Sunday, February 27, 2011

Brioche French Toast with Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Roll Maple Frosting

Remember me telling you about the bread book that revolutionized how my mom bakes bread?  She sent me a copy of it.  Well, that is not true.  She attempted to send me a copy of the book by ordering it online.  What she actually sent me was this: Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Before you think I am disparaging my mother, please note that  I am most definitely my mother's daughter and have, on occasion, managed to not finish the online act of purchasing books or say, a wedding present.  I have managed to order the wrong book or the wrong gloves or the wrong ... well, you understand.

There.  Now don't you feel satisfied, deep in your heart, to know that despite my perfect appearance, I am woefully imperfect?  Thought you would.

Back to the bread.  I wanted to make something yummy and bakey-goodness to take to a friend who just had a baby.  Cinnamon rolls sounded lovely.  They sound lovely, yes?  The recipe in the book called for one of several master recipes to create the rolls.  Alas, every recipe in the book called for way more vital gluten and honey than I had on hand.  What's a girl to do?  Adjust!

This is what I came up with for the brioche dough:

Master No-Knead Brioche Dough

1 1/2 Cups water
1 1/2 Tbsp instant yeast
1 1/2 Tbsp kosher salt
8 eggs
1/2 Cup honey
1 1/2 butter (3 sticks), melted
6 Cups All-Purpose unbleached flour
1 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat flour

Toss it all in the stand mixer (or in the food processor).  Mix with the paddle attachment until combined, maybe another minute more.  The dough will be super-uber sticky.  That's okay.  Remove the hook from the mixer, cover the dough - but not airtight.  Set it aside for 2+ hours for the dough to rise.  When the dough has risen and then fallen flat on top, place it in a large, loosely covered container for at least 2 hours in the fridge (this makes it firm enough to use), than bake off some dough or store it in the fridge for 3-4 days.  To remove some dough, dust the top of the dough ball with flour, then cut out the amount you want.  Loosely cover the remaining dough and put it back in the fridge.

Brioche dough done, I decided to go with the best cinnamon roll recipe I have ever tasted and used the Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Roll innards for the innards of my cinnamon rolls.  Unbelievable.  The truth is I did not think to use her recipe from the beginning and I wanted to use the book my mom gave me.  Surely you understand.  Mom gives you a cookbook - you gotta honor your mom.  Just sayin' that Ree's (uh, the Pioneer Woman) Maple Frosting and recipe for cinnamon roll innards (yes, I call them innards - what do you call them?) made me want to hoard cinnamon rolls.  I want to eat them by myself in my room with the door locked and ignore the heathens, I mean children, who bang on the door and beg me to share.  They are that good.

Ree's recipe calls for a ton of dough and 7 pans.  I had the dough, but not enough pans.  And, if I were not willing to leave the warm, loving sanctuary of my home for vital wheat gluten and honey, I was most surely not venturing out for foil cake pans.  Decision: Halve the recipe.  And it was done.

So, with half a recipe of Brioche Dough left in the fridge, what was I to do?

Call Mom.

I called mom and she recommended that I freeze a tester bit of dough to see how it would work to make more cinnamon rolls and freeze them.  The plan was to buy cake pans at the store on my weekly grocery run. Eh.  Sounded good, but not the amount of work I want right now.  I know, I know.  I should have listened to my mother.  But I did not.  I baked the remaining Brioche dough into a round loaf.

To Make Brioche:

Dust the dough in the fridge with flour and cut out a cantaloupe-sized ball (or, in my case, the rest of the dough).  Dust the ball with flour and form it into a mushroom top by pulling the dough down at the corners.  Place the dough on a lightly floured pan, cover loosely for about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350-degrees.  Brush dough with egg wash (1 egg + 1 Tbsp water, lightly beaten).  Bake round for 40-45 minutes or until it is golden brown and sounds hollow when knocked.

Hmmm... So what should I do with a slightly sweet loaf of bread?  Ah!  Make French Toast.  Most excellent.    The only downside was we were out of syrup.  (I really need to go to the store, don't I?)  What to do?  How do I top the French Toast so the kids will eat it?  AHA!  Pioneer Woman to the rescue.  Make the Maple Frosting from her cinnamon rolls again and top the French Toast with it.  G.E.N.I.U.S.  Yes, I am.  Sometimes.

To Make Brioche French Toast:

Brioche loaf, thickly sliced - cut slices in half so they are around 4" x 6"
5 eggs
3/4 Cup Milk

Pioneer Woman's Maple Frosting (scroll way down to the recipe at the bottom)

The night before, slice the Brioche into thick 1 1/2" slices.  Let the bread stale overnight.  In the morning, beat the eggs and milk together in a large bowl.  Preheat the oven to 400-degrees.  Spray a cookie sheet with sides (like a trust jelly roll pan) with non-stick spray.  Dunk one Brioche slice in the egg mixture, flip it over.  Let the slice sit and soak up the egg mixture while you grab another slice and drop it in the mixture.  Pick up the first slice and lay it on the pan.  Pick up a new slice and drop it in the mixture.  Then, pick up the soaking slice and lay it 1" from the other slice on the pan.  Repeat until the pan is full.  Bake for 20 minutes.

While the toast is baking, make the maple frosting.  When the toast comes out of the oven it will look like this:

In the words of Alton Brown, "golden brown and delicious."  Mmmm...

I am not Ree Drummond.  I'm sure you notice the distinct lack of Marlboro Man pictures - well gorgeous pictures, in general.  Turns out I don't really have a knack or deep desire to take/edit/post pictures.  That would explain why I do not publish many recipes any more.  Sorry about that.  I took these pictures this morning with my phone as I was serving the kids.  Thought you might like to see how delectable the frosting is over crispy Brioche French Toast.  Pretend this picture is in focus.  Please.

And... this would be a kid plate.  Again, please imagine a lovely picture with coloring that is not reminiscent of a bad 1950's food commercial.  But you can see the crisp edges of the French Toast, though, and the open texture just perfect for making French Toast and how amazing the Maple Frosting looks on it.  It tastes even. better.  

Mmmmmm.... Someone please try out the recipes and tell me how they work for you.

~ G


  1. Oh my gosh, this is the way french toast should be all the time. Who needs syrup when you can have such a luscious frosting to drench it all with sweetness? I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog until tomorrow night and I’d like to invite you to stop by and link your yummy french toast up.

  2. Thanks for linking this up to Sweets for a Saturday.



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