The recipe for this crunchy french toast is based on the one used at the Lafayette restaurant in the Hay-Adams hotel in Washington, D.C.
- 1 loaf brioche bread (about 1 lb.)
- 1⁄3 cup half and half
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1⁄4 tsp. fine salt
- 1⁄4 tsp. orange zest
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups cornflakes, coarsely crushed
- 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
- Confectioners' sugar
- Maple syrup
Slice brioche loaf into eight 1"-thick slices with a serrated knife. Using a 3" round cookie cutter, cut each slice into a circle and set aside. (Reserve bread scraps for bread crumbs.)
In a shallow dish, whisk together half and half, sugar, cinnamon, salt, orange zest, and eggs. Put cornflakes into another shallow dish. Working with 1 circle of brioche at a time, dip in the egg mixture, allowing brioche to soak for 10 seconds on each side, then coat in the cornflakes. Transfer to a sheet tray lined with waxed paper.
Heat 3 tbsp. of the butter in a 10" nonstick skillet over medium heat until just foaming. Transfer 4 slices of brioche to the pan and cook, turning once, until both sides are golden brown, about 4 minutes. Divide the french toast between 2 serving plates. Wipe out skillet, add remaining butter, and repeat process. Dust the french toast with confectioners' sugar and drizzle with maple syrup. Serve with berries and sliced fruit, if you like.