I have one word for you: challah. This braided egg bread is the key to any French toast recipe. You can find it in almost any grocery store or local bakery. If you happen to live in the Boston area, Cheryl Ann’s makes the best challah around. Hands down. The storefront is in Brookline, but they distribute to Star Market, Roche Brothers, Shaw’s Market and J.P. Licks. Yes, J.P. Licks as in the ice cream store. They sell Cheryl Ann’s challah as a side biz because it’s that good. So good that I have to use some serious restraint when I buy a loaf, otherwise it’s gone the next day. And by gone, I mean I’ve eaten the entire thing by myself. No big deal, slight carb overload.
I’m content eating a loaf of bread for dinner, sans accoutrements. Don’t get me wrong, I love cheese, hummus, tapenade, pate, the works. But I’m just as happy noshing on a loaf by itself and calling it a night. Moral of this longwinded story: use challah for your French toast. It won’t disappoint, I promise.
grand marnier french toast
makes 4 slices
4 slices challah, sliced 1-inch thick
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp brown sugar
¼ cup Grand Marnier
2 tbsp salted butter
powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 250°F. As each piece of french toast is done, stack it on a plate in the oven to keep it nice and…toasty.
Combine the milk, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, brown sugar and Grand Marnier in a shallow dish. Whisk well, making sure the ingredients are completely blended. Slice the challah so it’s on the thicker side, about ¾ to 1-inch thick. Soak each piece in the egg mixture for about five minutes, making sure to flip each slice over. You want every piece to be soaked through with the egg mixture. Yum, raw egg dipped bread…
Heat the butter in a skillet and add as many slices as fit. Cook the challah for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. To keep the French toast warm, put the cooked pieces on a plate in the preheated oven. Continue cooking the remaining pieces, adding additional butter to the skillet as needed.
Serve the French toast sprinkled with powdered sugar and a side of berries…if that’s up your alley. Don’t forget the maple syrup either.