Challah French Toast

Challah French Toast

When my friends heard that I would be making Challah for the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge, everyone told me the same thing:  challah makes the BEST french toast.  And since french toast is one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast, of course I had to give it a try.

As promised, I took half of the homemade challah to my sister and brother-in-law yesterday (which resulted in me staying at their house for a rousing game of Monopoly).  But I saved part of the loaf for myself, allowing it to stale slightly overnight so that it would be in perfect condition to play the leading role in my favorite breakfast.

I have already shared my standard French Toast recipe with you, including step-by-step photos, so I’m not going to go through the whole thing again.  But I did make a few changes this time that might interest you. Namely, I fried the french toast in oil.

Lately I’ve been reading Molly Wizenberg’s book, A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table.  Just like her blog, Orangette, Molly’s book is beautiful and filled with recipes that I can’t wait to try.  One of the recipes is for her father’s French Toast, which is similar to mine in all ways except for the frying method.  I’ve always been a butter girl, but was intrigued by Molly’s father’s reasoning that frying the french toast in hot oil seals and crisps the outside of the bread while the inside turns into a soft custard.

Of course I had to give it a try.

I coated the bottom of my cast iron skilled with canola oil and mixed up the eggs and milk while the oil heated.  I combined 2 eggs, 1/2 cup milk, a splash of vanilla, a pinch of sugar and a pinch of salt and whisked it together well.  I dipped the thick-sliced challah into the egg mixture, allowing it to soak up a bit of liquid on each side, but not soaking the bread completely (I prefer my French toast on the slightly dry side).  Then I transferred the dripping slices to the hot oil.  I cooked them for a minute or two on each side, until they were golden brown and crisp all over, then transferred them to a paper towel-lined plate to soak up any extra oil.

These french toast slices were beautiful! The oil crisps up the bread much better than butter and I loved the texture of the interior, which was soft and creamy where the bread had been soaked in egg batter and a bit chewy in the very center where the bread stayed mostly dry.  If you prefer a creamier french toast, you can soak the bread completely, it’s all a matter of taste.  I still think I prefer the overall flavor of french toast that’s been cooked on a buttered skillet, but the texture of this one was certainly better!  And once I added a bit of butter and maple syrup on the top, I was completely happy with this french toast.

And the challah?  It really might be the perfect french toast bread!

You can read about Molly’s father’s french toast on her blog, Orangette, or in her wonderful book, A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table. You can also find Molly at Bon Appetit, where she writes a monthly column, and on twitter.

Related Recipes:

  1. karentmurphy

    Even better… is challah french toast made with egg nog!

    10:24 am  Jun 30th, 2009
  2. Chez US

    We were thinking the same thing … I did the same with our challah, which was a GREAT recipe!!! Cannot wait to make the next one!

    10:26 am  Jun 30th, 2009
  3. chris

    What a lovely looking breakfast! I’ve never tried making french toast in a oil. *Mental note*

    10:39 am  Jun 30th, 2009
  4. Becky Donahue

    We love french toast and make lots….. I use a dash of fresh nutmeg along with some vanilla or a splash of Fiori di Sicilia….. Can’t wait to try the “frying” method..have always used butter.

    11:16 am  Jun 30th, 2009
  5. ATigerintheKitchen

    Very pretty French toast, too! I used half of my challah to make French toast the next day as well … I used a recipe from Epicurious that called for crushed corn flakes. It was … interesting. I’ll definitely try yours next time.

    11:20 am  Jun 30th, 2009
  6. Adrienne

    Have you considered a combo of butter and oil? Get the flavor AND the crispiness!

    11:33 am  Jun 30th, 2009
  7. Jodi

    So delicious!

    11:58 am  Jun 30th, 2009
  8. Nicole

    Adrienne: I like the way you think!! 🙂

    12:10 pm  Jun 30th, 2009
  9. PEG

    Have you tried using clarified butter/ghee to cook your french toast?
    I find that the FrToast gets crispy on the outside and stays creamy on the inside and the butter doesn’t burn. I add a little cinnamon and orange zest and a dash of orange liquor.

    12:19 pm  Jun 30th, 2009
  10. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    Challah French toast was a Saturday morning breakfast feature in our house when I was growing up. We had challah with dinner every Friday night, and on Saturday my dad would treat us to luscious French toast from the leftover bread. It was the only thing he cooked during the week, and perhaps that made it even more special.

    1:13 pm  Jun 30th, 2009
  11. cheffresco

    All of these challah recipes have convinced me that I’ve got to try it. Great idea to make french toast out of it though! Bet that turned out great!

    1:53 pm  Jun 30th, 2009
  12. patsyk

    I read Molly’s book and was sad when I reached the end, I wanted more! 🙂 I love French toast and don’t make it often, but if I have challah on hand that is the bread I use! Something about that eggy bread just makes it so perfect for French toast.

    6:15 pm  Jun 30th, 2009
  13. Challah French Toast — Pinch My Salt |

    […] the original post: Challah French Toast — Pinch My Salt addthis_url = […]

    7:37 pm  Jun 30th, 2009
  14. pam

    I like my french toast lightly soaked too. I’ve never had challah french toast, I bet it’s incredible.

    3:34 am  Jul 1st, 2009
  15. The Blushing Hostess

    Absolutely my favorite french toast method also, you brave girl for making the bread and breakfast!

    4:49 pm  Jul 1st, 2009
  16. Susan from Food Blogga

    Challah does indeed make the best French toast. I also love pannetone bread at Christmas time.

    11:09 am  Jul 2nd, 2009
  17. maris

    Nicole, this looks fantastic! I can’t think of a BETTER way to eat Challah!

    7:29 am  Jul 3rd, 2009
  18. Aimee

    I can only imagine how great this french toast is! With challah being so light and buttery, it must be the ideal ingredient for perfect french toast.

    10:52 am  Jul 3rd, 2009
  19. Shalise

    This looks so good. I love French Toast so I will have to try it. Have you ever tried creme brulee French Toast? Whole foods makes it and I googled the recipe in search of a good copy but I just can’t make it quite right. I bet you could perfect it and make a lot of people very happy.

    8:54 am  Jul 5th, 2009
  20. Barbara

    Luscious! Fortunately, I just made some challah along with getting my BBA ciabatta done. Now I can’t wait to try challah french toast! Here’s the details on the ciabatta and challah weekend.

    4:50 pm  Jul 5th, 2009
  21. peanutts

    Whats a challah? sorry , i am a big ignorant when it comes to bread 🙂 but i love french toast . I tried making bread once, and it turned out like a rock hehehe

    6:49 pm  Jul 5th, 2009
  22. mona

    That looks srumptious!

    7:44 am  Jul 15th, 2009
  23. Veron

    Delightful! I’m sipping my morning coffee and wishing I’m having this for breakfast.

    4:05 am  Jul 16th, 2009
  24. Gourmet Mama

    I love breakfast, and this Challah french toast just looks so delicious. Can’t wait to make one myself. Love this!

    5:54 am  Jul 21st, 2009
  25. Gary Thison

    My daughter just returned from a visit to her brother’s place in Chicago. She said they made the best french toast she’s ever ::sniff:: had. I know it involved a little cinnamon, but I’m going to check on the other ingredients and I’ll let you know.

    If you want to read my recent article about food additives (I’m a comedian, so don’t expect science), go to The research conducted for this article consisted of a candy bar and a dictionary. 🙂

    6:29 am  Jul 23rd, 2009
  26. The Post-Modern Challah « Bon Vivant

    […] needs to be accompanied with a spread of some sort or used as a base for another dish, like a french toast for example. I found it to be surprisingly bland, despite its lovely fragrance while in the oven. […]

    2:11 am  Aug 9th, 2009
  27. Challah Bread « Buttered BlasphAmy’s Blog

    […] French toast recipe. Trust me on this one. Would I ever lead you astray? Don’t believe me? Pinch My Salt agrees with me. If you listen to no one else, listen to her. I tried to get fancy with a 6-strand […]

    1:44 am  Dec 1st, 2009
  28. Challah French Toast — The Breakup Cookbook

    […] recipe will be toward weight loss, but it definitely fulfills the breakfast requirement. It’s Challah French Toast – and for those of you who don’t know, challah is a bread that is beyond bread. […]

    7:49 am  Dec 28th, 2009
  29. BBA Challenge #6: Challah « Family & Food

    […] twitter I was told that Challah makes an amazing French toast, so I took this recipe from Pinch My Salt. And, OMG, it was heavenly. My 3 kids had never eaten French toast before and […]

    11:10 am  Jan 16th, 2010
Leave a Comment