Thursday, March 1, 2012

baked coffee cake french toast {joy the baker}

i'm a topping kinda gal

muffin tops

make me weak 
in the willpower

when i saw this french toast
brown sugar crumble
i gathered the ingredients
whipped it up

i halved the recipe
because of the willpower thing

this is good
pure comfort food

baked coffee cake french toast

for the french toast
1 Tbs unsalted butter
10 slices stale white or whole wheat sandwich bread
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbs pure vanilla extract
for the topping
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
powdered sugar for garnish
to make the french toast: melt butter in an8-inch cast-iron (or any oven friendly) skillet.  coat the entire pan, including the sides of the skillet with melted butter.  remove from heat.  Slice the bread diagonally. fan and stack the bread atop the melted butter, cut side down, point side up.  In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together eggs, whole milk,  buttermilk, sugar and vanilla.  once well incorporated, pour the custard over the bread slices into the skillet.  gently press the bread slices into the custard to coat; bread slices will not completely submerged in the egg mixture.
cover the skillet with plastic wrap and refrigerate for anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight.  
just before you are read to bake, place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350F.  to make the topping: whisk together flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.  use your fingers to work the butter into the dry ingredients until the butter is in pea-sized lumps.  remove the soaked bread from the refrigerator and sprinkle with crumb topping.
bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the custard has set and the bread tops are toasted.  allow to cool for 15 minutes.  sift powdered sugar over the top of the toast and scoop into bowls to serve.  serve with fresh berries if you'd like.  this dish is best served the day it is made.

**my notes: obviously i didn't make this in a skillet.  i used about 1 1/2 slices of bread per mug, and tore them into large pieces.  i fully submerged in the custard and then topped with the crumble.  i knew they were done when they began to souffle and the crumble was crisp.  i also used 2% milk and reduced the sugar just a little because i heaped on the topping. lastly, i threw in a bit of nutmeg, because i love it.  

This post is part of the Joy the Baker Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off sponsored by Hyperion and hosted at girlichef


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