FFWD – Sugar-Coated French Toast

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I’m a week behind, but that might not be such a bad thing. While everyone else has been struggling with these, I’ve been working my way through a mountain of homemade goat cheese.

I actually made these on Sunday last, but am just getting around to posting about them now. I wasn’t one of the industrious souls who used their own challah for this recipe, but I did stop in at East Village Bakery and picked up a brioche bun, on my way to Make It. It was meant for a burger, but once I sliced off the crown and the bottom crust, it was perfect for French toast. As a bonus, I got to munch on the scraps. I think I might use this sort of bun again, even when I’m making French toast for more than just myself. I loved the little rounds of toast I got – so pretty!

This recipe is a nice simple one, but has an extra step that finishes it perfectly. When you’re ready to cook the toast, you sprinkle a thin layer of sugar across the pan. Then, when you’re ready to flip it, you sprinkle another thin layer of sugar across the toast. You end up with a beautifully caramelized surface and a little extra sweetness, to boot. As you can see, it’s quite lovely, too.

Update: I had to come back and add this – I made a variation, rather than the straight-ahead recipe. (This is what happens when you wait almost a week to write about something.) Dorie’s recipe is flavoured only with vanilla, a typically French approach. I decided to do something a little different and picked up a bottle of Vancouver’s famed Avalon Dairy eggnog to use in place of the milk and cream. It was so good! It had extra eggy richness and I loved the subtleness of the eggnog spices in the French toast. I’d definitely recommend this, but make sure you get the good stuff.

I appreciated the treat, after having spent the afternoon exploring the unbelievably varied offerings of one of the best craft shows of the year. I even got to go for free, as Vancouver East Village was running a little contest and I won one of the passes. I love craft shows that include the making of products as well as the finished ones and Make It never disappoints. I especially loved the little craft table that Spool of Thread set up, with easy instructions and a range of materials for making pinwheel brooches. Here’s a collage of some of the cooler things I saw there this year:

PicMonkey Collage

I’m looking forward to more craft shows and treats through December. I hope this month brings you some of your favourite things, too. And I hope that those of you who just finished celebrating Hanukkah had a lovely and peaceful holiday.

You can find many other blogged descriptions of this FFWD recipe here: Sugar-Coated French Toast

FFWD – Coupétade ( or, French toast bread pudding)

Coupétade in a flowered glass serving dish atop a blue and yellow plaid cloth.

Egg bread made into an egg-y French toast, turned into an even egg-ier bread pudding. What’s not to like? Nothing, that’s what.

When I noticed that both last week’s dish and this week’s recipe called for brioche, I decided to make some. It’s a job for a stay-at-home evening, but not too difficult when there’s a stand mixer involved. The only downside to making brioche is thinking it’s too pretty to slice.

Two loaves of brioche on the cooling rack, one braided and the other sectioned.

Brioche was perfect for this dish (though I think that any good bread would do). I let the points of the French toast rise above the custard bath when I baked it and I really enjoyed the different textures this created. I also refrained from adding any flavours to the dish beyond the vanilla called for in the recipe. The vanilla worked well against the creamy egg-iness of the bread pudding. It can be lovely to have a single dominant flavour in a dish, sometimes. Relying on vanilla also brought out the flavours of the dried blueberries and apricots I tucked amongst the slices of French toast.

Coupétade, or French toast bread pudding.

I’d be happy to have this dish at (or let’s face it, FOR) any meal, but I think I’m going to file this one under potluck brunch recipes.

You can find many other blogged descriptions of this week’s FFWD recipe here: Coupétade