I’ve been really into brunch these weekends. With quarantine life I find if I don’t do something to make the weekends a little special the days really run together. And this French toast is definitely special especially to the Persians in this family.
I love an overnight French toast bake. It comes out beautiful and impressive but literally took 20 minutes to make the night before. It’s the perfect brunch to make ahead so that day of you can just grab a mimosa and enjoy. My go to has always been Lemon Baked French Toast but I love that this one has all kinds of subtle Persian flavors. Saffron, cardamom and rose water give this French toast distinct flavor without taking away from a really rich and delicious French toast breakfast. It would even make a wonderful dessert!
- 1 large loaf brioche, sliced 1” thick- ideally day old
- 0.5 teaspoon saffron
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1.5 cups heavy cream, divided
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon rose water
- 2 teaspoons cardamom
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 egg, at room temp
- Optional garnish: chopped pistachio, dried rose petals, powdered sugar, honey, whipped cream, ice cream
- Crush the saffron in a mortar and pestle. Stir in 3 teaspoons warm water. Set aside.
- In large bowl whisk together saffron water, milk, cream, brown sugar, butter, rose water, cardamom, salt and eggs.
- Arrange bread in a 9X13 baking dish. Pour milk mixture over bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for 40-45 minutes until custard is set and top is golden.
- Serve with: dusting of powdered sugar, garnish of chopped pistachio and rose water, whipped cream, honey, ice cream, etc.