French Toast

I have a great go-to recipe for french toast, but I decided to try something different to go along with the Challah bread I made. This one is an Alton Brown recipe that seemed kinda boring, but I didn’t want the custard to overshadow the homemade Challah bread. I love cinnamon in my custard and this has none, and it doesn’t even call for vanilla! I dried out the sliced pieces of Challah in the oven for about 5 minutes at 350 degrees so they would soak up even more custard. This recipe also has two separate cooking steps that is supposed to ensure crunchy outside and creamy inside texture.

Verdict: Eh…next time, I’ll go with my “recipe doctoring” instincts and add the cinnamon and vanilla – maybe even a little fresh nutmeg. The plain Challah was flat too, but when toasted the flavors were turned up a notch. I will make a richer Challah next time. No worries! I love trying out new recipes anyway 🙂 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

French Toast – adapted from Food Network

  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons honey, warmed in microwave for 20 seconds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 (1/2-inch) slices day-old or stale country loaf, brioche or challah bread
  • 4 tablespoons butter

Directions

In medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, honey, and salt. You may do this the night before. When ready to cook, pour custard mixture into a pie pan and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Dip bread into mixture, allow to soak for 30 seconds on each side, and then remove to a cooling rack that is sitting in a sheet pan, and allow to sit for 1 to 2 minutes.

Over medium-low heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a 10-inch nonstick saute pan. Place 2 slices of bread at a time into the pan and cook until golden brown, approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and place on rack in oven for 5 minutes. Repeat with all 8 slices. Serve immediately with maple syrup, whipped cream or fruit.

Challah Bread

I have had this recipe bookmarked for far too long. It took my sisters FB post to remind me of the Challah bread that I never got around to making. This was something I never thought I’d get the guts to make years ago – it looked so difficult to me for some reason. I found a YouTube video that demonstrates how to properly braid the Challah and that was super helpful. While baking, the top braid started to tip over, but thankfully it never fell off. Next time I make it, I’ll make sure that the base is even and maybe even a little wider so this wont happen next time. The amount of dough this makes doesn’t seem like it would be enough to make such a large-looking braid and the bread bakes up surprisingly light and airy. This is a slightly healthier version of a traditional Challah bread recipe. I didn’t mean to choose a healthier version, and I wont tell M this bit of information 😉 I decided to use  grapeseed oil instead of the recommended olive oil, which replaced all the butter in the original version. I don’t think I have ever had Challah bread before, so I have nothing to compare it to, so maybe next time I will make the butter version. This loaf is destined to be french toast,  and I wont feel bad if I add a little butter to the pieces later;) Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Challah Bread – adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 3 cups AP flour
  • 1 pkg instant yeast
  • 2 eggs and one egg yolk
  • 2 TBSP raw sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 4 TBSP grapeseed oil
  • 1 egg and 1 TSBP of water for the egg wash

Directions –

Place all ingredients in the bowl of your standing mixer. Mix with the paddle attachment until combined, then switch to the dough hook. Knead for 5 to 7 minutes or until the dough is smooth, elastic and slightly tacky. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let proof until doubled in size – about an hour. Gently punch down the dough, cover and let it rise for another 45 minutes.

Cut off 1/3 of the dough (my digital scale takes all the guess work out, but if you’re more daring, you can eye-ball it). Divide the remaining dough into three equal pieces then roll out into 16 inch long strips. Braid.

Take the remaining ball of dough and divide it into three equal pieces and make a second braid. Set the smaller braid on top of the larger braid and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let it proof for 30 minutes and preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Lightly brush the top of the loaf with the egg wash and bake it for 30 minutes or until dark brown. Cool completely on a wire rack – at least 2 hours. Enjoy!