growing up french toast was a sunday-morning family favorite. my dad would make his "dad's world famous french toast", which i always preferred over pancakes. when i moved away to college, i called to get his recipe and found out his version doesn't have a real recipe...just "a few of these, some of this, and a little of that." unfortunately the lack of exact measurements means that no one else can get the subtleties of his french toast quite right.
since leaving home i've gone in search of a more scientific recipe that i can refer to over and over again, and while it's not dad's version, my new-found favorite is pretty perfect. the use of brioche is really important for the quintessential french toast taste and texture, (even if i have to make a special trip to a bread store to get it) and the addition of light brown sugar to the batter makes it the perfect balance of rich and sweet.
i also love that this recipe only makes about 8 slices, which is perfect for two people. if you have a larger crowd, feel free to double or triple the recipe.
| ingredients |
8 slices of brioche, sliced ½ inch thick
1 ½ cups whole milk, warm
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoon light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoon unsalted butter + 2 tablespoon unsalted, melted butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
| method |
preheat the oven to 200 F degrees.
whisk together the milk, egg yolks, brown sugar, melted butter, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt in a large, flat, rimmed baking dish.
heat ½ tablespoon of butter in a large non-stick skillet or griddle, over medium heat.
soak 1 slice at a time into the milk mixture on each side, for each slice. they should be wet, but not falling apart. let the excess milk mixture drip off.
transfer your soaked brioche slices one at a time onto the griddle and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until they turn golden brown. if your slices are browning too quickly turn down to heat just a little.
place cooked french toast slices onto the baking sheet in the oven to keep them warm until you are ready to eat.
repeat the same process for the rest of the brioche slices using ½ tablespoon butter for each time.
once complete, serve alongside warmed maple syrup, dusted with powdered sugar and/or with fresh seasonal berries!
ps- if you can't find brioche, you can also use thick cut challah bread. it's equally amazing:
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