I love cop shows. And my all-time favorite show is 24. Everything in my life would stop for 24. I quit three different cake decorating classes because the instructors kept going over the class time and I would have to break the sound barrier to get home before Jack Bauer came on the scene. My family and friends knew not to call me Monday nights between 9pm and 10pm because I had a standing date with Jack Bauer. (I miss you, Jack Bauer.)
And now my love of TV cops has taken a turn in reality. I have a friend named Angie who is a real-life police detective and her daughter is in my son Matthew’s kindergarten class. Angie’s job is so exciting to me and she even has a badge and a gun. How cool is that?! She probably thinks I’m crazy because I ask her stupid TV detective questions like “Do you know Elliott Stabler?” or “Have you ever had to rough up a perp?” What can I say, I think I’m funny. Recently, Angie asked me for a breakfast suggestion that was not the same ol’ same ol’. The first thing that popped into my head was French toast. And not just any French toast, but Challah French Toast.
Challah (pronounced: HAH-lah) bread is a traditional Jewish bread that’s typically eaten on the Sabbath and special occasions. It’s a mildly sweet egg bread that’s usually braided and it makes the most phenomenal French toast. Challah French toast is simple to make and a little out of the ordinary. The hardest part about it is finding the challah. It’s usually readily available during the holidays at my local supermarket. But throughout the year if I can’t find it locally, I order it from www.challywood.net. (I love that name.) Challah French toast is special enough for a holiday breakfast and easy enough to make whenever the mood hits you. Maybe if my favorite detective likes this recipe she’ll let me ride along with her so we can rough up some perps.
Challah French Toast
Makes 4 servings
8 large eggs
½ cup half and half
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 loaf challah bread
Pure maple syrup, warmed
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Cut the challah into ¾-inch thick slices.
Beat the eggs, half and half, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and vanilla in a large shallow dish until combined. Place bread slices in the egg mixture and soak 3 minutes. Flip the bread and soak 2 additional minutes.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon oil on a griddle or in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the bread (don’t crowd the pan) and cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
Transfer the French toast to a foil-lined baking sheet and place in the warm oven. Repeat with the remaining bread slices, adding butter and oil to the griddle or skillet as needed.
Dust the French toast with confectioners’ sugar and serve with warm maple syrup.