Bread and Butterfly Toast

Magic is everywhere: One must simply just know how to cook it up. With a little imagination—and some creatively crafted bread—any breakfast can be a true morning glory. An ordinary dining table becomes an enchanted forest when loaded with plates of Bread and Butterfly Toast. After all, many things can be learned from the flowers—from sunrise straight through to the golden afternoon!

Discover more delectable Alice in Wonderland-inspired recipes in the Alice in Wonderland: The Official Cookbook, now available for purchase here.

4 to 6 servings


6 brioche rolls or 1 brioche loaf

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1⁄2 cup half and half
  • 6 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, melted, plus more for the pan
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons “I’m in a Jam” Homemade Strawberry-Lemon Jam (page 105) (optional)
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1⁄2 cup Mock Clotted Cream (page 103) (optional)

Have two baking sheets standing by. Preheat the oven to 225°F.

Slice each brioche roll into 1⁄4-inch slices, and place them in a single layer on the baking sheets. Gently toast the brioche slices until they just start to crisp (but not brown), about 5 minutes.

While the brioche is toasting, prepare the egg custard. In a wide low dish, thoroughly whisk together the milk, half and half, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and add a bit of butter as needed to prevent sticking. Place 1 or 2 slices of brioche into the egg mixture, turning gently to coat both sides. Do not let the pieces soak: Brioche is delicate and will fall apart. Add the slices to the skillet, and cook until they are brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side.

Transfer the cooked pieces back to the baking sheet, and keep them warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining pieces.

If using the jam, whisk it to thin it a little, and add it to the sliced strawberries, to glaze.

To serve, place two pieces of French toast together, bottom side to bottom side, creating the butterfly shape. If desired, spoon a small strip of Mock Clotted Cream down the center, and decorate with strawberries. A few larger pieces of strawberry can be used to “lift” the wings by placing them underneath the brioche slices. If you are not using the Mock Clotted Cream, simply decorate the center of each butterfly toast with strawberries, and serve. The glazed berries make a delicious syrup, but feel free to serve with your favorite maple syrup as well.