Tag Archives: brioche

Cinnamon-Swirl French Toast

The only logical thing to do with an aging loaf of cinnamon-swirl brioche is to make French toast. So we did, on Easter morning.

I’m not one to follow recipes for things like French toast – didn’t everyone grow up helping parents make this? – so I just whisked 2 eggs with a few splashes of cream, orange juice, pinch of salt, pinch of nutmeg and a pinch of cinnamon. I dipped thick slices of bread into the batter and then fried in butter until browned.

I topped it with a little powdered sugar and real maple syrup. Enjoyed in the garden with some fresh fruit and a cup of coffee – fabulous!

Hope everyone had a delicious Easter. xoxo

Cinnamon-Swirl Brioche

Cinnamon rolls + bread = cinnamon bread!

I love any excuse to get cinnamon roasting away in the oven, filling the house with that spicy, warm aroma that triggers all sorts of happy sentiments. This is the first bread recipe I’ve made with eggs and butter – does that make it a brioche?

The finished product was a wonderfully eggy loaf that was soft in the middle, with a nice thin golden crust. It looked like brioche and tasted like brioche – perfect leftovers for French toast or bread pudding! I immediately sliced mine and fried it with a light coating of salted butter – classic.

Adapted from Closet Cooking and Pioneer Woman…

Cinnamon-Swirl Brioche

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup butter, salted
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3-3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
Directions
  1. Heat the milk in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat, melt the butter into it without boiling, remove from heat and let cool until it is luke warm
  2. Mix in the yeast and let sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk in the milk.
  4. Mix the flour and salt and beat half of it into the milk mixture until combined (I used a wooden spoon at this point).
  5. Beat in the remaining flour until combined.
  6. Knead the dough until smooth, adding more flour if it is too sticky, 5 min.
  7. Place the dough in a large greased bowl, cover and let it rise until it has doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  8. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it out so that it is as wide as your bread pan and about 18 to 24 inches long.
  9. Spread the butter over the dough (Tip: I melted the butter and brushed it on at this point. Much easier.).
  10. Mix the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle it over the dough.
  11. Roll the dough up into a log, trimming to fit, it needed.
  12. Place the dough into the greased loaf pan, cover and let it rise until it has doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  13. Mix the egg and milk and brush it over the top of the loaf.
  14. Bake the loaf in a preheated 350F oven until golden brown on top, about 30-40 minutes. Let cool on wire rack.
I probably took mine out of the oven too early because it was a bit too soft in the center, but I didn’t mind. And neither did the cat – he tore through the bag to nibble the freshly baked loaf while I slept unknowingly. Rude!
I cut away those parts, however, and the loaf was fine.

Cat and human tested – and approved!

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Rhubarb-ginger brioche bread pudding

I received some devastating news this week….rhubarb apparently “doesn’t grow in The South.” And by “doesn’t grow,” I mean the plants don’t take the heat well. One website I found said it grows best in Michigan, Washington and Oregon (sigh).  Finding these red and green stalks has been just short of a nightmare.

Upon learning this agricultural tip, I had to look inward and ask myself deep questions, like, “What will this mean for the Rhubarb Challenge? Should I postpone it? *shudder* Cancel it? Should I take on a new challenge instead?”

Fate answered my questions when I discovered frozen rhubarb at Fresh Market (and no, Whole Foods didn’t have it. They have frozen acai and goji berries, but no freaking rhubarb). I bought three bags and marched home to make my second recipe for the Rhubarb Challenge: rhubarb and ginger bread pudding.

Folks, it was really good. I bought freshly baked brioche from Ollie’s Bakery…

Ollie's Bakery

And layered thick eggy slices with the vanilla-bean custard and chunky rhubarb compote. After baking, I brushed the rhubarb sauce over the top, brought it to a cook-out and served it with fresh whipped cream. At first, my friends’ responses were:

Kelly: “What’s…rhubarb?”

Lance: “I cook a lot and I’ve never heard of rhubarb…is it a vegetable?”

Rachel: (raised eyebrow)

Bethany: “I don’t know what this is, but I like it!”

Those kids gobbled almost the entire pan up…and that’s after eating locally farmed burgers, brats and assorted side dishes (plus Miss Anna Lyn’s sangria).

The tartness of the rhubarb is wonderful with the richness of the custard, perfectly flavored with specks of vanilla bean. The ginger was not overpowering – a surprise – and in fact just added a new dimension to my favorite (fruit? vegetable?) stalk.

This will be empty by the end of the day...

The big takeaway was that my FROZEN RHUBARB worked perfectly. It was bright red and beautiful. So I highly recommend using frozen, if you can find it (in a pinch).

Rhubarb-ginger bread pudding (adapted from Bon Appetit)

Serves 10-12

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. seedless raspberry preserves
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/3 c. chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 T orange zest
  • 2 1/2 lbs. rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (or just buy frozen)
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 c. whole milk
  • 1 c. heavy whipping cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • butter, for dish
  • 8-10 thick slices of brioche, cut lengthwise (one loaf)…you can also use challah
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream

Whisk preserves and water in large skillet over medium heat until dissolved. Add ginger, orange zest and rhubarb. Bring to simmer, stirring gently, until rhubarb is slightly tender, about 10 min. Pour mixture through large sieve over large saucepan. Let drain in fridge while you get going on the custard…

Preaheat oven to 350. Whisk sugar and eggs in medium bowl. Set aside.

In medium saucepan, add milk and cream and scrape in seeds from vanilla bean. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Gradually whisk cream into egg mixture, blending completely.

Butter 13×9 inch baking dish. Arrange bread slices along bottom, then spoon over half the drained rhubarb mixture. Repeat with bread and rhubarb. Pour custard over the top and gently press to make sure the bread absorbs all the liquid.

Place dish in roasting pan or lined baking sheet, filling with water to create a water bath (try to get liquid halfway up the dish). Bake until pudding is just set in the middle, covering the top with foil if it gets too dark, about 50 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand in water bath another 30 minutes, or while you make the whipped cream and sauce…

Boil the draining rhubarb liquid until reduced to 1 c., about 15 minutes. Brush the sauce over the bread pudding before serving.

To serve, spoon pudding onto plate and top with sauce and whipped cream.

This recipe proves that even if you have no clue what rhubarb is, or don’t care, you’ll still enjoy it. Let my diverse and opinionated group of friends attest to that. Enjoy the beautiful weekend, friends! xoxo