French-born Jeannine Gleissner, who developed this recipe for "French" toast at her eight-bedroom inn, tells this story: "About seventeen years ago, I was asked to make French toast. French toast? At first I thought it must be a dish from somewhere around Normandy. (I am from the south of France - Provence.) Here is the version I developed, a dish that is French only in the imagination of the American people!"
Jeannine makes her own brioche from scratch (her recipe follows), but she recommends that readers find the nearest French bakery and buy day-old loaves. –The Astoria, Rosendale, New York
1 loaf day-old brioche (recipe follows)
2 cups half-and-half
5 eggs, well beaten
2 tablespoons vanilla
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons butter
Orange slices for garnish
Maple syrup, warmed
Cut the bread into l-inch-thick slices. Combine the half-and-half, beaten eggs, vanilla, and sugar. Beat until smooth. Arrange the bread slices in a single layer in a shallow dish or baking pan. Pour the egg mixture over them, poke the bread with a fork to help it soak up the liquid, and let it soak 5 minutes. In a large frying pan melt the butter over low heat. Arrange the soaked bread in the pan and cook slowly. Turn the slices after several minutes. Increase the heat to medium and brown the slices on both sides. Serve with orange slices and lots of warm maple syrup.