Thursday, May 10, 2012

Challah French Toast

Regardless of how much I have on my plate at the moment {and it's not French Toast}, I woke up determined to get this post delivered here in time for Mother's Day. I won't be lounging about, sleeping in, or being served breakfast in bed this year because we're heading off to Boston for a hockey tournament this weekend. If I were, this is what I'd be requesting.
Quite a few years back, when I was frazzled with a new baby and a toddler underfoot, all I wanted was to sleep in on Mother's Day. It was the one day of the year I could count on it - birthdays might land on a weekday, Mother's Day never does. It's strange to look back now and think about just how sleep deprived I really was. Sure, today there might still be a few sleep deprived moments here or there, but there was a time once when sleep was so elusive a concept, the mere thought of getting a full night of it was enough to bring me to tears. Tears of joy...and relief.
On one such Mother's Day, when all I wanted was to sleep, a little red-headed 3 year old tapped me awake at 7:00am to ask me what I wanted for breakfast in bed? So sweet, yet not what I had hoped would happen that early in the morning. As much as I tried, there was no going back to sleep. I ate my breakfast in bed and went about my day, the whole time wishing I had been granted that opportunity to sleep in, and disappointed when I realized I would probably have to wait another year for the chance.
It was that Mother's Day that breakfast in bed orders began being noted the night before, with specific, "do not wake until..." instructions.
Of course, now that my kids are getting older and I'm the one having to wake them up early, sleep isn't the number one Mother's Day request on my list. But I do still love breakfast in bed, and since both my boys love any opportunity they can get to make a mess in the kitchen, they're happy to oblige me.
I remember, as a child, French Toast being one of the first things I learned how to cook on my own. It's easier than waffles or pancakes, because the ingredient list is much smaller and the steps it takes to make, much less. In my case, it was made even easier by the {high tech for the day} griddle section that was built right into our stove at home.
I don't know what's at the top of your Mother's Day wish list, but if anyone should happen to ask you what you'd like for breakfast in bed, I recommend you request this. Happy Mother's Day!
Some other breakfast in bed choices Mom might like - Breakfast Quinoa with Berries & Bananas, Strawberry, Granola & Yogurt Parfaits, Savory & Sweet Waffles, Cherry Pecan Granola, Mini Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins, Strawberry Ricotta Muffins, or Ricotta Pancakes

Challah French Toast

Adapted from Ina Garten
Serves 4
{printable recipe}
Like everything Ina creates, the original recipe calls for using extra-large eggs - but if you don't have any available, simply substitute seven large eggs. I like to use part half and half cream and part reduced-fat milk, just for a bit of extra creaminess, but you can use all of one, or the other.

6 extra large eggs
3/4 cup half and half cream
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 loaf challah (or brioche) bread, cut into 1" thick slices
vegetable oil
maple syrup, powdered sugar or fruit, for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Beat the eggs, cream, milk, vanilla, honey, cinnamon, and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Transfer the mixture to a shallow baking pan that's large enough to fit 8 slices of bread. Add the bread slices to the custard and soak for 5 minutes total, flipping the bread once.

Heat 1 tablespoon each of butter and oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add half the soaked bread and cook for about 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Transfer the finished slices to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you repeat the process with the remaining soaked bread. Serve warm with maple syrup, or a sprinkle of powdered sugar and sliced fruit.


Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen said...

It's been waaay too long since I've had challah french toast for breakfast! This looks so tasty!!

Erin@lovesomeblog said...

I am so with you on the sleep thing!! A few years back it seemed like all I dreamed of was more sleep! Still, now that everyone is much more reliably sleeping all night, when my family asks what I want for Mother's Day, it's to sleep in! And now it's not because of sleep deprived night, but all of those early predawn mornings I hit the floor running with breakfast, before school hockey, etc. I just want to sleep past 6am!

Julia @The Roasted Root said...

Challah looks to be so fluffy, moist and naturally sweet. I have always wanted to try it and I bet it makes French toast just delectable! I'd love to try this recipe - just in time for Mother's Day!

Zee said...

Im not even a mother yet but still all I want sometimes is not to wake up early in the morning to head to work or school. Loving the challah french toast.. they looks so soft and fluffy!

Joanne said...

I alright get such a meager amount of sleep that I DREAD what will happen when I have kids! I'll be a full-on zombie and the only thing that will be able to make me will be the scent of these. I foresee it.

prairiesummers said...

I love your pictures. Makes me want to eat one portion right away!

Frances said...

Challah french toast is the best! I was visiting a friend in NYC a few weeks ago and made a passing comment when looking at a restaurants menu about how much I adore challah french toast, and then the next morning she woke up before me, bought some challah and made it for my sweet is that. Love your recipe index, btw....I'm thinking of making that spring risotto tonight. :)

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