Recipe - Book 5: The Brutal Telling


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Gamache tried the door to the bistro and was surprised to find it open. Earlier that morning, over breakfast of pain doré, sliced strawberries and bananas, maple syrup and back bacon, Gabri had admitted he didn’t know when Olivier might reopen the bistro.

The Brutal Telling

Makes 4 servings


  • Eight 1-inch (2.5-cm) slices challah, brioche, or other eggy, soft-textured dough (see Note)
  • 1 cup dry-textured muesli
  • ½ cup (120 ml) milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

To Serve (choose any or all)

  • Fresh blueberries
  • Powdered sugar
  • Maple syrup


  • Arrange the bread slices on a cooling rack (or a plate) and let them get slightly stale overnight. This will give the finished pain doré an almost custardy texture.
  • Grind the muesli in a food processor to the texture of very coarse sand. Spread out the ground muesli on a wide plate.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon until smooth. Pour into a square 9 x 9-inch (22 x 22-cm) baking pan. Add the bread slices and soak for 4 minutes; turn and soak the second side for another 4 minutes. There should be very little egg mix left after soaking.
  • Heat the butter in a large (10-inch/25-cm or so) nonstick pan over medium-low heat until the butter is foaming. Carefully dredge both sides of the soaked bread slices in the ground muesli. Add the bread slices to the pan as you dredge them and cook, turning only once, until golden brown on both sides, about 8 minutes. Serve warm with blueberries, powdered sugar, and/or additional maple syrup.

Note: If the challah or other bread you are using is large, say 4 inches (10 cm) high, you may only need 4 slices; one slice per serving. The rest of the ingredients will remain the same.

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