I love a good brunch and one that is mostly just baked in the oven is even better. Then I can just pour a cup of coffee and play with the dog, read the news, or putter with a project. Or do nothing. Sometimes nothing is what I do. That's quite nice too.
This dish is only as good as the bread you use and I was lucky enough to have procured some stunningly delicious seeded baguettes from a local bakery for a song. Therefore, this dish really, ahem, sang. But seriously, it was very, very good. The combination of sweet elements like the caramel sauce and pecans with the tanginess of the goat cheese and the brilliance of freshly baked bread was enough to have me trying it without any maple syrup. Then I added maple syrup because my family makes it and I use it whenever I can because it's amazing and it makes me feel closer to them all when doing that isn't quite wise yet.
All the breakfast favorites, from fruit and yogurt to bacon and sausage, tend to play nicely with this dish, though the aforementioned cup of coffee and maple syrup for drizzling are more than enough for this hearty dish to become your morning meal.
- ¾ c. packed brown sugar
- ¼ c. butter, melted
- 1 T. vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ large baguette, sliced into 1" slices - I used a seeded baguette from a local bakery
- 4 oz. crumbled chèvre (goat cheese)
- 1 c. candied pecans
- 6 large eggs
- 1 ½ c. milk or heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.
Mix the brown sugar, melted butter, vanilla extract, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Pour the mixture evenly over the prepared baking pan. Arrange the slices of baguette tightly over the brown sugar mixture. Sprinkle the goat cheese and pecans evenly over that.
Whisk the eggs and milk or cream in a large bowl; pour over the bread. Bake the dish, covered, for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake for an additional 18-22 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center of a slice of bread comes out clean. Serve with maple syrup.
- Yields: 4 servings
- Preparation Time: 50 minutes