Challah French Toast

French-Toast-Morning-New-York-Times

Over the long Labor Day weekend, I rediscovered one of my favorite childhood breakfasts, with a delicious and fresh twist: Challah French Toast. While I always requested French Toast on Sundays growing up (hold the crusts), I began to stray towards more savory breakfasts as I somewhat lost my sweet tooth. But after baking a delicious challah for the weekend, I realized it would be the perfect vehicle for a sweet Sunday breakfast. The honey-filled bread can be baked the night before, and makes for a perfect way to start the day.

Click “Read More” to see the complete recipe!

Yield: 4 Slices (the Challah recipe is for an entire loaf)
Time: 1 Day for Challah, 15 Minutes for French Toast

Part 1: Making the Challah

You will need:

1 tsp. Dry Yeast
1/2 c. Very Warm Water
A Dash of Sugar
Just under 1/4 c. Vegetable Oil
Up to 1/4 c. Sugar
2-4 tbl. Honey
3/4 tsp. Vanilla
1 tsp. Salt
1 Egg
2 c. All-Purpose Flour (Plus more for kneading)
Egg Yolk for glazing

To Make:

  1. Stir yeast into warm water. Sprinkle with dash of sugar. Let sit until bubbles form (yeast is proofed), at least 5 minutes.
  2. Add vegetable oil, sugar, honey, vanilla and salt. Mix well, by hand or in standing mixer. Add egg. Mix well.
  3. Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well between additions.
  4. Knead in standing mixer with dough hook for 8 minutes, or by hand for 10-12 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic. Add small amounts of flour as needed. (If using dough hook, turn dough out onto clean, smooth, floured surface and knead by hand for 1 minute or so.)
  5. Place dough in clean mixing bowl that has been lightly oiled. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until at least doubled. (This can all be done the night before you want to bake the bread, and dough at this stage can be left to rise overnight at room temperature.)
  6. Turn out dough onto floured board and knead a few turns. Divide dough into three pieces, roll them into strands and braid them. Pinch and press ends together to seal and tuck them under the loaf.
  7. Place loaf on parchment-lined baking sheet and let rise another 2 hours or so, until doubled in size.
  8. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  9. Use fork to mix egg yolk with small amount of water to thin it out. Glaze challah thoroughly with pastry brush.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

Part 2: Challah French Toast

You will need:

2-3 Eggs
1 tbsp. Sugar
1 Dash Cinnamon
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 c. Milk
1 Dash Salt
Butter
Powdered sugar to taste
Maple syrup to taste
Sliced strawberries
4 slices of Challah (3/4 inch each)

To Make:

  1. Mix the eggs, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, milk, and salt in a mixing bowl.
  2. Soak each slice of challah in the bowl for 2 minutes (until soaked through, but not falling apart).
  3. Heat a frying pan on medium-low with roughly 1 tbl. of butter until butter is melted.
  4. Place slices on frying pan, and cook each side until golden brown (roughly 3 minutes per side).
  5. Plate and sprinkle with powdered sugar and maple syrup, and add sliced strawberries!