Rich, eggy challah makes an ideal base for French toast. Here, the Jewish delicatessen breakfast icon gets scaled up to feed a crowd. Topped with fresh berries and a drizzle of maple syrup, the sweet strata makes a gorgeous centerpiece for any brunch gathering.
This recipe is part of a gorgeous Jewish deli breakfast spread. —Leah Koenig
Test Kitchen Notes
This French toast recipe is part of our Jewish deli breakfast spread, but you can make it any time the craving for French toast strikes, which, for us, is quite often. No fancy ingredients or equipment are required, plus you can put it all together a day ahead of time for a wonderful treat the morning of. All you have to do is whisk the eggs, milk, cream, brown sugar, and spices together, then pour over the bread pieces. It can then hang in the fridge for as little or as long as you'd like. With a drizzling of melted butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon-sugar right before it goes in the oven, you'll get all the favorite, traditional flavors of a hearty, soul-warming French toast. Finally, make it look beautiful with a dusting of powdered sugar and a topping of fresh berries.
You can also customize the egg mixture with whatever you've got on hand and to suit your particular tastes. One reviewer left out the spices and used chocolate chips instead. Another didn't have nutmeg, so increasing the cinnamon did the trick. And yet another noted that they used all whole milk, and no cream, and it didn't seem to affect the final dish (though we'd never say no to the addition of cream). If you want to reheat, cover the dish tightly with foil and reheat in a warm oven until the desired temperature is reached. It's so good, you'll find yourself reaching for this recipe every time you feel a hearty slice of French toast is the best way to start your day. —The Editors
- Prep time 48 hours
- Cook time 45 minutes
- Serves 8
(1-pound) challah loaf, crust on, cut into 1-inch pieces
light brown sugar
ground cinnamon, divided
unsalted butter, melted
Maple syrup, powdered sugar, and fresh berries, for serving
- Lightly grease a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Layer the challah pieces in the dish.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, cream, brown sugar, vanilla, 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon, the salt, and nutmeg. Pour the egg mixture over the bread, cover the baking dish with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.
- Heat the oven to 375°F and remove the dish from the fridge. In a small bowl, stir the granulated sugar with the remaining 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon. Drizzle the butter evenly over the bread, then sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until puffed and deep golden brown.
- Let rest for 10 minutes. Serve with maple syrup, a dusting of powdered sugar, and a topping of fresh berries.