A classic recipe with a savvy twist from my cookbook Entertaining with Love and featured in From My Kitchen to Yours (scroll below). Growing up, classic French Toast was my breakfast of choice. My Nan always obliged and not only did she make it for me but for the rest of her grandchildren. Her recipe was simple yet full of flavor. I decided to turn up the flavor and add a crunchy and crispy outer layer with panko! It browns beautifully with the butter and adds that extra sumptuousness that makes breakfast worth getting out of bed.
Panko Brioche French Toast
Ingredients (serves 8)
Strawberries – 1 pint, ¼-inch sliced
Brioche – 1 loaf
Panko Bread Crumbs – 1½ cups
Sugar – 6 tablespoons, granulated, divided
Half-and-Half – 2 cups
Eggs – 8 extra-large, room temperature
Cinnamon – 2 tablespoons
Nutmeg – ¾ teaspoon
Vanilla – 2½ tablespoons, pure extract
Kosher Salt – ¾ teaspoon
Water – 2 tablespoons
Butter – 1 stick, unsalted, room temperature
Pure maple syrup – for serving guests
Powdered Sugar – As garnish
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees F.
Start by combining sliced strawberries, water, and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a medium bowl and set aside for 30 minutes.
While the strawberries are macerating, in a large bowl whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, vanilla, 4 tablespoons of sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Transfer the egg mixture into a large shallow plate or dish. Pour the panko into a separate large shallow plate or dish. Slice the brioche loaf into ¾-inch thick slices.
Heat 3 tablespoons of butter in a large sauté pan over low-medium heat.
Take a slice of brioche and dip it into the egg mixture, letting it soak for about 10 seconds on each side. Then, coat each side of the dipped brioche with the panko. Repeat with each slice of brioche until you have enough to fill the pan without over-crowding.
Place each slice into the sauté pan and cook for about 7 or 8 minutes on each side, or until nicely golden brown. When you flip the brioche, add another 2 tablespoons of butter into the pan. Place the cooked brioche onto a sheet pan and transfer into the oven to ensure they stay warm.
Wipe out the sauté pan with a paper towel, add another 3 tablespoons of butter and continue the same process until all brioche slices have been cooked.
Transfer the cooked brioche onto a large serving platter, drizzle with pure maple syrup, spoon on the strawberry mixture and dust with powdered sugar. Enjoy!