Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Brioche French Toast


I adore French toast--it's definitely one of my favorite breakfast foods. But I rarely make it at home because it doesn't ever turn out the way I want it to: perfectly fluffy inside and a touch of crisp outside with a sweet, cinnamon finish. Mine is usually soggy and the cinnamon clumps together so only the first few pieces get the spice, which is always spotty and heavy. But last week I was in Aldi (of all places) and spotted a beautiful loaf of chocolate chip brioche. For real. Aldi. As soon as I saw it, I thought--French Toast! I hemmed and hawed for a second and then took it as a sign that yes, I need to master this dish. Dave and I were thrilled with the result--it was exactly the type of challenge I needed. Fluffy? Yes. Sweet and subtle with cinnamon and nutmeg? Yes. Grilled to a perfect exterior crisp with no soggy interior? Yes. Now I just a have to stalk Aldi for brioche in order to make it again!

Knowing that I really wanted to nail this recipe, my search for French toast recipes was limited just to those using brioche. The breads is such a crucial factor in this dish that I didn't want to take chances, though I'm sure there are plenty of amazing ways to make french toast using all kinds of bread. The key to non-soggy French toast is to let your bread get a touch on the stale side. As awesome as the beautiful fluffy interior of brioche is, you want it to get slightly crisped over and dried out so if has room to absorb the egg mixture. Otherwise, when you dip it in the egg, it'll just fall apart. I settled on this recipe from PJ Hamel because it was published by King Arthur Flour and they've never steered me wrong. I doubled the recipe because the loaf was pretty big and I loved simple way to keep the spices from clumping. Mixed with a a bit of flour and sugar before adding the wet ingredients. Genius! This will definitely be my go to recipe. Perhaps I should learn to make brioche, next?

Brioche French Toast


Ingredients

1 large loaf brioche, a little stale/dried out
3 Tablespoons sugar
3 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
4 eggs
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Slice bread into 12 pieces, about 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Leave slices to sit out a few hours if still too soft. Note: You can't cut the bread too early for this recipe, but you can cut it too late. If you want French toast Sunday morning, slice your bread Saturday night.


In a small, square casserole dish or deep plate, whisk together sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.


In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, milk and vanilla until combined and creamy.


Pour egg mixture into cinnamon mixture, whisking to incorporate and work all the dry ingredients off the bottom of the dish and into the egg mixture.


One at a time, dip each slice of bread into the mixture. Allow to soak for about a minute, flipping halfway through to coat both sides.


Allow excess egg to drip off before placing on a lightly greased hot skillet. Note: I used an electric griddle heated to 325 degrees F. You could also use a non-stick pan heated over medium heat.


Cook for about 2 minutes then flip and cook for another minute. Toast will be golden and crispy.


Serve immediately with maple syrup. Or place finished slices on a baking sheet in an oven heated to 200 degrees F to serve all at once.


Makes 12 slices.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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