Here is one of my favorite quick and easy breakfast, brunch recipes. Just like almond croissants were invented to use up the stale croissants, BOSTOCK were invented to salvage stale brioche. Yes, it is hard to believe such tasty food were actually a second chance 🙂 . Eventually they became so popular most bakeries and patisseries now make them as part of their mainstream production.
Having worked in a few bakeries I can assure you that this is the true case. We used to make brioche using the Danish offcuts and the chefs in the bakery cafe turned those not so perfect loaves into delicious bostock. Now at home I continue the same tradition.
When ever I have excess of bioche, croissant loaves or even stale croissants, I make bostock for breakfast. This is my husbands favorite after the almond croissant (twice baked croissant). If you have had enough of making French toast then give these a try next time you end up with a stale brioche loaf.
It is not complicated at all. All you do is brush some sugar syrup on the slice of brioche (or any rich sweet bread of your choice)spread a thick layer of almond cream (otherwise known as frangipane) sprinkle some sliced almonds and bake until golden brown!
Why sugar syrup?
Generally bostock is made from stale bread, that tend to be drier than the fresh. The sugar syrup will help moisten the crumb and also would prevent it from getting even drier while baking. It adds some sweetness too. So if by any chance you decided to use fresh bread to make bostock, then you can definitely skip this process.
Sugar syrup could also be a flavor carrier. You can infuse the syrup with lemon, orange, vanilla or bit of rum, kirsch etc. This will add another dimension of flavor.
Can I use fresh bread?
Simple answer is, YES. If you want to you can absolutely use fresh brioche or any rich sweet bread to make bostock, just like French toasts. Just because these were invented to use up stale bread doesn’t necessarily mean you need to let the bread go old before making them. BUT, I hate to say this, they actually turn out better with stale bread. Because stale bread is drier, and hard than the fresh, the slices hold their shape better. It is much easier to spread the paste on a stale piece of bread than a supper soft fragile one. You get my point!
You can include fruit (mostly berries), jams and other spreads like lemon curd to create different flavor profiles. Adding fruits is very popular as it gives a freshness to this breakfast pastry. Add the fruit or spread before the frangipane layer. That way the fruit won’t get burnt in the oven. Instated they will burst and kind of get jammy and all the juices will be soaked into the bread underneath.
So here are the steps to making this super easy patisserie quality breakfast pastry!
Otherwise known as almond cream. Made with equal parts butter, sugar, eggs and almond meal.
Mix sugar and lemon zest. You can also use orange zest instead of lemon.
Beat butter and sugar until fluffy, add eggs gradually and mix to clear. Fold in almond flour and mix just until combined. the final mixture should be light and airy. If it is not, beat on high for a few seconds.
Can be stored in the fridge for about a week.
Boil 1 part sugar with 1 part water. Simmer for 2 minutes and take off the heat. Add a teaspoon of honey and stir to dissolve completely.
I have used blackberry honey. Use your favorite honey, or infuse with other flavors
eg: vanilla, rum, kirsch, citrus, almond essense
Use any stale sweet bread like brioche, Japanese milk bread, brioche/croissant loaf.
I have used one of my homemade croissant loaves.
Pre heat the oven to 350 °F
Cut thick slices and arrange on a lined tray.
Brush each slice with sugar syrup. Make sure to cover the edges as they are the driest parts.
Arrange the berries in a single layer. My blueberries were jumbo so I cut them in half. Do not crowd the slice with berries.
You can also spread jam, lemon curd instead of fruit/berries.
Place a scoop of almond paste and spread it evenly to cover the berries.
almond paste should cover the whole slice and all the fruit/berries. Smooth out the top
Almond flakes is a must to traditional bostock. But feel free to skip this. You can also use some crumble topping or granola instead.
If you can find blanched almond slices, that would be the best! I could not find them in any of the stores here in the US. I used to buy the blanched slices back in Australia. They look nice and neat on the baked product. But either way the taste is equally impeccable!
This adds flavor, texture and a nice appearance to the bostock.
Stick a handful of almond slices on each slice. Now they are ready for the oven!
Bake in the pre-heated oven until the top is golden brown. It took about 25 minutes in my oven. Rotate the tray during the last 5-10 minutes for an even bake.
As soon as they are out, transfer them to a cooling rack and let them cool. This is important! The crust hardens and becomes kind of crispy as they cool.
The centers will be gooey and a bit stodgy/sticky while still hot. Once cooled, the almond paste will set into a caky consistency and all the fruit juices will be settled too.
Dust with powdered sugar before serving!
You can also dunk them in the tea/coffee!
Can be stored in an air tight container at room temperature for a few hours (half a day). Refrigerate to keep for longer. They freeze well too.
These can be refreshed by baking in a moderate oven for 5-10 minutes. Or place under a low-heat broiler for 2 minutes