Saturday Morning Challah French Toast
Note: Challah French toast is an iconic dish that uses up leftover challah after a Friday night Shabbat dinner. Challah lasts awhile, and this recipe works no matter how dry and stale the loaf has become. A thick milk-and-egg batter soaks into the bread so the inside practically becomes custard. Challahs vary greatly in size; use whatever amount of leftover challah you have so each person has about 3 big pieces, and scale down the milk and eggs accordingly. Any milk will work; almond milk is especially delicious in this recipe. Most challah flavors will taste great as French toast; you can try it with sesame seed, raisin or chocolate chip, but you can't go wrong with a traditional, plain challah. By Sharyn Jackson.
• 3/4 lb. challah (about 1/2 to 3/4 loaf of challah)
• 4 eggs
• 1 c. whole or 2% milk (or nondairy alternative)
• 1/2 tsp. vanilla
• 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
• 1 tbsp. light brown sugar
• 1/4 tsp. salt
• 2 tbsp. butter, divided, plus more for serving
• Maple syrup, for serving
Slice challah into 3/4- to 1-inch-thick slices. If the challah is very wide, cut each slice in half, on an angle. You should have about 12 pieces.
In a baking pan, beat eggs and milk with a fork until incorporated. Add vanilla, cinnamon, brown sugar and salt and beat until pale.
Dip one side of a challah slice in the batter, then flip to the other side and leave it in the pan. Repeat with all pieces of challah, cramming them into the pan. Let the challah rest in the pan until almost all of the batter has soaked into the bread, about 5 minutes. The challah should be very wet all the way through.
While waiting for the bread to soak, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a nonstick frying pan or flat griddle over medium heat. When sizzle subsides, add as many challah pieces to the pan that can fit without crowding. Cook until brown, about 3 minutes. Flip challah and cook on the other side, an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat with remaining butter and challah.
Keep warm on a plate in a low oven until ready to serve. Top with butter and maple syrup.