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Bostock is such a funny word. I was perusing the Tartine book when I first came upon this recipe. I’ve heard of french toast, but not of it’s equivalent, which is this quirkily named french pastry. As usual, I was first attracted to the photo in the book, but upon quickly skimming the ingredients, I was intrigued, and at the same time, in love with the idea. The recipe suggested taking day-old brioche bread slices and soaking them with an orange syrup. Once soaked, a layer of jam was spread on top, followed by an even thicker layer of almond cream, which I later learned was referred to as frangipane. On top of that was a sprinkling of sliced almonds. The bread slices are placed in an oven and allowed to bake until the almond topping has caramelized and the almond slices have toasted.
So when we brought home a loaf of Japanese milk bread from Craftsman and Wolves last week, I had an idea, which stems from the realization that along with the Tartine Country Loaf we had also bought, we had WAY too much bread to finish off all by ourselves. I decided to take the Japanese milk bread and substitute it for the brioche! Bread is not to be wasted in our house.
At first, this recipe may sound like something entirely too sweet. Brioche bread on its own has that aspect in it. But I ask that you try it anyway, because you may be as surprised as I to find the nuttiness in this recipe. We had placed a very small layer of jam, but loaded the thing with our frangipane. Once caramelized, the almond really plays a huge role in balancing out the fruitier aspects of this dish. Mike and I have now become huge fans! Plus, this feeds a huge group of people way easier than french toast. It’s easy to prepare everything ahead of time, and assembly is quick. Pop the tray in the oven as the guests arrive, and let the heat do its thing while you entertain. Serve piping hot, with cold brewed coffees, and it’s a perfect Sunday brunch.
This recipe made 8 slices. Believe it or not, Mike and I were not able to finish them all. So we placed them in the fridge and have been sticking a slice into the toaster oven every morning for the past few days, for an easy breakfast before work. They have been reheating very well! Whether you are a brunch host, a busy mom, an entrepreneur, or just a lazy cook who wants to eat great tasting food, this is a must try.
Below is a very similar recipe to the one in the Tartine book, with only a few minor changes.
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- Grated zest of 1 tangerine
- 2 tbs Triple Sec (or any other orange liquer)
- 1 3/4 cups sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 2 tbs Grand Marnier
- 8 slices of Japanese milk bread, about 1/2 inch thick
- Boysenberry jam
- Optional: Confectioner’s sugar
- In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar, juice, and zest and bring to a simmer, while constantly stirring.
- When the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat.
- Stir in the Triple Sec and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Combine 1 cup of the sliced almonds, the sugar, and the salt in a food processor and process until finely ground. Reserve 3/4 cup of the sliced almonds for the topping.
- Add the eggs and butter to the food processor and continue to process until a paste forms.
- Transfer to a bowl and stir in Grand Marnier.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour, or up to three days.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Arrange the brioche toasts on a baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, thoroughly soak the toasts with the syrup until they are very moist.
- Spread with a thin layer of jam.
- Follow with a thicker layer of almond cream. Think double the later of the jam, or more, because there can never be too much almonds.
- Top with the remained 3/4 cup of sliced almonds.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until deep golden brown. The cream should have caramelized and the almond slices should have toasted.
- Optional: Dust with confectioner’s sugar before serving. We skipped this last step, relishing the toasted almonds, as is.
For more awesome recipes such as this, all related to homemade bread, I highly recommend Tartine’s book, to start.
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