Not sure why but before today I hadn't made French Toast for Carlos. This is very strange because I cook Sunday Brunch every week. French Toast is one of my specialties. In fact, it's one of the first recipes I ever learned to make. I have a distinct memory of my first French Toast making adventure. I was in love with Friendly's French Toast and wanted to make a similar version at home. I read in one of my mother's cookbooks that you needed thick Texas Style cut bread to make proper French Toast. Texas Style? But I lived in Massachusetts! (I was a little kid here remember!).
So I went with my Dad to my local Stop n Shop to buy thick cut bread. I couldn't find any in the bread aisle. Every single bagged loaf of bread had thin slices. No Texas style bread anywhere to be found. I went to the bakery and asked the lady behind the counter if they had Texas style bread. She had no clue what I was talk about. I explained to her what it was I needed (my parents never helped me with this sort of thing, I was always on my own) and she took an unsliced loaf of bread, sliced it thickly and gave it to me. Success! Thick cut bread just begging to be made into French Toast.
At home, I remember being at the counter, cracking eggs into a bowl, stirring in the milk, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla to make the egg mixture. I think I let the thick cut slices of bread sit in the egg mixture for about an hour. By the time I came back to them, they had absorbed almost everything. I cooked the slices of French toast in a pan. They came out delicious!
Now, as a child I never had an interest in cooking. In fact, my mother had tried desperately to teach me how to cook basic things but I always ran away from the kitchen seeking refuge outdoors or in my room with my dolls and TV. But I did have an interest in making sweet things like French Toast, cookies and cake. Eventually, I got it and then I wanted to cook everything. But French Toast, that was my first ever cooking success.
Years later when I was in my late teens, I discovered Challah Bread at my local Whole Foods Market. Challah Bread was perfect for French Toast. The sweet honey egg bread was the perfect texture to hold up the egg mixture and not fall apart and I didn't have to add sugar to the mixture because the bread was sweet enough. And I could slice the bread myself into the perfect slices. Ever since then, I've only made my French Toast with Challah Bread.
It's strange, after having been making French Toast for a couple of decades to not have made my specialty for Carlos! I fixed that today and we had a delightful brunch filled with delicious slices of Challah French Toast.
1 loaf of Challah Bread, thickly sliced
4 whole eggs
4 egg whites
1 cup of skim milk (or vanilla Almond Milk)
1/2 tsp of cinammon
1 tsp of vanilla
butter for greasing the griddle
hulled and chopped fresh strawberries
sliced fresh peaches
100% maple syrup
Cut the Challah bread into thick slices. Now, Challah loaves come in all sorts of sizes. The medium sized loaf I got from Wilson Farm in Lexington made about 10 French Toasts when I cut off the ends. But I've seen Challah loaves sold at other places that could easily make a good 20 slices! The egg mixture is a lot so it's good for either 10 slices or 20!
Add a griddle to your stovetop and turn heat up to medium. Grease with some butter and cook a couple of slices at a time. Flip them over every couple of minutes to make sure they get nice and brown on both sides but not burnt. Keep adding butter as you cook. And while you have a couple of slices on the griddle, add a couple more to your egg mixture for soaking time.
I ended up with 10 Challah French Toast slices. I topped them off with strawberries, peaches, some ground flax seed and a drizzling of 100% pure maple syrup. My taste buds thanked me for this wonderful breakfast and Carlos gave me a high five for work well done.