My son has been on my case to share my Challah French Toast recipe here. He and his girlfriend swoon whenever I say ‘I baked a challah” or “I bought a challah at TJ’s” because they know what’s coming Sunday morning.
The keys to over-the-moon French toast are: great thick-cut bread (challah, leftover French or Italian loaf, even semolina bread), long soak in the egg batter, cinnamon, and pure Grade B maple syrup. Everything else adds nuances of flavor that step it up to star status. This recipe has a hint of Grand Marnier, but you can substitute Cointreau or leave it out – it won’t be quite as amazing, but still good enough to win you accolades:
CHALLAH FRENCH TOAST
6 thick-cut slices challah, cut in half crosswise (12 pieces total)
Egg batter (guidelines… need not be exact):
5-6 extra large eggs
1/4 cup half & half
1 Tbsp Grand Marnier
1 tsp grated orange rind
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (or maple extract if you have it)
About 3 tbsp unsalted butter
Warmed Grade B Vermont maple syrup (richer in maple flavor)
Powdered sugar (surprise – you can make it in your blender with regular sugar – just pulverize on high)
Beat eggs together with other batter ingredients (not the butter or maple syrup) and pour into a large baking pan at least 13 x 10″ that will accommodate all the challah slices in one layer. Lay the challah slices in the pan and turn to coat all sides with the egg. Allow the bread to absorb the batter for about 5 minutes.
Heat butter in large skillet, electric frypan, or griddle on medium low heat and fry the challah slices in one batch, if possible, until puffed and nicely browned on both sides. If doing in batches, remove to a plate in a warm oven until all are done.
To serve, arrange 3-4 slices on each plate, sifting over them a small amount of powdered sugar.
Serve with the warm maple syrup. For a complete breakfast, serve with thick-cut applewood smoked bacon and fresh fruit.