Archive for Wednesday, July 11, 2001

French toast a fruitful effort

July 11, 2001

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It's also a dish for the multitasker. While the bread soaks in the egg bath, the cook can prepare the berry sauce.

This version from Gourmet magazine's July issue uses challah bread, a traditional Jewish bread with a light, airy texture. But a brioche loaf is a perfect substitute.

Challah French Toast With Berry Sauce

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(Preparation and cooking time 30 minutes)

3 large eggs

1 cup whole milk

1 teaspoon sugar

1-pound challah loaf, cut crosswise into 12 slices (not including end pieces), each about 1/2-inch thick

3 cups mixed berries such as blackberries, raspberries and blueberries

1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar (depending on berries' sweetness)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Confectioners' sugar for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together eggs, milk and sugar until blended. Pour into a large baking pan and soak break slices in one layer, turning once, for eight minutes.

While bread soaks, puree 1 1/2 cups berries with sugar and lemon juice in a blender. To eliminate seeds, pour puree through a very fine sieve into a bowl. Transfer to a serving bowl and fold in remaining berries.

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoon butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet or griddle over moderately high heat until foam subsides. Transfer four soaked bread slices to skillet with a slotted spatula and cook until golden brown, about a minute on each side. Use a clean spatula to transfer cooked slices to a large shallow baking pan.

Cook remaining bread in two batches, adding butter to skillet as needed.

When all slices are browned, put baking pan in middle of oven and bake until hot, about five minutes.

Serve with berry sauce. Dust with confectioners' sugar.

Makes four servings.

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