Thursday, January 2, 2014

There's something to be said about forgoing the dried-out bagel smothered with, yet hoping to be resuscitated by, excessive cream cheese for a thought-out, over the top breakfast. But who really wants to wake up at 8AM on a special day to make special breakfast?

Enter: the baked french toast. Baked french toast starts on special day's eve. Prep your bread, let it soak overnight in a custard-like soup over night. Morning of, stumble to the kitchen and stick it in the oven. Don't forget to turn your oven on, if still drunk, and let the french toast cook until puffed up and golden brown.

I made this Bon Appetit baked french toast with pecan crumble for New Years Day breakfast. I didn't make the blackberry sauce that goes with it, just plain ol' maple for these midwesterners. It was exactly what the doctor ordered after a night of debauchery.

  • 1 pound loaf challah, sliced 1” thick
  • Unsalted butter, room temperature (for baking dish)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
Pecan Crumble and assembly
  • ½ cup pecans
  • 2 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

I love challah bread. That just needs to be said. It's the best bread ever. Okay, so super easy: 

On Special Day's Eve:
Butter a 13x9” baking dish. Cut bread so slices are similar in size. Arrange, overlapping, in rows in prepared dish.

Whisk eggs, egg yolks, cream, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl. Pour over bread, pressing bread to help it soak up custard. Cover and stick it in the fridge.

Make the pecan crumble: Pulse pecans, butter, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor until nuts are coarsely chopped. Cover it and store in the fridge.

Morning of:
Scatter pecan crumble over soaked bread. Place dish on a rimmed baking sheet and cover tightly with foil. Bake until warmed through (a knife inserted into the center should feel warm to the touch), 25–30 minutes. Remove foil and bake until deeply browned, 35–40 minutes longer. Smother in syrup of your choice.

Fun Fact: REAL french in called pain perdu, meaning "lost bread." Probably because they used old, stale bread, and soaked it in milk and eggs to soften it back up.  If you let your bread sit out overnight, or at least get a little stale on the counter, it will more readily absorb the custard for extra softness.Slice it the night before (special day's eve eve), lay it on a baking sheet, and let it sit overnight on the counter.

Don't forget the bacon!


1 comment:

  1. This looks absolutely divine!! My mouth is watering just looking at the photos! :)


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