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Lavender Brioche French Toast

Ingredients

Scale

For the Bread

  • 6 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing the bowl
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried lavender
  • 1 tablespoon (1 package plus 1/2 teaspoon) active dry yeast
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature (2 for the bread, 1 to brush the top)
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • canola oil for the work surface

For the French Toast

  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons lightly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • canola oil for cooking the french toast

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Add the milk, honey, and lavender and stir until the honey is dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool to just above room temperature, about 110 degrees F.
  2. Transfer the milk mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment and sprinkle the yeast over the mixture. Add 2 of the eggs, 3 1/2 cups of flour and the salt. Beat on medium speed until it forms a soft and smooth dough, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the remaining flour if you find the dough is too sticky.
  3. Lightly grease a large bowl.  Place the dough in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest in a warm place for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
  4. Transfer dough to a lightly greased work surface and divide dough into three equal pieces.  Gently roll and stretch each piece into a 15-inch rope.  Cover lightly with a kitchen towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes.  Continue rolling each rope until it is about 18-inches long.
  5. Lay the three ropes parallel to one another and pinch the three ropes together at the top.  Lightly and gently life each rope to braid the loaf.  Repeat until the braid is complete and pinch the ends of the rope together.
  6. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly grease.  Carefully lift the braid and place on the prepared pan.
  7. Cover the loaf with lightly greased plastic wrap and allow to rise again for 1 hour.
  8. Towards the end of the rising time, place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  9. Lightly brush loaf with beaten egg.
  10. Place the loaf and baking sheet on another baking sheet to insulate the bottom of the loaf and keep it from browning too quickly.
  11. Bake for 20 minutes, remove from the oven and lightly cover with foil.  Return to the oven and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes until a deep golden brown and the loaf sounds a bit hallow when it tapped.
  12. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, overnight is best- before slicing for french toast.
  13. To make the french toast, In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk.
  14. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, warm the heavy cream for about 3 minutes, until just steaming and remove from the heat.
  15. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add the sugar mixture to the cream and stir just until sugar is dissolved. Add the cream mixture to the egg and milk mixture. Stir in the vanilla.
  16. Working with one thick slice of bread at a time, put a slice into the egg mixture and let it soak for about 15 seconds on each side. Place on a rimmed baking sheet to rest while all the bread is dipped and the pan is heated.
  17. In a medium nonstick skillet or griddle pan set over medium heat, brush with oil. Place 2 or 3 bread slices into the pan and cook for about 2 minutes per side, until golden brown on each side. Add a bit more oil to the pan after you flip the bread, if needed. Transfer to a heatproof plate or baking sheet. Cover with a kitchen towel and keep warm in the oven while you cook the rest of the toast. Repeat the cooking process with the remaining bread.
  18. Serve warm with pure maple syrup and enjoy!

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