Brioche French toast with a little help from Julia Child

Making brioche is easier than it looks and it makes for some spectacularly good French toast. Worth making the effort for, this brioche recipe comes courtesy of Julia Child and is perfect for soaking up our special French toast mixture! Begin with the brioche or skip straight to our delicious French toast recipe.

Making brioche

Brioche dough has a rich, buttery flavor and is closer to cake than bread in texture. Essential to this recipe is either an electric mixer or a food processor. The dough itself needs two risings – the second rising can happen while refrigerated overnight, though we did this within one day. 

Brioche ingredients Hawaii

Prepare the yeast. Cut the butter into small pieces and then melt in a saucepan with the milk.

Measure all flour except for 1 cup into the mixer bowl. Next, add the salt, the sugar and then the melted butter & milk, and then the eggs. Mix to blend. Take care when adding the yeast, the mixture should be warm to the touch. If it feels too hot, wait a moment for it to cool.

Beat at a medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, slowly add the remaining flour. For best results, use a dough hook (if you aren’t using a dough hook unclog the blades if needed). Place dough on a lightly floured board and leave to rest for about 2 minutes.

Brioche dough 3 HGH Horizon

Then knead the dough vigorously for 2 minutes. The dough should feel quite soft.

Bricohe dough knead HGH Hawaii

Place dough in lightly-oiled large bowl (2 gallon-sized). Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place to rise (preferably in the range of 72–75F). If you’re in hot climate, it may be necessary to slow the rise by putting it in the refrigerator. In approximately 3 hours (or when it’s tripled in size) turn out onto a lightly floured board. 

Julia’s tip: shape the dough into a rectangle with your hands and then fold the dough in 3 – repeat this process and then return to the bowl. This process redistributes the yeast cells within the dough and helps achieve a finer grain consistency.

Cover and let rise again – ideally to double the size. This second rise can be achieved overnight, if you prefer, by placing in the refrigerator. 

Brioche dough Horizon HGH rise

Turn out onto a board. Take one half of the dough and cut into three pieces. Roll each piece out by hand until you have three even ropes. Pinch together at one end.

Then, start braiding by crossing the right rope over the center rope. Then, cross the left rope over the center. Alternate in this way, right and left over center, until the braid is complete.

Do the same with the other half of the dough.

Place the two loaves of bread in two regular loaf pans (lightly oiled). Cover and let rise (the final rise, I promise!) for 1 to 2 hours.

Brioche dough rise again 2 HGH Hawaii

If you like you can glaze with an egg wash. Beat an egg and carefully brush the top of the loaf, careful not let any egg run down the side of the pan as this will cause the loaf to stick. Preheat oven to 450F (230C) and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or if you have a thermometer – until the internal temperature has reached 180-190F. 

Brioche out of the oven HGH Hawaii

The recipe we used was adapted from the Julia Child & Company cookbook. Julia had planned to come and stay at Horizon Guest House in 2004 but died of kidney failure just before her 92nd birthday.

Brioche French toast

Bricohe French toast HGH Hawaii

If you haven’t made the brioche above you can still use any spongy, thickly-sliced white bread as a substitute – challah, sourdough and baguettes work well.

In a pan lay out 6 pieces of brioche. Make sure these are sliced between ¾ inch – 1 inch thick.

Whisk the eggs and add the sugar.

Add the vanilla, heavy cream and milk. Whisk together well.

Pour the mixture over the bread.

Make sure you get a good coverage. Use a spatula to lift the bread to ensure the bread is thoroughly soaked. Cover the pan with tinfoil and leave to soak in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, take out and turn the bread and give it another 30 minutes (if you make this the night before you can easily leave it to soak overnight).

The bread should have absorbed all of the mixture.

Brioche French toast soak HGH Hawaii

Sprinkle with cinnamon and then pan fry with butter (at a ratio of 1 Tbs for every two slices) on a medium heat. 

Bricohe French toast fry HGH Hawaii

Flip once and then reduce heat.

Pro tip: cover with tinfoil and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. This allows the French toast to be cooked through without burning – which can happen due to the high sugar content.

Brioche French toast HGH Hawaii

Served with all your favorite French toast toppings. Ours include warmed Canadian maple syrup and a good serving of fruit (banana, papaya, oranges and blueberries) to offset the delicious sweetness.

Tell us about your brioche and/or French toast in the comments below!

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Portuguese sweet bread French toast + homemade wholegrain cereal bread!

French Toast Horizon Guest House Header
French toast under lights

There are two recipes which are considered the ‘most asked for’ from guests who have stayed at Horizon Guest House. The first is usually the whole grain hot cereal which we featured in an earlier blog post, and the second, is our delicious Portuguese sweet bread French toast.

The Portuguese sweet bread I use in this recipe is made locally at the Punalu’u Bake Shop in Naahlehu, near South Point, less than an hour’s drive south of Horizon Guest House. This type of bread was originally brought to Hawaii by Portuguese sugar workers in the 19th century and is still a favorite in Hawaii today.

Don’t worry if you aren’t able to find any Portuguese sweet bread, any egg-rich bread, such as challah, will work just as well.

Challah bread Horizon Guest House Hawaii
Braided egg bread

My partner Angus made this delicious braided egg bread, above, and it worked well for French toast too. For the egg bread recipe click here.

The French toast recipe

First, cut the Portuguese sweet bread into thick (1″ or so) slices.

French toast 1 Horizon Guest House Big Island Hawaii
So good you’ll want to eat it straight away! But don’t – it’s even better as French toast

Soak overnight in the refrigerator in the following custard: (for 6 slices)

Mix the following ingredients well:

6 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1-2 tbs. rum

A pinch of salt

1.5 cup half & half

Pour over the slices and make sure to move them around so the custard soaks in all over the bread.

French toast 2 Horizon Guest House Big Island Hawaii

About an hour before cooking, remove from the refrigerator, turn over and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Fry over a medium heat in a buttered pan until golden. Watch carefully, the sugar can burn. Transfer to the oven and bake at 300 for 15 minutes to finish. If you lower the heat and flip over frequently, you can finish on the stove top.

French toast small Horizon Guest House Big Island Hawaii

And serve! We have heat lamps here at Horizon to keep it nice and warm for when you arrive for breakfast. And don’t forget to top with all of your favorite toppings.

Our favorite toppings here at Horizon are:

Homemade lilikoi syrup, homemade jaboticaba syrup, homemade mango & ginger jam, and of course maple syrup.

Download the recipe here.

Wholegrain bread using Clem's cereal

Fresh bread Horizon Guest House Hawaii Big Island

This is perfect if you have some left over hot cereal and decide to make bread. Just use your favorite, plain bread recipe. I use about 2 cups of the cereal (at room temp) mixed in with the liquid and yeast before adding the flour. Omit the sugar in your bread recipe as the cereal already has some in it.

Also, this bread mixture works well made into homemade hamburger buns or dinner rolls, as well as a bread loaf.

We would love to hear your feedback. Let us know in the comments below, or in our Facebook post! Happy baking everyone! 

Come enjoy all the breakfast goodness at Horizon Guest House! Book now – click the button below.

Author: Angus Meek

Clem’s Hot Cereal Recipe: A B&B classic!

Cereal recipe Horizon Guest House Big Island Captain Cook

Over the years guests have frequently asked for recipes of items on the Horizon BnB menu. Among the most requested recipes – our wild rice hot breakfast cereal! It’s sometimes called muesli, granola or oatmeal – the name varies from region to region.

So why is it so good?

First off, it happens to be really healthy for you. The combination of whole grains is extensive. Grains take time for your body to digest. This gives you a constant energy boost without the ‘quick hit’ of processed carbs and sugar found in many other traditional breakfast cereals. The recipe is also variable. If you have a favorite grain you can add it, or substitute it for one already in the recipe.

Second, it’s very easy to prepare. Prep time is around 15 minutes. It’s oven baked and needs only one hour of attention, after that the cool-down in the oven finishes the baking.

Third, it keeps really well. You can store the cereal in containers in the refrigerator for days – heating only what you want to use that day. Longer storage in the freezer for weeks or months at a time means you can prepare a larger batch and have a supply on hand.

Fourth, it tastes good. Just the basic recipe is delicious. Add nuts, milk/cream, maple syrup, etc. to notch it up. Combine with fresh fruit of almost any kind and you have the perfect healthy breakfast.

Fifth, it’s adaptable, you can make this gluten free if needed – just substitute buckwheat for the bulgar/whole wheat in the basic recipe.

How to put it all together:

The basic recipe calls for mixing all of the ingredients in a shallow baking dish (such as a 9 x 13 cake pan).

Cereal Horizon Guest House Captain Cook Hawaii
Start with a shallow baking dish

Add all the ingredients to the pan.

Cereal recipe Horizon BnB Big Island Hawaii
Arranging ingredients in a nice pattern is optional

Add the boiling water and then stir.

Cereal recipe Horizon B&B Big Island Hawaii
Just add water!

Then cover with foil and bake at 350F oven for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and uncover – careful, that’s a hot dish you’re working with. Add sufficient water so that when stirred it has a loose consistency. Make sure to scrape any baked-on bits into the slurry.

Cover and return to oven, then turn off oven, and leave overnight, or at least 4-5 hours, to finish hydrating the grains.

Cereal recipe Horizon Guest House Big Island Captain Cook

Decant into storage containers and when cool enough, refrigerate or freeze in smaller containers for long term storage. Enjoy!

Don't forget the extras

Some extra grains I like to add:

Kalmut: an ancient grain rich in zinc, magnesium and selenium. It’s known as a ‘high-energy grain’ because of its high percentage of lipids.

Quinoa: a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids

Spelt: high in fiber and protein it’s easier to digest than wheat

Rye: a good source of soluble fiber, vitamin E, calcium, iron and potassium.

Flax: high in omega-3 fatty acids and lignans (which have plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities).

The basic recipe is included below or click here to download the PDF.

How did your cereal turn out? Did you add any extra grains? We would love to hear your feedback! Let us know in the comments section below, or leave a comment on our Facebook post.

Wild Rice Cereal

8 c water
1/2 c wild rice
1/2 c pearl barley
1/2 c steel-cut oats
1/2 c bulgar wheat
1/2 c raisins
1/2 c chopped pitted dates 1/4 c dark brown sugar
3 tbs butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325 F. Butter 2 1/2 qt ovenproof dish. In prepared dish, mix wild rice with remaining ingredients. Add water [I use boiling water to shorten the bake time]. Cover with foil and bake until grains are tender, water is absorbed and cereal is creamy [about 1 1/2 hours]. *About mid-way through, I usually take it out and add more water if needed & also stir. Store in refrigerator when cool and reheat servings as needed. May be frozen.

To make a booking click the Book Now button below and a make a reservation request.

Author: Angus Meek

Summer fruit on the Big Island: from the garden to the breakfast table!

Mango Trees Big Island Hawaii

We’re well into summer here on the Big Island of Hawaii and with it comes an abundance of summer fruit grown right here on the property. Providing in-season fruit direct to the breakfast table for guests every day is our pleasure.

Organically grown in the gardens surrounding Horizon Guest House we currently have a bounty of mangoes, white pineapples, dragon fruit, lychees, and papaya.

Mangoes

Mangoes in Hawaii, is there anything better? We have a number of established trees on the property and this is a staple of our breakfast when in season.

Big Island residents love their mangoes, whether they’re lucky enough to have their own backyard tree or purchased direct from the local Farmer’s Market – the closest one to us is on Sundays in South Kona – be sure to make the most of the mango season from May to October, and come to love them as much as we do.

Did you know? Mangoes aren’t in fact native to the Hawaiian Islands, rather it’s widely thought they arrived here in the early 19th century from Manila.

Mangoes also make a great ingredient in a number of Hawaiian recipes – sauces, salsa, cheesecake, ice cream and even pickles.

 

White pineapple

What’s better than a pineapple? White pineapple. The sweet white flesh of the fruit itself is deliciously creamy, and is also low-acid. Even the core is edible! And it isn’t woody and stringy like other varieties.

Grown mostly by local farmers on the Big Island and available at the local markets, white pineapple also goes by the name of Kona Sugarloaf, Big Island White or White.

Did you know? It’s a myth that pulling a leaf easily from the crown of the pineapple indicates  ripeness.

Among other health benefits pineapple is a great source of potassium, vitamin C, and also fiber.

 

Dragon fruit

Believed by many to be a super fruit, dragon fruit is high in vitamin C, phosphorus and calcium. Red-skinned with red-flesh, orange-skinned with white flesh, and also red skinned with white flesh, it’s a sweet, juicy delight – tasting like a cross between a pear and a melon.

Similar to a kiwifruit because of its small, black, crunchy seeds, dragon fruit can also be added to deserts, smoothies, sorbets and salads.

Did you know? Its name comes from its appearance – like a fireball with its bright pink coloring and green leaves shaped like flames.

Lychee

We’re lucky enough to have a number of lychee trees at Horizon Guest House. When ripe lychees turn a bright red. The red rind conceals within a juicy, white, translucent and gelatinous flesh.

Lychees are a delicious treat – and taste even better chilled. A staple of backyard gardens all over the Big Island they are also naturally high in vitamin C and potassium.

Did you know? The first lychee plant was brought to Hawaii in the 1870s from China.

 

Papaya

Available year round in Hawaii, papaya flourish especially well from spring through to September. Enjoyed as part of the breakfast fruit platter they also make a great snack on their own. Simply scoop out the seeds and replace with a spoonful of yoghurt!

Papaya can not only be added to salads and stews but the black seeds found inside the papaya are edible. The seeds have a sharp, spicy flavor and can be ground and used instead of black pepper.

Did you know? Papaya are originally from southern Mexico but now grow in most tropical countries – of course we believe the best is right here at the bed and breakfast.

Book now and enjoy your breakfast at Horizon Guest House with fresh fruit from the garden direct to our breakfast fruit platter – available daily.

 

Author: Angus Meek