In our house, I probably do 85 percent of the cooking. Scott’s domain is the grill and the indoor griddle. Sometimes, he gets a bug to step in and show off his skills. And I’m more than willing to let him – especially when I feel like a Mac truck ran me over and can’t breathe through my nose. (Hello late-summer cold. Glad you could join us.)
This past weekend, he’s spend more time in the kitchen than I have … and I’ve reaped the benefits. First, he made a super yummy cinnamon raisin bread in the bread machine. (Look for future blog on that.) Then, last night, he informed me he was going to make brioche. Before you get too excited, he used the bread machine (undoubtedly the best appliance in our kitchen this last week.) When I got home from work last night, feeling only half-alive, he said he was going to make french toast this morning. When he pulled out Ina Garten’s recipe, I knew it’d be a perfect breakfast.
And it was … It was rich and delicious and if I hadn’t felt just slightly better than death, I probably would have devoured the entire stack.
First the brioche recipe (from The Best Bread Machine Cookbook Ever, by Madge Rosenburg)
(Makes 1 lb. loaf)
1 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups bread flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup water
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
1. Add all ingredients except butter in order suggested by your bread machine manual and process on the basic bread cycle.
2. Cut butter into tablespoon-size pieces. About 10 minutes before the end of your first kneading cycle, begin adding butter, 1 tbsp. each minute. Do not rush it. Let the machine continue it’s process.
3. At the end of the entire cycle, let the brioche cool in the opened machine about 20 minutes. This will keep the sides firm while the center stays moist.
Now, on to the french toast!
6 extra-large eggs
1 1/2 cups half-and-half or milk (Scott used 1 cup whipping cream and 1/2 cup milk)
1 teaspoon grated orange zest (Scott used cinnamon)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon good honey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large loaf challah or brioche bread
Pure maple syrup
Good raspberry preserves (optional)
Sifted confectioners’ sugar (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.2. In a large shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, orange zest, vanilla, honey, and salt. Slice the challah in 3/4-inch thick slices. Soak as many slices in the egg mixture as possible for 5 minutes, turning once. (Scott says he didn’t let it sit for 5 minutes)
3. Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a very large saute pan over medium heat. Add the soaked bread and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until nicely browned. Place the cooked French toast on a sheet pan and keep it warm in the oven. Fry the remaining soaked bread slices, adding butter and oil as needed, until it’s all cooked. Serve hot with maple syrup, raspberry preserves, and/or confectioners’ sugar.