June 23, 2012

French Toast

My normal breakfast routine is pretty simple and purposely low maintenance - a cup of Early Grey accompanied by either warm buttered toast, dry cereal or a bowl of fruit with Greek yogurt and granola.  But every now and then, usually on Sundays, I like to indulge myself and partake in something truly decadent.

Remember the challah I made the other week?  It was the perfect bread to use for french toast.  There's nothing worse than soggy french toast and challah's firmness really stood up to the rich, creamy custard.  A light dusting of confectioner's sugar, a drizzle of warm maple syrup and some mixed berries and you've got yourself a breakfast to remember.

French Toast (from Cook's Illustrated)

Serves 4

8 large slices challah, about 1/2-inch thick
1 1/2 cups whole milk, warmed to about 80 degrees in the microwave
3 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 2 tablespoons for cooking
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Maple syrup, for serving

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Place bread on wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. Bake bread until almost dry throughout (center should remain slightly moist), about 16 minutes, flipping slices halfway through cooking. Remove bread from rack and let cool 5 minutes. Return baking sheet with wire rack to oven and reduce temperature to 200 degrees. 

Whisk warm milk, yolks, sugar, cinnamon, 2 tablespoons melted butter, salt, and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Transfer mixture to 13- by 9-inch baking pan. 

Soak bread in milk mixture until saturated but not falling apart, 20 seconds per side. Using firm slotted spatula, pick up bread slice and allow excess milk mixture to drip off; repeat with remaining slices. Place soaked bread on another baking sheet or platter. 

Heat ½ tablespoon butter in 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat. When foaming subsides, use slotted spatula to transfer 2 slices soaked bread to skillet and cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until second side is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes longer. (If toast is cooking too quickly, reduce temperature slightly.) Transfer to baking sheet in oven. Wipe out skillet with paper towels. Repeat cooking with remaining bread, 2 pieces at a time, adding ½ tablespoon of butter for each batch. Serve warm, passing maple syrup separately.


  1. Challah by far makes the best French toast! This looks great!


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