Unlocking Memories

Unlocking Memories
Revealing Old Memories and Creating New Ones

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Challah French Toast


What do you do with all that challah that doesn't get eaten at dinner time? You start the next morning with good old French toast. My mother never made this for us and I didn't mind much because I never really liked it whenever I ate it at friend's houses. Growing up, my friends would rave about French toast. I never developed an appreciation for it until I started making it with challah. 

Challah is the perfect bread for this wonderfully sweet breakfast treat. It soaks up the egg mixture without getting soggy, and is just the right density whether you like your toast thick or thin . . . or somewhere in between. So if you've made way too much challah for the night or Shabbat.

Here are the few simple steps.

  • Start with your leftover challah. Day old is best. Slice it to your desire thickness and length.



  • Whip together two eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla extract (1 tsp), and a splash of milk (maybe 2 tablespoons). Sorry, I don't measure the cinnamon or nutmeg. I just sprinkle until it looks the way I want it to. This is one of those dishes that require personal adjustments according to your preference. I do measure the vanilla extract because it's expensive and I don't want to overuse it. Besides, if it's a good extract (and real), a little will go a long way.



  • Heat up your skillet or griddle with a little oil (just enough to coat the bottom) and a pat of butter (the oil will keep the butter from burning too soon). My favorite go-to skillet is my black cast iron skillet. The way it conducts heat and is naturally non-stick (if you keep it seasoned right) is a plus. And it gets extra brownie points from me because I don't have to worry about carcinogens leaking into my food from those pans with man-made non-stick coatings. 


  • Dip your challah slices in the egg mixture and coat both sides evenly.



  • Toast it in your heated griddle/skillet on both sides until it's golden brown. There should not be any wetness, yet it should still be soft and fluffy. Be sure to not press it down with the spatula. I see many people use the spatula to press down on the bread. Don't do that. It ruins the fluffiness of the toast.



  • Plate your food. Arrange nicely on a plate, because presentation is everything. You don't have to be fancy to have good presentation. You don't need to buy mint leaves or parsley just to decorate your plate for breakfast everyday. Just make your plate look pleasing to the eye instead of slapped together.


  • With or without powdered sugar? That's up to you. I like the way it makes it look, so I dust about 1/2 tsp of powdered sugar over the toast. You can also you more cinnamon if you like. Then top with your favorite syrup (I'm partial to real maple syrup) and enjoy.



*Variations:
  1. Top with fresh strawberries or blueberries (or whatever is your favorite). 
  2. Top with a fruit compote.
  3. Add whipped cream.
  4. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts or pecans.
  5. Top with ice cream, nuts, and whipped cream.
  6. Drizzle with chocolate syrup.