Archive for Wednesday, July 11, 2001

French toast offers fruitful start to day

July 11, 2001


A home cook covers all the bases with the recipe for Challah French Toast With Berry Sauce: There's something for the hearty-breakfast eater, something for the fruit-breakfast eater and something for the bakery-breakfast eater.

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

(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 bread slices in one layer, turning once, for 8 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 4 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 2 batches, adding butter to skillet as needed.

When all slices are browned, put baking pan in middle of oven and bake until hot, about 5 minutes.

Serve with berry sauce. Dust with confectioners' sugar.

Makes 4 servings.

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