A French Toast-y Sunday w/ Buttermilk Syrup

I have to give credit to my friend, HLi on this one. I had never really tasted french toast until he visited us in St Louis earlier this year. I had only ever eaten waffles (the Eggo ones) at that point, and pancakes. I've never seen people eat French toast in India... hm. Or maybe it was just my family?

I had made brioche when he visited and it had been sitting out a couple of days when HLi suggested French toast with it. Brioche is French bread that has a lot of eggs and is more pastry-like, ideal for French Toast (or rather, Brioche toast). I paid attention to the way HLi made it so I could replicate it someday. And today was that day. (Thanks, HLi!)

So, this morning, I had day-old brioche (stale bread is best for French toast) and lots of berries, and all the ingredients for homemade syrup. The stars were aligned for this breakfast. While Joe studied for his boards (also known as wasting time on Reddit), I toiled away in the kitchen putting my blood, sweat, and tears into a magnificent breakfast... ok, not really. 

I threw some ingredients in a saucepan to boil. I beat some eggs, added some cinnamon, nutmeg, and Grand Marnier and slathered the mix on some bread slices and toasted them on a pan. 

Truth be told, this is an easy-peasy recipe for lazy people! Especially on a cloudy Sunday morning... unless of course, you can't be bothered with even getting out of bed, then never mind.

I had seen a recipe for buttermilk syrup floating around the "interwebs" of late, and noticed that all the posted recipes were the same. And all of them had gushing reviews on how amazing it tasted. Since I often have buttermilk about to go bad, I wanted/needed to try the syrup.

The buttermilk syrup really is as amazing as everyone makes it out to be, y'all. It's tangy and the perfect alternative to maple syrup for all those people who don't want something crushingly sweet. 

I highly recommend trying it out at least once in a lifetime. Especially if you're one of those people who only buy store-bought syrup... this will save you some money!

Note: The recipe for brioche that I use yields two loaves. You can freeze one loaf to use for later, and there are endless recipes for brioche outside of French toast, like pecan sticky buns, cinnamon rolls, bread pudding, or just to snack on with some jam. I highly recommend making the entire recipe instead of halving it (halving 3 eggs doesn't sound fun) because brioche is delicious enough that you'll be glad you have extra.

French Toast
(for 2)

4 slices of bread (preferably stale, preferably brioche)
4 eggs beaten
pinch of cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
1 TBS Grand Marnier (or more since we couldn't really taste it)
touch of love

Beat the eggs and add in the cinnamon, nutmeg, liquor, and love. 
Dip the bread slices in the egg mixture and lay out on a plate to soak for a few minutes. (In the meantime, cook the syrup!).
Heat a pan, add cooking spray or oil.
Toast the slices, flipping over occasionally till both sides are cooked.

Buttermilk Syrup
From here and various other places

1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter
1 cup corn syrup
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla (optional)

In a very large saucepan stir together all the ingredients except baking soda. Bring to a boil. Add Baking soda and cook for 7 minutes. Once the baking soda is added the syrup will foam up quite a bit so make sure you are using a very large saucepan. Remove from heat and serve.

Brioche Recipe
From Dorie Greenspan

2 packet dry active yeast
1/3 cup barely warm water
1/3 cup barely warm milk
3 1/4 cup AP flour
2 tsp salt
3 large eggs at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

Put the yeast, water and milk in a large bowl and stir till yeast is dissolved. 
Add the flour and salt, and use a dough hook on your stand mixer (or your hands) to dampen the flour. 
If using a stand mixer, cover the sides with a towel to prevent the flour from spraying.
You should have a dry, shaggy mess from this.
Set your mixer to low, and add the eggs and sugar.
Beat for about 3 minutes on medium, until the dough forms a ball.
Reduce speed to low and add the butter in 2 tbs size chunks.
The dough will be very soft, like a batter... beat until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temp until nearly doubled in size, 40-60 minutes.

Deflate the dough by lifting it up around the edges and letting it fall with a slap into the bowl. Cover the bowl and put in the fridge. Slap the dough every 30 minutes until it stops rising (about 2 hours) and leave in the fridge overnight.

Split the dough in two loaves. You can freeze one loaf  for later, or to make pecan sticky buns, or bread pudding, or eat with jam.

Butter and flour a loaf pan and place the dough in it and let rise at room temp for 1-2 hours. Brush the tops with a mixture of egg and 1 tbs water.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 30-35 minutes.

Off to enjoy the rest of my lazy Sunday... hope yours is wonderful too!


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