You Asked, I Answered: Challah Back! Challah French Toast Makes A Great Brunch

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My friend Damilya asked me recently for some brunch recipes since brunch is her (and my) favorite meal to prepare. Despite its name, French Toast has become an American staple for a tasty brunch. Ina Garten's recipe uses challah, a sweet egg-based loaf bread, that gives a perfect sturdy texture to soak up the orange-infused batter. This is wonderful on a cold winter morning or a hot summer day.

Challah French Toast

6 extra-large eggs
1.5 cups half-and-half or milk
1 tsp grated orange zest
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp good honey
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 large loaf of challah or brioche bread
unsalted butter
vegetable oil

To serve:
maple syrup
good raspberry preserves (optional)
sifted confectioners' sugar (optional)

Reheat oven to 250 degrees.

In a large shallw bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, orange zest, vanilla, honey, and salt. Slice the challah in 3/4 inch thick slices. Soak as many slices in the egg mixture as possible for 5 minutes, turning once.

Heat 1 tablespoon butter adn 1 tablespoon oil in a very large saute pan over medium heat. Add the soaked bread and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until nicely browned. Place the cooked French toast on a shweet pan and keep it warm in the oven. Fry the remaining soaked bread slices, adding butter and oil as needed until it's all cooked. Serve hot with maple syrup, raspberry preserves, and/or confectioners' sugar.

My Notes:

A super pretty garnish if you're planning to make this for a party is to lay out the slices of French toast on a nice white platter and garnish with fresh orange slices on the sides of the platter or in between some of the slices of French toast. Not only does it give the eater a visual representation of what's in the French toast (orange from the zest) but it looks damn pretty and people can eat it too!

If you can't find brioche or challah bread then use a good French bread. If it's a day old, then even better!

Give a generous dusting of confectioners' sugar (aka "powdered sugar") on the platter before serving. Makes a pretty presentation and great taste.

1 comment:

Amanda Ebner said...

I made a strawberry cream-cheese stuffed challah French toast for Easter last year. This entry has me inspired to reprise this year!