Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Challah French Toast

Baruch atah Adonai, eloheinu melech ha'olam, hamotzi lechem min ha'aretz. Blessed are you, Lord our God, king of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.I sear everything. You get it...I fancy browned, burned edges, caramelized flavors and crispy bites. Of course this applies to French Toast too! Even though the above picture (the french toast oddly resembles steak?!) looks dry and brown, it isn't! The texture of the center is soft, chewy and moist.Traditionally on the Sabbath and holidays, Jewish people eat a special braided bread called Challah. I have fabulous baker friends who bake their own delicious challah bread each week (and swear by it) and keep encouraging me to bake my own. No desire to bake and the only appeal is the braiding part. We keep a standing order of 2 challahs for pick up every Friday at Java Cow (a hip coffee/ice-cream parlor) on Main Street, Park City. This enables our Saturday morning ritual of Challah French Toast!

Left-overs are fantastic, so don't throw any away. Reheat in your toaster! No need for syrup since it is so sweet and can eat on the, in the car.
half to 1 loaf of fresh Challah bread (most stores, Whole Foods)
enough Olive Oil to coat pan
1-2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
5 eggs
2-3 cups of milk (dairy or soy)
(1) Beat the eggs lightly with a fork. Add salt, sugar, cinnamon and milk and mix together lightly in a shallow bowl.
(2) Cut the Challah into 1' slices and soak, saturate, into the egg mixture. In the picture below, oops, I forgot to add the cinnamon which is why the mixture is missing brown specks. (Check out my awesome matzoh print ovenmitten!)
Here's the cinnamon. Let soak for a few minutes.
(3) Heat a large pan on Medium-High and add olive oil. Place the slices of saturated challah carefully into the hot oil. When the edges start to brown, turn over to brown the other side. About 2-3 minutes per side.
(4) Transfer the large slices to a cutting board. Using a bread knife, carefully cut the heavy seared slices into 3 strips per slice.
You can see how moist, gooey and wet the center still is after all that high heat.
(5) Transfer the cut strips back to the oiled pan to finish cooking the uncooked sides. 1-2 minutes per side.
Yumm...golden brown toasty sides. Done! Transfer to serving plates.Here, the sleepover girls have strips of French Toast with "Mommy Potatoes" and fruit. Big hit!
My daughter would request, "French Toast Eggwhite Cheddar Sandwich, PLEASE!" Cook eggwhites 1 egg and add 1 slice of cheddar to French Toast. Make into a sandwich - DELISH!
Real 100% Maple Syrup is liquidy, delicious and expensive. I ration servings into 1" dipping bowls for the kids (preventing waste and spillage!). Be cautious of immitation "maple-flavored" syrups which are cheaper (made of high fructose corn syrup) and thickened way beyond the viscosity of real maple syrup. Oh, and NO BUTTER (unless you are trying to fatten up a child, in which case add a single portion chunk when needed to her plate, not to the batch). Butter is the undeserving, overpowering flavor-hogger.
Cut strawberries and bananas are perfect fruity compliments to french toast.

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