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French Toast recipe: Does this sound good?

6 eggs beaten
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup orange juice
1 loaf challah bread
Powdered sugar

You know the drill. Mix, soak overnight, fry up in the morning. Serve with fresh fruit and syrup.

I have a special breakfast coming up and I'm thinking of serving this. What do you think? I need something easy with no fuss. Is this too heavy? What is your best French Toast recipe with sides?

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  1. This baked blueberry pecan french toast is great. And you can assemble it the night before. In my experience, it took longer to cook than the recipe suggests, so you might plan for that. Could have been that I used a deeper pan, though...


    1. If you soak the challah overnight, I think it will fall apart when you try to pick it up to fry it. You could just soak in the pan and bake. It'd be sort of a bread pudding thing but easy to prepare and serve. I'd put some orange zest in the batter to give it more orange-y flavor. Maybe half-n-half instead of heavy cream? How about chocolate chips sprinkled in?

      5 Replies
      1. re: peppatty

        I agree that it will fall apart. I made french toast from challah Sunday, fresh and it began to fall apart almost immediately upon hitting the batter. Challah is very soft, it won't hold up overnight and will wind up, like Peppatty mentioned, like a bread pudding. The flavors sound great tho!

        BTW, the french toast I made had Mulled Cider spice in it. I had bought a package in a local nursery the other weekend (can't remember it off-hand, I want to say something British like Kings or Crown Royal). It came with a recipe sheet which included the french toast one. The usual eggs, milk, 2 teaspoons of the mulled cider mix and some vanilla. I used challah bread for it.

        It was quite tasty, had the undertone of the mulling spices to it, but not overwhelmingly so. I think the recipe could have stood up to a bit more than called for of the spice. I don't know if you could replicate this with other mulling spice mixtures - this one was quite a pulvarized powder, no sticks and twigs LOL. It was a nice change from the usual. I just served it with bacon - a simple breakfast for my husband and I.

        1. re: peppatty

          You soak it overnight then BAKE it in the casserole dish. It is delicious.

          1. re: MeffaBabe

            This sounds alot like a baked french toast that I made once and it was fantastic, just unbelieveable. Rich but wonderful. I was sorry I lost the recipe and can't recall the source. I think I may have used french bread, not challah.

          2. re: peppatty

            I am a bit surprised by the unanimity of opinion that challah is sure to disintegrate if soaked overnight. When I make French toast, I always use challah and I usually soak it overnight, and it holds up perfectly well.

            However, I always slice challah nice and thick for French toast, maybe 2 inches thick. I'd agree that slices produced by your standard bakery bread slicing machine might indeed fall apart.

            1. re: Pumpkinseed

              I suppose it would depend on the brand of challah you get? I normally buy the Semifreddi challah here in the sf bay area and as soon as it's saturated it becomes very fragile.

          3. You might consider using brioche instead of challah. It makes beautiful french toast. I still wouldn't soak it overnight though.

            1 Reply
            1. re: cheryl_h

              I use pannetone when I find it on sale, and wouldn't soak it overnight either.

            2. I saw a baked french toast recipe that was made with croissants, split in half lengthwise and layered with the mixture poured over them, and I think a sprinkle of nuts. I would think those would stand up a bit better and not be so "bread pudding"-like. (Haven't tried it though.)

              1. I am an old lady Jewish cook. Don't soak the bread overnight! I've always added a dash of vanilla to the milk/cream mixture but that's optional.

                1. That seems WAY heavy on the OJ to me. You could use more cream/milk then add a dash of orange oil, orange zest, or even Grand Marnier. Agree with not soaking Challah overnight--unless you cut it into cubes and make it into a breakfast bread pudding.

                  1. How about this recipe? It calls for orange zest (& brioche). Looks good, haven't tried it.

                    1. We used an Italian panettone in a baked french toast recipe one year for Christmas morning. It was fantastic. The little bits of fruit in the cake were wonderful in the french toast. That's an alternative to Challah.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Jacquilynne

                        I've used that also - a great change from regular breads and it holds up pretty well.

                      2. Wouldn't that much orange juice just curdle the cream? I agree, zest might be better.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Prawn Cocktail

                          I'd be surprised if OJ curdled the cream: Milk curdles when its protein is subjected to high heat or acid. Cream is water and fat, very little, if any, protein. That's why you can boil cream with impunity, whereas overheating milk (not even to the boiling point) will cause it to curdle.

                          Furthermore, OJ (from Valencias or navel oranges) is not very acidic. In her recipe for orange curd, Rose Levy Beranbaum cooks OJ down to 1/4 its original volume to concentrate the acid (which she says is necessary for it to thicken). She cooks blood orange juice down to 1/2 its original volume because it is more acidic and says that bitter orange juice and lemon juice do not have to be reduced because they are sufficiently acidic to start with.

                          That said, I've made baked french toast with orange zest sprinkled over the bread before it goes into the oven. I also mixed into orange zest into mascarpone for spreading over the french toast. The results were excellent.

                        2. If you can find it easily, premade eggnog makes a great french toast batter. I usually buy the Pennsylvania eggnog.
                          Dip and pan fry.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: HillJ

                            Eggnog's great. Can also use melted vanilla ice cream in place of the milk/cream and add a dash of Grand Marnier.

                            1. re: Melanie Wong

                              Melanie...that sounds fabulous...great tip-txs!

                              1. re: Melanie Wong

                                Mmmm...I think I see Christmas breakfast now - pannetone French toast made with melted vanilla ice cream and a dash of Grand Marnier. And Mexican hot chocolate, of course.

                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                  I have one friend who runs around to the after-Christmas sales buying all the leftover panettone for french toast and bread pudding purposes!

                                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                                    Pannetone bread pudding is a great idea. I've never been attracted to all the super-sweet bread pudding made with doughnuts/cake/etc. ideas, but it's great made with any bread with raisins or other fruits or nuts.

                                    My mom used to make French toast with whatever was around (not savory, since we liked it with maple syrup) - sourdough, lots of little baguette slices, etc. After her wedding, their was a ton of leftover sliced baguettes (meant to go with cheese), which she froze, and she made platefuls of tiny French toasts for months [g]. She'd also save up all the stale bread bits for bread pudding, and make a grand mix of it all, which was usually quite delicious.

                            2. 1. JOC recipe has milk, melted butter, eggs, salt.

                              2. I like to add a dash of rum, whiskey, or liqueur.

                              3. French toast waffles per JOC are a nice twist, dead easy to cook, if you have a waffle iron.

                              4. If you can find it, Penguen sour cherry preserves from Turkey are kinda soupy, don't seem to use pectin, just fruit in a heavy syrup. Other favorites to top with: adriatic fruit syrups from int. market, exotic honeys, dulce de leche.

                              1. I don't like using fresh bread for French Toast. I like to let the bread stale up a bit, and air dry slice overnight before soaking it.

                                Does anyone else do this?

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: Infomaniac

                                  Yes, I do this as well. Cut it fairly thick and let it get stale.
                                  The only time I ever soak over-night is when I'm going to bake it, which in my world is a whole different animal then pan fried French Toast.
                                  In fact, I really don't soak the bread more than a few minutes. If it's stale, it'll soak up quite a bit of batter quickly. Then it hits a hot griddle and get's a little crispy on the outside and stays a bit gooey on the inside.

                                  1. re: Ace_Mclean

                                    Thanks Ace, I was thinking I was the only one using stale bread. My mother never bought bread to make FT, and would only use stale bread. If she ever knew I was letting bread go stale to make FT, I'd have an ear full. I think its one of the keys to making good French Toast.

                                    1. re: Infomaniac

                                      I think with both French Toast and Bread Pudding, the bread should be stale, as it soaks up the liquid better and DOESN'T fall apart like fresh bread would.

                                      1. re: Prawn Cocktail

                                        Stale is better - buy it the day before, and let it air overnight. Hence the french "Pain Perdu" - lost bread.

                                2. I saw an awesome FT recipe on epicurious - you make the basic bread/batter combo, then coat the slices in ground almonds before putting them on the griddle or pan.

                                  1. i know this recipe is on the ridiculously heavy side: http://www.chez-zee.com/creme_brulee.php
                                    but it's from a local restaurant here in austin and is apparently well known (i think they said it was cooked on letterman or something
                                    )i've had it only once before and it was incredibly rich...i needed a nap.

                                    here's a link to usa today's thoughts (though back in 2004):

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: ktown378

                                      Here's another creme brulee french toast recipe that is delicious:


                                      (Something seems to be weird with the configuration of the page. If you scroll down a bit, you should see the recipe.)

                                    2. Challah makes great french toast, but your ingredients and method look like it would be good for baking, as noted above. I tend do make something more akin to a pancake batter - reduce the eggs to 1 or 2 (if you're serving 2 or 4 people, increase the milk, and add some flour to the mixture. soak for about 30 seconds a side (challah about 3/4" thick), then fry it up. It gets a nice bit of crispness, deliciously custardy inside, and you can taste the bread, flavoring (I use orange zest or vanilla) and it doesn't just taste like eggs.

                                      1. Since it is starting to be the season when they appear in stores, how about panettone instead of challah? And how about just a smidgin of rum in the egg mix?