Challah French Toast

Monday evening marks the start of Pesach, or Passover, and with it comes a week without yeast or leavened bread. In New York it’s business as usual. But in Israel, the supermarket supplies of flour, bread, and chips began to dwindle the first week of April. Bars won’t serve beer. Take a moment to process that one. And observant individuals thoroughly clean their homes (sort of an imposed Spring cleaning) and rid the kitchen of any chametz, or items not deemed Kosher for Passover.

So I figure some of you have some challah to get rid of. Some of you might not have any challah at all, in which case you should go get some so you can make this French toast. I made challah a few weeks ago (so easy! Will post the recipe, which I forgot at home, when I am back from vacation and not sitting in the Budapest airport…) for a dinner party and completely forgot to serve it. Can you imagine? So the next day I needed to put my hard work to good use. And there’s no better use for day old challah (homemade, no less) than challah French toast.

And no one does breakfast like Clinton Street Baking Company in New York, the ultimate brunch spot. I defer to their cookbook for all of my breakfast needs, and of course they have the perfect challah French toast recipe. I made a few slight changes but left the recipe essentially as is. I served it with fresh, very lightly sweetened whipped cream and strawberries, which are nearing the end of their beautiful season here. The original recipe says it makes something like 6 to 8 slices, but the batter was enough for two challahs worth of french toast. Which I swear we didn’t eat in one sitting…

Challah French Toast

Adapted from the Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook

3 large eggs
1½ cups half-and-half (or substitute 1 cup milk mixed with 1 tablespoon melted butter)
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange zest (or ¼ teaspoon orange extract)
1-2 loaves challah, cut into 1-inch thick slices

Whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, sugar, cinnamon, and orange zest in a shallow bowl. Dip in each slice of challah for 5 to 6 seconds per side; don’t soak too long as challah is very absorbent.

Use a griddle or flat saute pan to make the French toast. Melt enough butter to lightly coat the bottom of the pan; heat until foamy. Working in batches, add the bread and brown each side until dark golden, about 3 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining bread (keep warm in a 200F oven, if desired). Serve with fresh whipped cream and sliced strawberries.

Submitted to Five Flu Fighting Foods Breakfast Linky Party over at Quick and Easy Cheap and Healthy

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