Challah French Toast
This recipe from Cook's Illustrated is optimized for a soft enriched bread, like challah or sandwich bread. It won't work well with leaner breads like sourdoughs.
Though thick-sliced challah is best for French Toast, you can substitute high quality sliced sandwich bread. Flipping challah is easiest with tongs, but a spatula works best with sandwich bread. To speed the cooking of large batches, heat 2 or more skillets to brown a few batches at once. To vary the flavor of the batter, add 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon or 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg with the fry ingredients, or substitute almond extract for the vanilla.
1 large egg
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
4-5 sliced day-old challah, 3/4" thick
6-8 slices day-old high-quality sandwich bread
unsalted butter, for frying
Heat a 10- to 12-inch skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, beat the egg in a shallow pie plate or pan lightly; whisk in the melted butter, then the milk and vanilla, and finally the sugar flour and salt, whisking until smooth.
Soak the bread without oversaturating, about 15 seconds per side*. Let excess batter drip off then set aside on a plate. Repeat with remaining slices.
Swirl 1 tablespoon butter in the prepared skillet. Add prepare bread to skillet in a single layer; cook until golden brown, about 1 minute and 45 seconds on the first side and 1 minute on the second. Serve the French toast immediately. Continue, adding 1 tablespoon butter, for each new batch.
Source: ATK Best Recipes
- I usually double this recipe for an entire loaf of challah.
- I break out my two-burner griddle for this recipe: it's non-stick, so I don't even bother with buttering it. The butter in the batter does the job!
- Also, ALWAYS add cinnamon :)
- * The original recipe quotes 40 seconds, but this made my bread literally disintegrate. Use your discretion based on the structural solidity of your particular loaf. I also prefer a not-too-custardy interior.
- For chewier breads like French of Italian, omit the melted butter, increase the milk to 1 cup and reduce the flour to 1 tablespoon.