Turn past-their-prime slices of bread into a sweet breakfast treat with a quick dip in a custard rich with egg yolks and melted butter. Cook in a hot skillet until golden brown on the outside with a rich and creamy interior. Serve this easy breakfast or brunch recipe with braised breakfast sausages, a fruit salad, and bubbly Bellinis.
1 1/2 cups whole milk, at room temperature
5 large egg yolks
1 large egg
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), melted and cooled slightly
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 (1-pound) day-old loaf white bread, cut into 1-inch-thick slices
Powdered sugar, for serving (optional)
Maple syrup, for serving (optional)
Heat the oven to 200°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place a baking sheet in the oven.
Place the milk, egg yolks, egg, butter, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt in a shallow dish (a 13-by-9-inch baking dish works well) and whisk until the eggs are broken up and evenly incorporated and the sugar has dissolved.
Coat the bottom of a large cast-iron or nonstick frying pan with a thin layer of oil and heat over medium heat until shimmering.
Place a few slices of bread in the milk mixture and let sit for 15 seconds. Flip the slices over and let sit for another 15 seconds. Pick up the bread, let the excess milk mixture drip off, and lay the slices in a single layer in the pan. Cook until browned on the bottom, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Flip and cook the second side until browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the heated baking sheet to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining bread slices. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with maple syrup, if desired.