The rich, buttery sweetness of brioche lends itself perfectly to many breakfast menu items. Toasted with butter or preserves, or drizzled with a bit of honey, this breakfast is ready is seconds. But what if you have more than just a few seconds for breakfast? Or what if you’re one of the millions who rather have a slice of cake for breakfast? Brioche french toast takes just a few minutes to prep and cook, and satisfies like a generous slice of warm cake.
Unlike traditional sandwich bread, brioche’s density keeps it from absorbing more egg wash than it can hold without falling apart. This also keeps the toast from cooking too quickly on the outside while the inside remains cold. Which brings us to another point: french toast should be cooked over low heat. The egg wash for this recipe contains sugar which will burn almost as quickly as the eggs.
Speaking of the egg wash, most recipes include just eggs and milk and perhaps some vanilla. Ground cinnamon used to be a common addition to the egg wash, or sprinkled on the toast before it was cooked. Unfortunately, cinnamon doesn’t incorporate well into liquids, and it burns as soon as it’s exposed to heat, so it’s best left out of this dish. What this egg wash does include, aside from eggs, milk and vanilla, is a generous amount of sugar, and just a bit of salt to intensify all the flavors.
If you’ve made your own brioche, you can control the thickness of the slices for this dish. A slice that is ¾-inch thick is thick enough to stay together in the egg wash, but not so thick that it’s impossible to heat the inside before the outside is a charred mess.
Even the cooking surface is important. A thick, non-stick griddle that doesn’t have any hot spots or burns is best. Placing the griddle on the largest burner, set to low heat should ensure even heating over the entire surface of the griddle so that each piece of French toast cooks evenly, from edge to edge. You only need a light sprits of non-stick cooking spray. Check the toast only when you are ready to turn it. Once the toast is lifted off the cooking surface, it will not brown evenly. And don’t be afraid to use your hand to hold the toast in place when turning these slices. The last thing you want is half the slice over the edge the griddle, cooking onto the stove top, or outside of the pan.
French toast is done when it’s just underdone. The interior should be hot all the way through, but not quite set. Plate these and serve immediately. A beautiful pat of butter and real maple syrup are all that you need to dress this French toast.
Brioche French Toast: Better than Cake for Breakfast
- Serves 4
- 8, ¾-inch thick slices of brioche
- 5 large eggs
- 4 tablespoon white sugar
- ½ cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Thoroughly mix all the ingredients, except the brioche in a deep dish pie plate or similar container. Dip each piece of brioche (2 if the container is big enough) in the egg wash and allow the wash to penetrate to the inside, turning once for a total of about 20 seconds. Place the egg washed slices on a platter, and repeat until all the slices have been dipped. All the egg wash should be used. If any is left, pour the remnants onto the slices.
Heat a non-stick griddle, sprayed lightly with non-stick cooking spray over low heat on the largest burner. Cook as many slices as once as will fit. The one pictured above is an 11-inch griddle, and it holds 4 slices at a time. Turn the toast once after about 2 minutes. The second side will take only about a minute to brown. Plate, dress and enjoy immediately.