For the Cinnamon Syrup:
½ cup sugar
3 cinnamon sticks
½ cup water
For the Toast:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and divided
Four ¾-inch-thick slices Pullman loaf
Pinch kosher salt
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)
1. Make the cinnamon syrup: In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, cinnamon sticks and water, and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the cinnamon is fragrant, 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Makes ½ cup of syrup and can be refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.
2. Make the toast: Evenly spread 3 tablespoons of butter onto both sides of each piece of bread. Place a large skillet over medium heat. Working in 2 batches, place two slices of buttered bread in the hot skillet and set a smaller skillet on top of the bread, pressing down on the toast. Cook until the bread is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the small skillet and flip the bread, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and continue to cook 1½ to 2 minutes longer. Wipe the skillet clean and repeat with the remaining bread slices.
3. In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon until combined, then transfer all but 2 teaspoons to a large plate. Brush 1 to 2 tablespoons of cinnamon syrup over one side of each bread slice, then dip in the cinnamon sugar, syrup-side down.
4. Wipe the large skillet clean and melt ½ to 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and place the toast, sugared-side down, in the skillet. Weigh down with the small skillet and cook until the edges of the bread are caramelized and the sugar is melted, 3 to 4 minutes. Wipe the skillet clean and repeat with the remaining toast.
5. Serve the toast caramelized-side up and sprinkle with the reserved cinnamon sugar and, if desired, confectioners' sugar.