Brioche French Toast

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We’re finally back to posting after a hiatus caused by failure and travel! The last post we attempted was Poutine but we had an epic cheese curd making failure which forced us to moodily brood for the rest of the day (don’t worry…we’re not giving up on Poutine!) Then last weekend we were out of town and now here we are to redeem ourselves with the most delicious french toast that we’ve ever tasted. The secret to this french toast is the homemade Brioche…a light, buttery, soft yet structured loaf that is the perfect platform for amazing French toast. We were actually going to make this a couple weeks ago but I neglected to note that you have to start the Brioche at least a day ahead. It is a very simple bread to make but requires lots of resting/rising time so be sure to plan ahead! We added a splash of Triple Sec to our batter and topped our French toast with a warm and zesty apple compote that made this recipe perfect for this Autumnal apple season that we’re in. The texture of the homemade Brioche paired with the apple compote was amazingly good! If you feel like your French Toast game has been kind of blah try this recipe!

french-toast-020 Katryn’s Wine Pairing: Cuvee Des Barons, Brut Rose
Rating: 8.5 out of 10.0

We paired this wine with our biscuits and gravy and it was just as good this time around with the French Toast! This is a sparkling wine made from a mix of Gamay, Pinot Noir, and Grenache. It’s light, bubbly, and fruity but has a deep, complex and raisiny component due to the Pinot Noir. The wine complimented the apple/lemon notes in the French Toast while contrasting the buttery richness of the Brioche. This is a delicious and versatile wine and I highly recommend it as an accompaniment to a variety of brunch foods!

french-toast-018 Nathan’s Beer Pairing: Spencerville Red Hard Apple, Heyser Farms
Rating: 8.0 out of 10.0

Heyser Farms is a local farm in our area that we often get produce from so it great to find they made a hard cider while looking for one for this post. Their Spencerville Red hard cider is nice and dry and not too sweet, much like a brut sparkling wine. There is a slight sour note that actually offset the sweet flavors of the french toast.

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French Toast:

Ingredients

3 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur, such as Triple Sec or Grand Marnier
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon orange juice
Pinch of cinnamon
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for serving
6 slices of brioche bread, recipe follows
Pure maple syrup, for serving

Directions

1. In a large shallow dish, beat eggs with a fork. Beat in liqueur, sugar, large pinch of salt, cinnamon and orange juice. Add milk and beat until combined.

2. In a large heavy skillet, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high until sizzling. Gently dip brioche, one slice at a time, into egg mixture to coat and add to skillet (do not crowd pan). In batches, cook until golden brown on both sides, 5 minutes per batch, flipping once. Transfer to a plate in warm oven. Repeat with remaining brioche adding more butter as needed. (Reduce heat if brioche is browning too quickly.) Serve with butter, apple compote (recipe follows) and maple syrup.

No Knead Brioche:

From this recipe

Ingredients

3¼ cups (17¾ ounces) bread flour
2¼ teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
Salt
7 large eggs
½ cup water, room temperature
1/3 cup (21/3 ounces) sugar
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

Directions

1. Whisk flour, yeast, and 1 ½ teaspoons salt together in large bowl. Whisk 6 eggs, water, and sugar together in medium bowl until sugar has dissolved. Whisk in butter until smooth. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir with wooden spoon until uniform mass forms and no dry flour remains, about 1 minute. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand for 10 minutes.

2. Holding edge of dough with your fingertips, fold dough over itself by gently lifting and folding edge of dough toward middle. Turn bowl 45 degrees; fold again. Turn bowl and fold dough 6 more times (total of 8 folds). Cover with plastic and let rise for 30 minutes. Repeat folding and rising every 30 minutes, 3 more times. After fourth set of folds, cover bowl tightly with plastic and refrigerate for at least 16 hours or up to 48 hours.

3. Transfer dough to well-floured counter and divide into 4 pieces. Pat 1 piece of dough into 4-inch disk. Working around circumference of dough, fold edges of dough toward center until ball forms. Flip dough over and, without applying pressure, move your hands in small circular motions to form dough into smooth, taut round. (If dough sticks to your hands, lightly dust top of dough with flour.) Repeat with remaining dough. Cover dough rounds loosely with plastic and let rest for 5 minutes.

4. Grease two 8½ by 4½-inch loaf pans. After 5 minutes, flip each dough ball seam side up, pat into 4-inch disk, and repeat rounding step. Place 2 rounds, seam side down, side by side into each prepared pan and press gently into corners. Cover loaves loosely with plastic and let rise at room temperature until almost doubled in size (dough should rise to about 1/2 inch below top edge of pan), 1½ to 2 hours. Thirty minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to middle position, place baking stone on rack, and heat oven to 350 degrees.

5. Lightly beat remaining 1 egg with pinch salt. Remove plastic and brush loaves gently with beaten egg. Set loaf pans on stone and bake until golden brown and internal temperature registers 190 degrees, 35 to 45 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Transfer pans to wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Remove loaves from pans, return to wire rack, and let cool completely before slicing and serving, about 2 hours.

Apple Compote for Two:

Ingredients

1 Tbs. butter
1 large apple of your choice, medium diced
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 Tbs. brown sugar
1 Tbs. Triple Sec
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cinnamon

Directions

1. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.

2. Add apple pieces, lemon juice, brown sugar, Triple Sec, salt and cinnamon.

3. Saute for 5-8 minutes or until apple is slightly tender.

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