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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Brioche French Toast

Toddler approved.
Last weekend, on a rare occasion, we had a loaf of white bread in our house as I made a breakfast casserole that called for it.

With the leftovers, I remembered Orangette's famous French toast recipe. I first read about it in her autobiography cookbook (what a genius idea) and the secret, frying the bread in oil. The French Toast was a success and I had a toddler and husband begging for more.

For Christmas, my in-laws sent me a variety of bread making supplies which go great with one of my many New Year's Resolutions -- the attempting a variety of homemade breads throughout the year.

French Toast can be made from a variety of breads - white, wheat, challah, brioche and I've even had it with baguette. I thumbed through my new bread book and decided that Poor Man's Brioche (this is a various of what I used) would be the French Toast victim.

I'm horrible at shaping and I think my house wasn't warm enough so it exactly didn't ferment the greatest but upon looking at other's Brioche photos, I think mine actually was shaped how it was supposed to be. I think I need to get some other tools, a rising bucket or very large proofing bags.

Anyway, I put one loaf in the freezer for later and sliced the other one up for French Toast ala Orangette.

French Toast ala Orangette (Burg's French Toast)

1 cup milk (used 2%)
4 large eggs
1 Tbs sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
Mild-tasting vegetable oil, such as canola
6 slices bread (a bias-cut country French loaf, or challah, preferably), about ¾ to 1 inch thick (used Poor Man's Brioche)
Pure maple syrup, for serving (never, ever use Mrs. Butterworth - it's full of high fructose corn syrup)

Whisk together the first five ingredients in a wide, shallow bowl.

Place a large skillet, preferably cast-iron, over low to medium heat, and add enough oil to just cover the bottom of the skillet.

Two or three at a time, add the bread slices to the egg mixture in the bowl, allowing them to rest for a minute or two on each side. They should feel heavy and thoroughly saturated, but they should not be falling apart. When the oil is hot, place the slices in the skillet. They should sizzle a bit, and the oil should bubble lightly around the edges of the bread; take care, however, that the oil is not too hot, lest the egg mixture burn. Cook until the underside of each slice is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Turn the bread, and cook until the second side is golden, another 2 minutes or so. Remove the bread from the skillet to a plate lined with a paper towel, allow to rest for 30 seconds or so, and serve immediately—with maple syrup, of course.

Yield: 6 slices, serving 2 or 3.

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