Okay. Never mind that those French toast sticks look a bit weird in a very delicious kind of way, because they are good. Best breakfast I had in a while, actually. Golden, sweet brioche French toast with homemade vanilla crème fraîche. Soft on the inside, with a slightly caramelized crunchy outside and the best dip in the world!
A few months ago, back in September or so, my little sister and I went for lunch in a little cafe not far from my place. My sister ordered pancakes with raisins and maple syrup and I had a piece of French toast as big as my head with vanilla crème fraîche. It was delicious! In fact, I loved the dip so much that I decided to recreate it. To serve alongside brioche French toast, because I had just watched an episode of Everyday Gourmet with Justine Schofield (love Justine!) in which she turned a loaf of brioche into these perfect little golden fingers. And while I can certainly appreciate a piece of French toast as big as my head, I actually prefer smaller sticks or fingers, because I particularly love the crunchy, caramelized outside of the French toast.
Smaller pieces = more crunchy, caramelized, buttery bits!
I used a store-bought loaf of brioche bread to make these French toast sticks, because I couldn’t be bothered with making my own bread for this. But hey, if you happen to feel like making bread and have some time on your hands, you can obviously use homemade brioche. Or, if you can’t get/make brioche, I guess you can use challah bread. Just make sure to use a sweet bread when you make this recipe, because no sugar is added to the egg batter.
Turning the brioche into French toast sticks is easy. Just cut the loaf into sticks and dunk them in a mixture of beaten eggs, milk, and vanilla extract. The vanilla extract adds a whole new level of yumminess to the French toast sticks, so make sure to add it!
Once the bread sticks have soaked up some of the eggy mixture, it’s time to fry them up in a bit of butter. Oil is definitely not an option here! As the bread sticks cook, the butter browns and gives the bread sticks so much flavor! We all love brown butter right? And we all love gorgeously crispy, caramelized crunchy buttery edges, too, right?
The dip is very easy to whip up. Just combine crème fraîche, powdered sugar and vanilla extract, stir together and that’s it. It makes a delicious addition to the French toast!
I soooo wish I had a plate of these in front of me right now…
- 120g (or ½ cup) crème fraîche
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 brioche loaf, about 250g (or 9 ounces)
- 3 large eggs
- 240ml milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 50g unsalted butter
- more powdered sugar for serving, optional
- In a small bowl, stir together the crème fraîche, powdered sugar and vanilla. Set aside.
- Cut the brioche into twelve thick sticks. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla extract. Dip each brioche stick in the egg mixture, turning to coat it on all sides. Shake off any excess and place on a plate.
- Heat half of the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted, place half the coated brioche sticks in a single layer in the pan. Make sure there’s enough room in the pan to flip the sticks.
- Cook until golden brown on one side, then flip and continue cooking until the sticks are golden brown and slightly crisped on all sides.
- Serve immediately with the vanilla crème fraîche and a dusting of powdered sugar.