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Wake the family up on Christmas morning with classic french toast.
Wake Up To Classic French Toast
French toast is always nice to wake up to for breakfast, but a special one is great to make for Christmas morning.
The custard mixture you make to soak into the bread has nice warm spicy undertones; the flavor is very understated. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t add larger amounts of the called-for spices. If your family really likes a bolder flavor, then feel free to add more to your taste.
Even the bread is special. A lot of people use it to make french toast anyway, but if you don’t try it at least once!
Challah Is Best
By far the best bread to use for French toast is challah.
It’s pretty easy to get in your supermarket’s in-store bakery if you live in or around a large city. Outside such places, sometimes it’s not that easy to find. I can find it 30 miles south of where I live but not in local stores. Sometimes it’s called “French Toast Bread” and maybe it’s in a loaf form instead of it’s classic oval braid. If you cannot get it and want to get adventurous and make some–yes, even if you do it in a loaf pan and not the pretty braid–here’s a good challah recipe.
Warm And Spicy
Even though my mother was a decent cook, her French toast would fall pretty flat because even though she made gorgeous loaves of challah (she was a supreme bread baker) she never used it to make French toast. She used plain old white bread.
Secondly, her egg mixture was pretty basic with just eggs and lots of milk–no other flavorings.
I actually learned to make this great breakfast from eating it all the time in a diner in Brooklyn New York. The secret is the bit of vanilla, cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg. Oh yes, and using half and half–for my UK and Euro fans that’s just full-fat milk and single cream in equal proportions. Basically what you’re making is an unsweetened egg nog with cinnamon added. And it’s even better with gobs of butter and some pure maple syrup.
You can use egg nog if you want and have any leftover, but bear in mind that it’s sweet so you may not want to use any syrup if you do use it.
4 thick slices—about 1-inch/2.5 cm—challah bread
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups whole milk or half-and-half
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
2 tbs butter plus extra for serving
fresh berries - optional
powdered/icing sugar - optional
syrup of your choice
Beat eggs in a medium bowl. Whisk in the milk until well blended. Then whisk in the cinnamon and nutmeg.
Lay the bread slices in a large pan (such as a 13 x 9 pan or large casserole dish) then pour over the egg mixture. Let this sit for about 5 minutes then flip the bread slices over.
Heat a large skillet or flat griddle over medium heat. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter on the griddle. Place the bread slices on the griddle and cook until one side is golden brown. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter on the griddle/pan then flip and cook the other side until it’s golden brown.
Serve with berries, dust with sugar if desired, additional butter and your favourite syrup.