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My father-in-law is of Slovenian descent and every year for the holidays, he makes loaves of poteca (po-teet-sa), a traditional yeast bread with a lemon-scented walnut filling. (Just this year, I arrived home from work shortly after Easter to find a package containing a wedge!)
Using a delicious recipe for Crème Brûlée French Toast from Gourmet Magazine as my starting point, I decided to add the walnut and lemony goodness of the poteca to a baked French toast. The result is a like a mash-up of a sticky bun and poteca, in French toast form.
It's great for a holiday breakfast—decadent and delicious, plus prepped the night before. In the morning, it just requires a room temperature rest and a stint in the oven—easy peasy!
- 1 loaf unsliced white sandwich bread
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 8 tablespoons (one stick) unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons half-and-half, divided
- Zest from two lemons, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
- 2 cups walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
- 5 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar