I used to hate french toast. i still do - unless it’s made from brioche; stale, fresh, or previously frozen. It all works, as long as you cut it about 1″ thick. Brioche is an eggy somewhat sweet bread, yellow in color and oh so rich.
The most affordable brioche loaf i have found is at Trader Joe’s. You can get about 10 slices out of it for 4 bucks. Unless it’s for a party, what i usually do is get a couple loaves and freeze it right away. With a sharp knife u can slice it when it’s frozen. No need to defrost the loaf so just cut what you need and toss it back in an an airtight bag for the next time you have a hankering. It lasts about 2 months (possibly longer) in the freezer.
A local bakery in Atwater Village, LA Bread and Bakery, makes a great brioche loaf but it’s $18 and has to be pre-ordered. It might as well be a brick of gold considering it’s about 4x the cost of a loaf at TJ’s.
The recipe that follow is for about 8 slices, give or take. Serves 4-6.
Cut it in half if you are just making it for 2 people.
INGREDIENTS FOR BRIOCHE FRENCH TOAST:
3 eggs (2 if they are Jumbo eggs)
1 cup of whole milk
1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract /essence
cinnamon to taste (optional)
8 x 1″ slices of brioche loaf
(ends removed, no one wants the butt end! Cut a sliver off the end and save all your ends in freezer for other yummy recipes like brioche bread pudding.)
In a shallow bowl that is wide enough to soak one piece of bread, whisk first 4 ingredients together.
Heat up a large frying pan on medium heat so that when you throw a pat of butter in, it sizzles but doesn’t brown. Much like making pancakes or crepes, your first round may not be perfect, but are edible for sure and you will need more butter on that first intial round before the pan is seasoned. Cooking french toast is like making grilled cheese. Not too difficult…i hope.
If you have sliced frozen bread, you might want to wait about 10 minutes for it to defrost a little before cooking it.
Take a slice of bread, dip it into the batter quickly on both sides, taking care not to soak it too long on either side or it will start to fall apart before you get it in the pan!
Make sure not to crowd the pan. You want every corner to get browned and slightly crispy.
Garnish with powdered sugar and serve immediately. Guess what? It goes great with bacon!
maple syrup- grade a, b or whatever u can afford. mrs buttersworth works great too.
fruit compote (shown in photo with homemade peach vanilla bean compote)
fresh sliced fruit- i love strawberries since you won’t have to worry about them turning brown.
homemade whipped cream
instead of cinnamon in the batter, some people like cardamon or mace, or nothing at all. i think it depends on what toppings and food you are serving it with. have fun and experiment.
WallFlour PARTY TIP:
When making ahead of time for a brunch party, I cook the toast ahead of time that morning and place them on cookie sheets that i have lined with foil, in a single layer. They will stay crispy in an oven at about 250ºF. Make sure though not to put then in the oven to reheat until about 20 minutes before serving or they will dry out. If you stack or overlap them, the steam the heat creates will make them soggy.
Once all your guests have arrived you can pile them up on a large platter and garnish with fruit and powdered sugar. They will disappear quickly!