Thursday, December 6, 2012

French Toast with Challa Bread

French Toast with Challa Bread“Pain Perdu”

Makes 8-10 slices
Challa bread makes unbelievably good French toast—rich and flavorful.  This recipe has flour in the batter, creating French toast that is crisp outside, moist and custard-like inside.  Ask any French toast afficionado, and they’ll agree that challa is the bread to use.
Most local bakeries, even at the grocery stores, make a high quality challa.If you don’t have challa, you can substitute it with a high-quality pre-sliced sandwich bread (it’s not nearly as good).Adapted from The Best Recipe Cookbook

2 eggs, large
¼ C butter, melted
1 ½ C milk
4 tsp vanilla extract
¼ C sugar
2/3 C flour, unbleached
8-12 slices challa bread, sliced ¾ -inch thick; day-old, high-quality
¼ C butter, for frying (1 TBL per batch)

  1. Heat a 10- or 12-inch skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, beat the eggs lightly in a shallow pan or pie plate; whisk in the melted butter, then milk and vanilla. 
  2. In a small bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt.  Stir to mix well.  Add these dry ingredients to egg batter and continue whisking until smooth.
  3. Soak the bread without oversaturating, about 40 seconds per side for challa (or 30 seconds for sandwich bread).  Pick up bread and allow the excess batter to drip off; repeat with the remaining slices.
  4. Swirl 1 TBL butter in the hot skillet.  Transfer the prepared bread to the skillet in a single layer.  Three to four pieces should fit.  Cook until golden brown, about 1:45 (1 minute 45 seconds) on the first side and 1 minute on the second.  Serve immediately.  Continue, adding 1 TBL butter to the skillet for each new batch.

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