By: Deanna Linder
When I was about eight years old, I decided to open a restaurant. It was called “Harrold’s”, and I have no idea where I got that name. The restaurant was located in my parents’ kitchen and it consisted of one item on the non-existent menu: French toast with my “famous” secret sauce which was a very simple concoction of sugar, cinnamon and maple syrup. I had two clients who frequented the restaurant, my mom and my dad, and I must say they were very loyal. Funny how my older “too cool” brother decided he didn’t want to dine at my restaurant now begs me to cook when I’m home visiting.
One day I got very upset at one of my loyal clients, my dad, after he asked if he could give me a kiss following his delicious meal. I angrily stated that restaurant goers typically don’t kiss the waitress/cooks, and being so distraught that I wasn’t being taken seriously, “Harrold’s” decided to close its doors for good.
There is something about breakfasts that to this day remind me of my childhood (and what a fabulous childhood it was, big thanks to “too cool” ). It is my most favorite meal of the day, especially on a weekend day, when you can really enjoy a long, lavish meal, surrounded by your family or friends or both if you’re really lucky.
A typical Israeli breakfast, albeit extremely pleasing (consisting of eggs, bread, cheeses, and vegetable salad), tends to be quite monotonous, varying slightly from restaurant to restaurant. This led Danya to the fabulous idea of doing a post on breakfasts, in hopes of bringing something new to the table.
This recipe is a true collaboration of the two of us. Danya wanted to do a version of her favorite (and now her kid’s favorite) breakfast, Toad in the Hole, also known as Bbird’s Nest, Eggs in the Basket, etc. I immediately thought of doing it with brioche, instead of typical toast, and I started making (for the first time) homemade Brioche.
Danya- Wishing you the happiest birthday and most fruitful year. May each post (and all other collaborations) continue to be as delicious as this one!
Brioche Toad in the Hole
Ingredients for one serving:
1 slice brioche (see recipe below)
A bit of butter, for frying
1 egg, at room temperature, preferably organic
Salt and pepper
1. Heat a skillet on medium heat and melt the butter.
2. Make a hole in the middle of the brioche slice using a small cookie-cutter or knife, then place the bread on the skillet for one minute, and then flip over.
3. Break the egg into the hole and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes and then carefully flip the bread over again. Continue to cook for an additional 3 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the egg- the yolk should still be runny.
4. Serve immediately.
– We prepared this dish with some pan grilled cherry tomatoes and fresh thyme. You can serve it with crème fraich, soft white cheese, or a slice of some good quality Roquefort cheese, as well as any fresh green herbs such as rocket.
– You can use a fresh made hallah instead of the brioche.
– You can find good quality brioche loaves at any good bakery which specializes in breads, if you don’t have the time to make your own.
Brioche Bread Loaf
Ingredients for 2 brioche bread loaves:
Brioche, although not difficult to make, does take a long time. Start making it on Thursday evening and it will be ready just in time for the weekend.
As adapted from Martha Stewart Show, April 2010
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons bread flour
1 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs, plus 1 large egg and 1 large yolk, lightly beaten, for egg wash
2 sticks (8oz./225 grams) butter, softened
1. In the bowl of a mixer, using a wooden spoon mix together the milk, sugar, yeast and ½ cup bread flour until just combined. Sprinkle with the remaining bread flour, the all-purpose flour and salt to cover. Do not mix. Let stand for 45 minutes.
2. After 45 minutes have passed, attach the dough hook to the mixer and mix dough to combine. Add eggs (one by one) and continue to mix for about 5 minutes until dough is smooth and is not sticking to the sides of the bowl. Add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, and continue mixing for about 5 more minutes until butter is incorporated dough is smooth, and has formed a ball around the dough hook.
3. Coat a large bowl with butter and transfer dough to the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise, until doubled in volume for about 1½ hours.
4. Punch down dough and re-cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1½ hours. Punch down again, re-cover again, and refrigerate overnight.
5. Butter two bread pans. Preheat oven to 425°F/220°C. Remove dough from bowl and place onto a lightly floured work surface and punch down. Using a sharp knife, divide the dough into two equal pieces and slightly roll out the dough to the length of the bread pans. Place each piece of dough into the buttered bread pan and loosely cover with plastic. Allow to rise, in a warm place for 30 minutes.
6. Lightly brush the top of each with egg wash. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F/180°C and bake until tops are dark gold, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Brioche can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to two days, refrigerated for a week or frozen for one month.