This is how you make Ottolenghi’s super French toast

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Ottolenghi and sweets? Does that go together? Yes, of course! We can share with you a delicious breakfast recipe (or dessert, if you prefer) from his new book  Plenty More : super French toast!


For 8 people

  • 600 ml whole milk
  • 200 ml whipped cream
  • 1 orange, with the peel shaved into long strips
  • 3 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • 1 vanilla pod, cut open lengthwise, seeds scraped out
  • 400 grams brioche bread, crusts removed, cut into 8 slices of 2.5 cm thickness
  • 6 eggs
  • 40 grams fine granulated sugar
  • 60 grams of butter
  • 40 grams of powdered sugar
  • 240 grams of sour cream
  • Maple syrup, to serve

Ottolenghi: “One of the very best creations from Rose and Sons (a restaurant in Toronto, ed.) is a cross between bread pudding and French toast. I think the secret is in double dipping: the bread is first soaked briefly in a custard mixture and then baked in a baking dish in the oven, then submerged again and then baked like French toast. I have no confirmation of this, but this is my suspicion and that’s how I do it here.

Frankly, it would be decadent to say that something else “needs” to go with this, but to take it to the level of a “real” lunch, some stewed seasonal fruits or fresh summer fruits wouldn’t go amiss. Brioche bread is available at most supermarkets and bakeries.”

Ottolenghi French toast

Super French toast from Ottolenghi

Heat the oven to 190°C.

Place the milk and cream with the orange zest, cinnamon and vanilla pod and vanilla seeds in a medium saucepan. Heat everything gently over medium to low heat and take the pan off the stove just before the milk starts to boil, after about 5 minutes. Let the mixture sit for 20 minutes, allowing it to cool slightly and allow the flavors to mingle.

In the meantime, line a 32 cm x 22 cm baking dish with baking paper and place the slices of brioche in it side by side. Beat the eggs and sugar together in a medium bowl. Gradually add the warm milk while whisking continuously. Strain this custard mixture and pour two-thirds of it over the brioche slices in the dish, so that they are submerged.

Pour the remaining custard into a wide shallow dish and set aside. Place the brioche dish in the oven and bake for 20 minutes until the custard is cooked through and golden brown. Let the bread cool and cut it into 8 square pieces.

Heat half the butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium to high heat. Dip half of the squares of bread into the reserved custard mixture, place on a plate and sprinkle each square with ½ teaspoon of icing sugar. Place them on the sugared side in the pan and fry for ½-1 minute so that the sugar caramelises.

While baking, dust each piece of bread with ½ teaspoon of icing sugar. Turn them over and fry them until the sugar is dark brown and crispy.

Remove them from the pan, place them on a cooling grid and fry the remaining slices in the same way in the rest of the butter. Place a French toast on each plate with 2 tablespoons of sour cream and as much maple syrup as you like.

Source: Culy by
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