Apr 12 2011

A New Contender

Everyone loves brunch on the weekend--especially, it seems, in Brooklyn.  Here, if you're not out the door by 11, be prepared for a 2+ hour brunch wait.  Ahh, there's nothing like staring through the restaurant window at people slowly savoring their food, while you're outside, nearly fainting from hunger!  This is a scenario we desperately try to avoid.

french toast

Luckily, no matter how late I stay up the night before, I'm always awake by 9:30, because (if you haven't guessed this by now) my stomach dictates my life.  If we're not devouring Justin's chocolate chip pancakes with coffee and the Sunday Times, we're usually either at Rosewater or Juventino.

This weekend we stayed in for brunch both days.  We ate pancakes on Saturday and french toast on Sunday morning.  And not just any old french toast--baked brioche french toast.

french toast

I've saved this recipe for over a year.  I can only assume I waited so long because we go out to brunch so frequently.  There's really no other excuse!  After this weekend, we have a rival for the pancake Saturdays--now our question when we wake up has become:  pancakes, out to brunch, or baked french toast?  (Clearly, these decisions are so difficult that I should just bury my head under the covers and go back to sleep.)

I prepped the french toast on Saturday night, allowing the brioche to soak overnight in egg, milk, vanilla extract, heavy cream, and nutmeg (I never said this meal was particularly healthy--just really, really delicious).  The next morning, I sprinkled pecans and sugar on top and baked it for under an hour.  We then dug in.  The french toast is especially good when topped with a drizzle of maple syrup.  This coming weekend, make your own difficult weekend decision:  out to eat, french toast, or?  Do you have a regular at-home brunch dish? Please share in the comments!

Baked French Toast

Serves 6-8

Recipe Adapted from an extremely old Bon Appetit


6 eggs

2 cups milk

1/3 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

10 slices brioche (3/4 inch thick)

1 cup chopped pecans

4 tablespoons sugar

maple syrup


1)  Beat the eggs in a bowl.  Then, whisk in the milk, heavy cream, vanilla extract, nutmeg and salt.

2)  Working batches, drip 10 slices of brioche into the batter to coat.  Overlap the brioche slices in a ceramic or glass baking dish.  Pour the remaining batter on top.

3)  Refrigerate (covered) for at least 2 hours or overnight.

4)  Preheat the oven to 375.  Top with the pecans and sugar.

5)  Bake, covered with foil, for 25 minutes.  Uncover and bake for 20-30 more minutes, until the top is golden brown and crunchy.  Serve with maple syrup!