My friends and I celebrate St. Patrick’s Day like many people in their 20’s typically do. Decked out in green attire, we start our morning off right by consuming a hearty homemade breakfast before visiting our favorite local watering holes.
For last year’s brunch, I came up with an amazing idea – Irish Soda Bread French Toast. Up until that point, I had never experimented with making french toast using any other bread than your standard sliced loaf. I wasn’t positive if Irish Soda Bread would work well or even taste good. But honestly, how could it not? Fortunately, it turns out, my brilliant idea had already been thought of by someone else and they conveniently wrote about their success. After that discovery, I knew that I had to make it.
It was as delicious as I dreamed it would be. The dense, sweet soda bread soaked up the egg custard like a sponge. The raisins give another sweet punch and cinnamon only added to its greatness. Eat it with a side bacon and your day can almost be complete. My friends were impressed. It is incredible how a simple swap of bread could make such a difference.
Last year was a success, but I wanted to make this year even better. The best way to enjoy brunch is to enjoy eating brunch – not slaving over the stove top making french toast to order as all your friends stand around. Smitten Kitchen has a great post compiled with her favorite brunch recipes, that require very little work the morning of. All you need is a little prep the night before and you’re all set for the morning. Best of all, there is a baked french toast recipe with booze in it. Baileys Irish Cream in fact! This recipe was waiting for me to find it, scoop it up, and modify it to fit my needs.
The original recipe calls for a combination of Baileys Irish Cream and one other liquor. Most of the options listed were citrus based. While I’m sure it’s tasty, for some reason I couldn’t imagine what Baileys and an orange flavored liquor mixed together would taste like. After staring at the liquor store shelves for several minutes, I went safe and reached for Frangelico, a hazelnut liquor. How could I resist the cute bottle? I’m a sucker for fun packaging. And just to make sure I made the right decision, I conducted a taste test before pouring the two of them into the egg mixture. If all else failed, either of them would taste great in my weekend coffee.
Boozy Irish Soda Bread Baked French Toast
• 2-3 loaves of Irish Soda Bread (Depending on size – I could only find really small ones this year)
• 4 eggs
• 4 cups of whole milk
• 2 TBS of sugar
• 4 TBS of Bailey’s Irish Cream
• 4 TBS of Frangelico
• Cinnamon to taste
Step 1 – Generously butter a 9×13 baking dish.
Step 2 – Slice Irish Soda Bread about an inch thick. Arrange two layers of bread in the baking dish, filling holes with smaller pieces cut to size so that the layers are tightly packed. If you desire, while building your layers, add cinnamon, nuts or other dried fruit. (I stuck with only cinnamon because of the raisins already in the bread)
Step 3 – Whisk together eggs, sugar, milk, Baileys Irish Cream and Frangelico. Carefully pour egg custard over your bread, sprinkle more cinnamon on top.
Step 4 – Tightly wrap baking dish in plastic wrap and refrigerate over night. Most of the liquid will be absorbed by the morning.
Step 5 – In the morning, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake for about 30 minutes or until puffy and lightly browned.
I’m pretty sure all the alcohol cooks out of the French Toast – but for an extra kick, drizzle Baileys lightly over the top instead of syrup. Like I said, start your morning off right.