Call up your fancy friends and invite them over for Bostock with Lemon and Almonds!
Thick slices of brioche that are first soaked in syrup, then topped with a layer of crunchy, sweet almond paste and baked until fluffy inside and lightly golden and crispy on top, bostock is quite possibly the best-tasting yet widely unknown breakfast treat you’ll find.
It tastes like an almond croissant and a slice of the fluffiest, most ethereal French toast got together to create one perfect pastry. I would host a party just to serve my friends bostock. It is THAT good
I’m not entirely sure why bostock doesn’t appear on cafe menus all across the country, but I’m guessing it is on the verge of a serious breakout moment.
In addition to tasting like a veritable slice of heaven, bostock is straightforward to prepare and uses easy-to-find ingredients, and its taste only improves as it cools.
You can store bostock for up to three days, meaning that, if you have any leftover, you are in for multiple mornings of breakfast bliss.
Bostock Definition + Pastry Origin
Bostock is a classic French pastry and was created as a way of using up day-old brioche.
It’s popular and easy to find in France, and while the reports as to bostock pastry’s origin differ, most I read trace it back to Normandy, a region in northern France.
Here in the US, I’ve seen bostock at Tartine Bakery in San Francisco (yet another reason I probably need this cookbook.)
The brioche is soaked in syrup or spread with marmalade, smeared generously with an almond paste called frangipane, then baked until it’s crispy on top, soft in the center, and irresistibly delicious throughout.
Think of bostock as the ultimate French toast you’ve been missing all your life.
How to Make Bostock
Brioche bostock is traditional, and I love it so much that I have no desire to wander.
Brioche is also easy to find. No need to hunt for a fancy braided loaf. Mine came presliced in a regular old bread sleeve, and it was perfection.
Bostock can also be made with challah or a similar enriched bread.
Once you have your bread, it’s time to brush it with simple syrup. Regular simple syrup is traditional, and I couldn’t resist infusing mine with lemon too.
In addition to being wonderful paired with almond, lemon’s light, bright flavor is an appealing contrast to the rich brioche.
Top lemon bostock with some berries, and it tastes like spring.
The next step is the frangipane, which is a very fancy and unnecessarily intimidating way of saying “butter, eggs, almond flour, and sugar mixed into a delicious paste.”
If you’ve had an almond croissant, frangipane is that miraculous, sweet, soft filling in the middle.
Instead of using regular butter, I reached for a softened butter spread. Since it’s spreadable right out of the refrigerator, it’s ideal when you don’t want to wait for butter to soften (me, all the time).
Since frangipane itself is a spread, it’s a natural fit. You can also use softened unsalted butter if you prefer.
I couldn’t resist the urge to add lemon to the frangipane too. It was just the right amount to make the bostock taste extra bright, without overwhelming the almond.
For a little extra crunch, I sprinkled slivered almonds on top. From here, it’s into the oven and on to our breakfast!
How to Store and Freeze
- To Store Baked. Store leftover bostock at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- To Store and Freeze Unbaked. Unbaked bostock can be tightly wrapped and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Bake as directed (if frozen, thaw prior to baking).
Whether you are looking to wow a crowd, cook breakfast for a special occasion (birthdays, Mother’s Day, and “You took out the trash for me, THANK YOU!” Day are all perfect reasons for bostock), want a recipe you can make in advance, or simply want to sweeten your morning, bostock is an ideal choice.
It also pairs perfectly with a Strawberry Champagne!
And now, the best French toast you didn’t know you were missing!
Bostock with Lemon and Almonds
- 1 large loaf brioche cut into 8 (1-inch) slices, left out overnight to stale if possible
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar divided
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice you’ll need about 1 medium lemon for the juice and fresh lemon zest in this recipe
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
- 1 cup almond meal make sure it is the kind without the almond skins
- 4 tablespoons butter with canola oil spread or unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- For serving: powdered sugar fresh berries
- Place racks in the upper and lower thirds of your oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Arrange the brioche slices evenly between the two pans, leaving at least 2 inches between each.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the water and 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Heat and stir until the sugar dissolves completely, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice. With a pastry brush, brush the liquid liberally on both sides of the brioche. You want it good and soaked. Set aside while you assemble the rest of the recipe.
- To make the frangipane, place the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons lemon zest in a medium bowl. With your fingers, work the zest into the sugar until it is fragrant and moist. Add the almond meal, butter, egg, almond extract, and salt. With a fork, mix until the ingredients are evenly combined, switching to a rubber spatula partway through. This will take some patience but is well worth it.
- With a spoon, scoop the frangipane onto the brioche slices and, with the back of the spoon, spread it into an even layer, ensuring that you cover each slice all the way to the edge. Sprinkle the sliced almonds over the tops.
- Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until the tops are light golden brown, rotating the pans 180 degrees and switching their positions once halfway through. Let cool completely (it’s hard but worth it!). Dust with powdered sugar and top with raspberries. Enjoy!
- Store leftover bostock at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Unbaked bostock can be tightly wrapped and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Bake as directed (if frozen, thaw prior to baking).
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