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challah french toast?

anyone have a yummy challah french toast recipe?

im cooking a brunch tomorrow and want to make something awesome.

i've only made french toast.....umm once or twice in my life. i took bread, soaked it in a mixture of milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. then fried each piece in butter. delicious, but...

is there a better, more succulent way?????

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  1. I think that's the way -- I do the same way though w/o sugar. What I do to stop the dark browning is to clarify some butter and use that -- that way the french toast cooks through but you don't get the hard brown semi-burnt stuff.
    Challah is great to use for french toast! And of course real maple syrup!

    1. You could use cream for part of the milk. THAT would certainly make it better-in a semi-deadly kind of way! Make it as rich as your dare.

      1. If the bread is already somewhat rich, I would go for a relatively simple mix of eggs and milk (you could sprinkle cinnamon as you put them in the pan-- vanilla is a bit overboard for me, but if you're going for something sweeter, I don't see how you could go wrong) I'd skip the sugar in the mix, and instead serve with toppings that have some sweetness or extra richness. A mix of nice fresh fruits (berries, bananas, kiwis, mangos, etc.) is always great, you could also add a dollop of slightly sweetened creme fraiche for some sweetness. Toasted nuts are also great (again, I put them on top afterwards, no need for anything more complicated) Fruit syrups made with preserves and brandy (etc.) are also always nice!! :)
        Also, this is the one application where I use salted butter-- frying them in a healthy dose of it is sure to make them nice and luxurious, and the salty crispness offsets the sweetness of whatever toppings you're thinking of using

        1. Funny you should ask!

          When I asked Mr. Dumptruck what he wanted for breakfast tomorrow, he said, "French toast!"

          So I making whole wheat challah from the King Arthur Whole Grain Baking book and using this recipe (roughly) from Epicurious for Grand Marnier French Toast:

          http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

          Haven't made it before, so I don't know what the results will be, but I am pretty confident.

          1. I'd skip the vanilla and add some orange zest.

            1. If you're not concerned about your cholesterol count, you could try my mother's recipe, which I do maybe once a year: Slice the challah fairly thick. Mix your eggs and toss in some brown sugar (instead of cinnamon). Soak the bread briefly, making sure all surfaces are nicely wet. Then deep fry, not a shallow pan-fry, but deep enough to submerge the soaked bread in melted solid shortening - either plain or butter-flavored Crisco - until deep golden brown. Slather in butter and maple syrup. Optional: Place a 911 call.

              1. Check out this link:
                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/35263...

                My recipe is about 1/4 down the page.

                6 Replies
                1. re: embee

                  I recall reading that article, embee. If I remember correctly, their recipe development determined that the addition of flour in the soaking liquid creates a crisper end product.

                  1. re: FlavoursGal

                    I don't recall the CI developers' rationale - it was a long time ago. This recipe is somewhat different from the one they published. I tried for years to recreate the French toast served at the Nosh in the seventies, which I had never eaten anyplace else. I never came close. This recipe did it, though the timing is a bit tricky. The idea is a crisply crusted slab of really custardy bread. They used different ingredients and proportions for baguettes, sourdough, and such, but I never found it as appealing with those breads and didn't bother to tweak it.

                  2. re: embee

                    i ended up trying this recipe since it was so different from all that i've heard of before...flour?!!?

                    it was disappointing. the bread didn't soak up that batter as much as i like. i like a custardy soft center. i even let it soak for over an hour so it wasn't because i just did a quick dip. the batter was too thick to penetrate i think. i followed the recipe exactly.

                    1. re: junglekitte

                      Perhaps I need to embellish the recipe.

                      - This recipe is specifically for challah and other breads with a similar crumb. It presumably would work with a good quality plain white bread.

                      - You do need to be sure that the batter thoroughly penetrates and soaks the bread. I work it in gently with my finger tips, being careful not to compress the bread. I hadn't thought to emphasize this. With good bread, just dipping, or even soaking, isn't enough. [sorry] Brioche, in particular, needs some help. If the bread is really stale, it won't absorb the custard easily.

                      - The bread slices must be thick.

                      - This recipe does NOT work well with baguette, sourdough, or any "country" type of loaf. CI had a different recipe for these breads, but I've never made it.

                      - Yes, the batter could have been too thick. Flour brands differ, and Canadian (which I use) and American flour are very different. While this mixture has a different texture from the one used for conventional French toast, it should still run.

                      I've been making this for many years - probably close to 10. It took some practice with time and temperature to get the crisp/custard balance the way I wanted it.

                      1. re: embee

                        oh well. if i would have known all that i definitely would have skipped it. im not up for 10 years practice for a french toast.

                        ps. i did use thick cut challah. and let it soak a long time. i should have figured it just needs to be very liquidy to get through the crumb.

                        1. re: junglekitte

                          Well, this was a food obsession of mine and the recipe is the only one that gave me what I was looking for. But the learning curve was in the realm of a few batches and the first one was encouraging enough to keep trying. I've been making it ever since. I wouldn't be up for 10 years of practice either. I'd have assumed it wouldn't work long before then :-)

                          If you do try it again, please post your result.

                  3. I made Challah french toast yesterday. Mixture: VANILLA (for sure), cinnamon, cream and eggs. I have a great fry pan and saute in plugra (Unsalted butter). I topped w/sliced fresh bananas and strawberries then drizzled w/warm maple syrup. YUMMO! (Sugar in the mix burns while cooking) - Creme fraiche as mentioned surely would add some decadence.

                    1. I add some sour cream to my milk mixture. It gives the french toast a subtle kick!

                      1. The best one I ever had comes from a bed & breakfast .

                        Multi grain bread sliced thick. ( i'm sure you could use whatever bread you choose.)
                        egg dip with cream and vanilla and aprox. 1T orange zest

                        then combine a pkg of cream cheese and about 1/2 c of good orange marmalade
                        spread on one slice and make a sandwich, dip and fry.

                        Top with more zest and maple syrup or dust with powdered sugar.
                        Very rich but very good!

                        1. We like to use almond extract instead of vanilla extract and top with slivered almonds.

                          Also, we've used low fat egg nog in place of a egg/milk batter and love it.

                          Challah makes the best french toast!

                          If you're in the mood for something really different try a batter of egg & brewed cold coffee.
                          Then make a latte syrup by heating maple syrup, light cream and instant coffee granules together until well blended and warm.

                          Enjoy!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: HillJ

                            Love the coffee idea. Can't wait to try. I keep my challah french toast simple--quick dip (blot off excess since I like a crispier, drier result) in milk and egg, fry in a bit of veg oil till brown and crispy and then serve with real maple syrup (warmed).

                          2. Some alternatives:
                            Substitute freshly ground nutmeg for the cinnamon.
                            Use whipped cream with some maple syrup whipped in and then finish with drizzles of pure maple syrup.
                            Use fresh fruit and a syrup the incorporates the same fresh fruit.
                            Go lighter on the egg yolks because of all the eggs in the challah.

                            A well seasoned griddle will use very little grease to cook the french toast, although by this time calorie counting is illogical.

                            1. I am a personal chef and one of my most requested breakfast items is a vanilla bean french toast with orange zest and cashew dust to finish.....I soak the bread ( I use day old sourdough) in mixture of egg yolks, cream,one vanilla bean pod split and scraped, zest of one orange, a touch of maple syrup...then I pan fry the soaked break in brown butter....dust with cashews I have powdered and serve with maple syrup infused with grand marnier....

                              1. I have challah every Shabbat (Fri evening) and use the leftovers (if any) for Sunday morning. Saturday afternoon I do a version of a strata - I cut the bread thick, use a mixture of eggs, 1/2 & 1/2, vanilla, cinnamon and a dash of maple syrup. I use a 9/13 dish and grease with butter. Layer in slices of bread dipped in wet mixture and pour excess on top. Cover and leave in fridge overnight. Sunday morning, preheat oven to 375, bake for 30-45 min. This is a GREAT brunch recipe as you can make fruit salad, scrambled eggs, coffee, set the table etc. while casserole is cooking.

                                1. One variation I've come up with has to do not with the ingredients but the shape. Instead of the usual French toast slices, I cut the bread into one inch slices and then cut the slices into one inch cubes. Not only do they soak up the batter better, but you can fill the entire bottom of a large frying pan to make a sort of huge French toast "pancake" with serrated edges, like a big toasty sun! Very nice presentation for a crowd.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: BobB

                                    Next time try dotting it with bits of cream cheese and sprinkle on wild blueberries! I also add a little maple syrup to the egg mixture before dipping the bread in, it gives you that double hit of maple.