Last weekend, my husband and I had a relaxed lunch at The Tavern, a new-ish restaurant in an up and coming area of Columbus called Olde Towne East. After lunch(which could be the subject of an entire blog post) we popped next door to The Angry Baker for a sweet bite. While there, I decided to buy a loaf of brioche. I’ve used it’s delicate, flaky slices before for sandwiches and croque monsieurs so I just knew we’d find a use for it.
Enter my newest experiment, layered brioche-pecan french toast.
- 6 Tbsp butter, melted
- 1 loaf brioche
- 1 cup finely chopped pecans
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 6 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups milk (I used evaporated for more richness, but less fat)
- 2 tsp vanilla
- Remove crust from brioche, then slice entire loaf into 1/2″ slices.
- In a small bowl, mix pecans, brown sugar and cinnamon together and set aside.
- Brush a loaf pan with some melted butter, line it across the bottom and long sides with a single large piece of parchment, then butter the parchment.
- Set down a layer of bread slices in the bottom of the pan, cutting bread as needed to ensure a full layer.
- Brush bread lightly with melted butter and then 1/3 cup of the pecan mixture, spreading to ensure even coverage.
- Repeat layering bread, butter and pecan mixture until you fill the pan or use up all of the nut mixture, whichever comes first. Be sure the last layer is just bread topped with melted butter.
- In a medium bowl, whip the eggs, milk and vanilla together. (If you don’t plan to serve with syrup or something sweet, put 1/2 cup sugar in the egg mixture as well.) Pour slowly over the layered bread in the pan.
- Cover pan with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (up to overnight) to allow the egg mixture to absorb into the bread.
- Bake at 350° F for 40 minutes, then cover loosely with foil, shut off the oven and leave the pan in the oven for another 10 minutes.
Let cool about 15 minutes before slicing so it can firm up. Then, lift it out of the pan gently using the parchment paper on the long ends. Serve lightly drizzled with maple syrup, honey or the syrup of your choice.