Challah french toast is a weekly staple in our house. Really, you might ask, you eat french toast every week? Yep, we do. We often have challah leftover from Shabbat dinner in our house (I know, it seems hard to believe that we have leftover challah, it’s so good). And when we don’t I always have an extra loaf or two in the freezer.
You see, not only does this french toast recipe make a fantastic weekend breakfast treat, it’s also great to keep in the fridge and serve for breakfasts or snacks all week long.
But french toast isn’t just a breakfast food in our house. I serve it for brunch when we have friends over, it makes a great breakfast for dinner item, served with some smoked fish and fruit, and my kids love it as a snack or in their lunch box with some applesauce for dipping. (mom tip: cut it into long rectangles, aka fingers, so that dipping is easy for little hands).
Are you a french toast lover? Have you always saved it for weekend mornings or special occasions? Well, not any more my friend. Try this simple recipe for challah french toast and let me know what you think...can it be a part of your regular routine too?
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What is challah?
I realize that not everyone knows what challah is, so here’s what you knead to know (get it, bad joke, I know). Challah is a traditionally Jewish egg bread that is eaten on Shabbat. You will find that it is braided in three strand’s, but many people make fancier challah, with 4, 6 or even 8 strands. But it doesn’t end there. You can make a pull apart challah, you can make a round challah, you can make challah in a regular loaf pan. However you make it, it’s made with love and is always delicious.
Challah is similar to a brioche bread in that is has lots of eggs, and should be a nice fluffy, yet study loaf of bread. You don’t have to make your own, as it is widely available (typically on Thursdays and Fridays in preparation for Shabbat) in your local grocery store. Local bakeries may sell it and I’ve heard that Trader Joe's makes a great challah as well. You can also buy frozen challah dough that you just need to let rise and bake.
While, you can use a different kind of bread for this recipe, I think that challah makes the best french toast around. The flavor and sweetness of the challah just adds a little something extra to this dish.
I buy my challah most weeks from local bakery that delivers to my kiddos school. When I do bake it, I make a big recipe (5 lbs of flour) and then freeze the dough or baked challah to have on hand. My family likes a soft, sweeter challah and I like to try out different recipes as I haven’t found my perfect one yet. Here are a few good ones though and an article with helpful tips if you want to make your own!
- Challah baking tips
- Smitten Kitchen recipe
- Bon Appetit recipe
- Kosher.com recipe
- Sweet Challah from Food.com
Can I make challah french toast dairy free?
Sure can! You can easily substitute the milk for a plant based milk, like soy milk or almond milk. And while i typically fry the challah french toast in butter (I just think it tastes good), you can use either a plant based butter or vegetable oil instead.
I typically think of this recipe as dairy, but if you wanted to make it non-dairy for either dietary reasons or just to mix things up you easily could. If you keep kosher and make this non-dairy, you could serve it with Jack’s Gourmet Facon (which I tried for the first time last night, delish) or some pan fried breakfast sausage and a roast veggie for a heartier meal.
How do I make challah french toast?
Guys, I promise this is super simple.
First, you’ll need to slice your challah bread into slices about ¾” thick, or whatever thickness you like. We like ours a little thinner, so you can eat more. If you like thicker slices, go for it!
Then, you want to make the dip. I like to use a deep glass pie dish for this so I have a lot of surface area to work with when it comes time to dip the challah. I first crack the eggs in, then add the milk, the vanilla and cinnamon-sugar.
Using a whisk, I carefully whisk the ingredients together (really get them combined well), trying not to spill over the edges of the dish (even though this happens most of the time).
That’s it. Now, it’s time to get the pan hot over medium heat.
Once the pan is hot, add some butter and swirl it around to melt, then dip a few pieces of challah on both sides in the mixture, and then gently place them in the pan. Wait until they are golden brown, then flip once to cook on the other side. Once golden brown on the second side, remove from pan to your serving dish. Continue until you have used up all of your challah.
Try not to eat too many as you cook them...it’ll be hard to resist.
Serve with applesauce, syrup, fruit, or sprinkle with a little powdered sugar. No matter how you eat them, you and your guests will be asking for seconds.
Tips and Tricks:
- You can easily make challah french toast ahead of time. I typically make it on Sunday for breakfast and then put the leftovers in a zip top bag and the kids eat it all week long. Sometimes cold, sometimes warmed for just 15 seconds in the microwave.
- Does it freeze well? Sure, but I doubt you will have enough left to freeze 🙂
- Have everything set up and ready to go once you start cooking. I like to lay things out assembly line style. From left to right: challah on cutting board, dish with wet mixture, stove top, serving dish. This just makes things simpler when cooking for me.
Looking for other easy “breakfast for dinner” recipes? Check these out!
challah french toast
- 1 one pound braided challah sliced
- 8 eggs
- 1 ¼ cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon-sugar mix
- butter for cooking
- slice challah into ¾" slices
- prepare wet mixture by adding eggs, milk, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon-sugar mix into a glass pie pan or square baking dish or mixing bowl (whatever you have will work).
- heat large frying pan over medium heat
- put a pat of butter in the frying pan (or holding the whole stick, melt some off the end all over the pan like I do to save washing one knife) and let it melt
- dip a piece of bread into the bread mixture, pressing down to make sure both side of bread are covered
- place in pan and cook until golden brown, then flip and cook until golden brown on second side
- move to serving dish and enjoy!
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