The best part about working at a bakery is taking home free bread at the end of the night (if there’s any left). These days, there hardly ever is–which is great for business, but not so great for me. Luckily, I managed to snag some chocolate chip brioche last week, and I’ve been letting them go stale in preparation for this brioche French toast.
French toast is called “pain perdu” in French, which literally translated means, “lost bread.” I could see why that would be painful.
It’s really called that, though, to signify the bread that goes stale on the counter after a week. We’ve all been there. Some of us throw the bread away. Others of us make French toast.
This is probably the best French toast I’ve ever had in my life. The chocolate chips melt in your mouth and you don’t even need to add maple syrup. The toast speaks for itself, which is the hallmark of delicious food.
I didn’t use a recipe for this French toast. I was reading David Lebovitz‘s food blog the other day and he said something about how he didn’t follow a recipe to make cherry jam. “Before you panic, remember that your grandmother made lots of things without recipes and without measuring everything down to the last 5/9ths of a teaspoon,” he said. “Just breath.”
He has a point. Even though I think that it’s good for novice cooks and bakers to follow recipes (and even non-novice cooks if you’re dealing with a difficult dish), there’s something to be said about just following your instincts. That’s what I did with this French toast and I’ve never been happier.
Still, I’ll try to remember what I did in case you decide to recreate this dish at home. If you want the brioche bread, you’ll have to come to Un Je Ne Sais Quoi in Dupont Circle. I’d recommend getting there before 1 p.m…we tend to sell out fast;)
Chocolate Chip Brioche French Toast (from me, to you)
1 loaf of chocolate chip brioche bread
1/2 cup almond milk (or another milk of your choosing)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of cinnamon
powdered sugar and strawberries for topping
Cut the brioche bread into about 1/2 to 1-inch thick slices. Crack the eggs into a shallow baking dish. Add the milk, vanilla extract and cinnamon and whisk to combine.
Place the brioche bread slices into the mixture and let them soak about 5 minutes on one side. When the egg mixture has seeped in, carefully turn over and let the slice soak on the other side. Make sure the bread doesn’t get too soggy–you don’t want the slices to fall apart as you transfer them to the frying pan.
Melt some butter in a frying pan over medium high heat. Carefully place the brioche into the pan and let it fry in the butter until one side is golden brown. Flip the bread and let the other side get golden brown.
Remove the slices from the pan and serve with a dusting of powdered sugar and sliced strawberries. Enjoy!