Monday, December 14, 2009

The Best French Toast EVER!

Mike, a few months ago, requested that I make a bread called Challah. It is a traditional Jewish bread that is well, very rich. I used this recipe, although please note that the recipe does not call for rapid rise yeast but you really must use rapid rise, a.ka. instant yeast, if you really want to make this in a hurry. I finally got around to it last week and it turned out pretty well. I'm more of a sourdough or French bread kinda girl myself but Mike and the kids loved it!

Then, the next morning, Mike made us French toast. One might say that using French bread is the only way to really make French toast. I DARE this person to try this recipe and not fall in love. It is that good. Yes, that good. Let me please also note, that Mike did use a good quality egg nog to replace the half and half - but he cut down on the egg and a little on the sugar too to make up for that. The one thing that made this recipe stand out is the use of orange zest - a new must for our French Toast.

Challah French Toast (by Ina Garten)


  • 6 extra-large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half or milk
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon good honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large loaf challah or brioche bread
  • Unsalted butter
  • Vegetable oil

To serve:

  • Pure maple syrup
  • Good raspberry preserves (optional)
  • Sifted confectioners' sugar (optional)


Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

In a large shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, orange zest, vanilla, honey, and salt. Slice the challah in 3/4-inch thick slices. Soak as many slices in the egg mixture as possible for 5 minutes, turning once.

Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a very large saute pan over medium heat. Add the soaked bread and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until nicely browned. Place the cooked French toast on a sheet pan and keep it warm in the oven. Fry the remaining soaked bread slices, adding butter and oil as needed, until it's all cooked. Serve hot with maple syrup, raspberry preserves, and/or confectioners' sugar.

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