Challah French Toast

In the world of French Toast, the kind made with challah is by far the best and most delicious. Don’t you agree? I’ve tried this dish with so many different kinds of bread, I can’t even recount them all. Here’s what I’ve learned: Packaged white bread gets too soggy for French Toast. It falls apart; also it’s too thin. Bakery white bread is fine, but uninspiring. Multigrain bread has too many distracting extras, like seeds and stuff. Whole wheat has a strong flavor so it competes with the vanilla-custardy taste that you want. French bread is fabulous for French Toast, I grant you that. But it is crusty-firm and not everyone appreciates that. Challah is #1. The champ. Because it is so dense (and absorbs the egg- milk-vanilla soak splendidly). And because it is so rich and eggy to begin with. (Brioche, which is almost exactly like challah, will do too.) But make sure it isn’t pre-sliced challah, which is too thin. Slice the bread yourself using a serrated knife.         This recipe is a winner at my house. Challah French Toast 6 large eggs 1/2 cup whole milk 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 8 1-inch slices challah (or brioche) 1-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter maple syrup Preheat the oven to 140°F. Beat the eggs, milk and vanilla extract in a large shallow pan until well blended. Add the bread slices and let them soak, turning them occasionally, until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Heat the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter has melted and looks foamy, add a few pieces of the soaked bread and cook for 2-3 minutes per side or until lightly browned and crispy. Don’t crowd the pan. When the slices are cooked, place them on a cookie sheet and keep them warm in the oven; repeat with remaining bread, adding more butter if needed. Serve with maple syrup. Makes 4 servings

In the world of French Toast, the kind made with challah is by far the best and most delicious.

Don’t you agree?

I’ve tried this dish with so many different kinds of bread, I can’t even recount them all. Here’s what I’ve learned:

Packaged white bread gets too soggy for French Toast. It falls apart; also it’s too thin.

Bakery white bread is fine, but uninspiring.

Multigrain bread has too many distracting extras, like seeds and stuff.

Whole wheat has a strong flavor so it competes with the vanilla-custardy taste that you want.

French bread is fabulous for French Toast, I grant you that. But it is crusty-firm and not everyone appreciates that.

Challah is #1. The champ. Because it is so dense (and absorbs the egg- milk-vanilla soak splendidly). And because it is so rich and eggy to begin with. (Brioche, which is almost exactly like challah, will do too.)

But make sure it isn’t pre-sliced challah, which is too thin. Slice the bread yourself using a serrated knife.        

This recipe is a winner at my house.

Challah French Toast

6 large eggs

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

8 1-inch slices challah (or brioche)

1-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 140°F. Beat the eggs, milk and vanilla extract in a large shallow pan until well blended. Add the bread slices and let them soak, turning them occasionally, until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Heat the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter has melted and looks foamy, add a few pieces of the soaked bread and cook for 2-3 minutes per side or until lightly browned and crispy. Don’t crowd the pan. When the slices are cooked, place them on a cookie sheet and keep them warm in the oven; repeat with remaining bread, adding more butter if needed. Serve with maple syrup. Makes 4 servings