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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Gourmet French Toast

When our friends Jeff and Julia invited Rich and me over for brunch, I knew that my "Gourmet French Toast" would be the perfect addition to the meal! It is such a "crowd pleaser" and so simple to prepare. (Thanks Ada for the recipe! See below for details.)

I recommend using an unsliced rectangular challah from What-A-Bagel. Even a day old challah would be fine. When I went to buy one on Friday, they were sold out! In the end, I settled for a braided challah. It took a little more time to remove the crust, but the taste was unbeatable!

Begin by removing all of the crust. Don't forget to take a few bites along the way! The challah is so good, I can never resist!

Cut into cubes and place in a Ziploc bag. Whisk eggs, milk and vanilla and pour into bag over cubes. Let sit in fridge overnight.

The next morning, generously grease baking dish with non-stick spray. Add cubes to baking dish. Combine melted butter with brown sugar and maple syrup. Pour over cubes. Bake for 45 minutes at 350.

Sometimes I add raspberries, blackberries or even strawberries directly into the dish before I bake it. However, this time I decided to make a coulis to pour on top which compliments the sweetness of the dish very nicely.

As the french toast was baking I cut up a handful of strawberries and cherries and added some blueberries. I love the Magic Bullet that my mom got us as a housewarming gift and used it to create the coulis. Combine fruit, a squeeze of lemon juice and a teaspoon of sugar. Mix and chill.

Don't forget to peek into the oven...

The crust that formed on the top was just perfect!


Wait...let's look at that a little closer!
Sorry Mark, none left over this time.
The pieces below were served right after the shot was taken!
Below is the recipe. The pictures in this post show half of the recipe. I halved all of the ingredients, except for the challah. Since it was a braided challah, I felt that it wasn't quite as much bread as a rectangular one. Enjoy!

Gourmet French Toast
6 eggs
2 ½ cups milk (or 1/2-1/2 cream mixed with milk)
1 ½ tsp vanilla
1 challah bread cut into cubes with no crust
½ cup melted butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp maple syrup

1. Combine eggs, milk, vanilla.
2. Combine bread cubes and mixture, mix and
cover. Let soak overnight.
3. Next morning, mix cubes, put in 9 x 13 inch pan.
4. Combine melted butter with brown sugar and maple syrup.
5. Pour over cubes (berries, optional).
6. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes uncovered.
Who wants the first piece?


  1. Marnie Consky said...

    I love this recipe! I made it once but now that I see the step by step, I'm going to try it again. Yummers!!!

  2. Julia said...
    The french toast was awesome - as usual.

    Kathy said...
    It looks easy once you see it. I still did not make it but will try it out after the holidays.

  3. Andrea said...
    I make your french toast recipe all the time, its always a hit!!!!

  4. That looks so yummy I'm going to give it a try at our next brunch!

  5. mmm my mouth is watering just reading about it!

  6. Sabina said...
    Mel, your presentation, sequence, and photography is impeccable!~

  7. This looks delicious! I also LOVE challah, I'm going to have to try this recipe one weekend, THANKS! :)

  8. This looks so good. I can't wait to try it for my brothers over the Holidays. Thank you. I love your blog!

  9. I am so trying this. French toast is one of my favs!

  10. W/Challah no need to cut off the crust --- call it "rustic" ^_^

  11. what a great recipe and it looks very easy! thanks!

  12. Hi Mel! I have 2 questions before I attempt this yummy dish...

    1 - What size casserole dish did you use?
    2 - Did you bake it at home and then bring it over and reheat it, or did you assemble it at home and bake it over at J&J's ?

    Naomi :)

  13. For the recipe in the photos above, I used an 8" x 8" dish. However, that was only because I used a braided challah and there was less of it. I would suggest using a rectangular challah and a 9" x 13" dish. Also, if you will be at your friend's house about 45 minutes before eating, I would definitely recommend baking it there. That being said, since time doesn't always permit, I often bake it for about 40 minutes at home, and then put in into the oven for another 10 at the location to be sure it is hot when looks and tastes best if served immediately out of the oven! Hope it turns out delicious! Did you add in fruit or make a sauce to go with it?

  14. Hello! I so badly want to make this, but I live in Georgia (the US, not the country, hehe) and I have never seen Challah before. I remember seeing it visiting in Europe though. Do know what may be comparable to this? To me, challah looks like a big deformed pretzel, but I have no idea if they taste the same or not.

  15. Another word for challah is egg bread. Check your local bakery to see if they make egg bread. Good luck!

  16. I finally had the chance to make this awesome Gourmet French Toast for a family birthday celebration. I made a double batch and they were both devoured! Need I say more? Thanks for sharing this yummy breakfast/brunch treat.