apple desserts, drinks, sauces or wherever your creativity or tradition take you.

Be sure to tag your posts: SKC apple feast (Please note that by participating, you're giving Salon permission to re-post your entry if it's chosen as a winner, and acknowledging that all words and images in your post are your own, unless explicitly stated. Adaptations of existing recipes are fine, but please let us know where the original comes from. And if you'd like to participate but not have your post considered for republication on Salon, please note it in the post itself. Thanks!)

Scoring and winning

Scores will be very scientific, given for appealing photos, interesting stories behind your submissions, creativity, and execution.


By Salon Staff

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