Baked French Toast

“I’ll take a loaf of challah please.”

“Sorry, we just ran out 10 minutes ago.”

“You must have had quite a few people buying challah this morning.”

“No.  We only made one loaf for the morning.”

This really happened at a bakery contained within one of those fancy we sell you everything type of grocery stores.  It was a Saturday morning.  I came to the store specifically for this type of bread.  So this little story explains how a loaf brioche got into this recipe now adapted from a recipe of nearly the same name by the Steep Acres Farm B&B somewhere in Oregon.

Seriously.  Why does a bakery make one loaf of bread?

  1. One stick butter
  2. Half cup brown sugar
  3. Half cup pure maple syrup
  4. One cup chopped pecans
  5. Eight large eggs
  6. One and a half cups of half and half
  7. One and a half tsp cinnamon
  8. One tsp vanilla extract
  9. One loaf brioche sliced thick

Heat butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup in a saucepan over medium heat until melted and smooth.  Transfer to a 13 x 9 x 2 glass baking dish.  Sprinkle pecans.

Whisk the eggs, half and half, cinnamon, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.  Dip bread slices into the mixture and arrange in a single layer in the baking dish.  Pour the remaining egg mixture over the bread slices, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, take the dish out of the refrigerator a minimum of thirty minutes prior to baking.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Bake the dish uncovered until it becomes golden brown and puffy.  This will take between 35 and 40 minutes.  It will be done when a knife stuck in the center of the puffiest part comes out clean.

Serve warm with more maple syrup.  Sit back, savor, and enjoy the compliments.

Tips

Pure maple syrup and pure vanilla extract.  Any usage of maple flavored sugar syrup or imitation vanilla will destroy this dish and you’ll never be invited over for anyone’s pot luck brunch ever again.  In a pinch, a loaf of soft French bread will work.

 

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Happy Holidays 2015

Biscuit08

I haven’t been a very good boy this year Santa.  It seems every year is the same.  I want to write more and dig some more recipes out of my brain but life gets in the way.  This year was both good and bad for me.  While I’d like to blame aging and memory loss, the truth behind the lack of words was something else.  A child leaves the nest. My best friend died this year.  Around the same time I was adjusting to additional hours needed for a second work project.  I look back, especially at this online journal and can see when the writing stopped.

But as it always does we humans change and adapt.  The words are flowing again.  The recipes are popping up and asking “Did you write me down yet?”  I’ve adjusted to my new normal and changed my shopping and cooking habits.  There are more slimmed down recipes to serve two.

Santa, I will be a better person next year.  I need to finish writing the book I promised the boys when they were in high school.