Challah French Toast

5 from 5 votes

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This French toast is SO easy to make! Tender and creamy on the inside, a little crunchy and nicely browned on the outside. Pass the syrup!

Challah French Toast

The smell of French toast cooking up on the stove should make a morning person out of anyone. There are few breakfasts that feel as indulgent, but it couldn’t be easier to make! It’s tender and creamy on the inside and a little crunchy and nicely browned on the outside. For an all-out breakfast feast, pair it up with Scrambled Eggs and Air Fryer Bacon, or go sweet with Strawberry Topping.

In some parts of the world, French Toast is called “eggy toast,” “Bombay toast,” “gypsy toast,” and ”poor nights of Windsor.” In France, it is actually called “pain perdu,” which means “lost bread.” However, French toast is not technically French. Whatever you call it, it’s a fan favorite wherever you go. Also, try Lazy Oven-Baked French Toast for a crowd!

Challah French Toast topped with raspberries and syrup.

Challah French Toast: SO easy to make! Tender and creamy on the inside, a little crunchy and nicely browned on the outside. Pass the syrup!

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Ingredients

  • Eggs – Bind the liquid and thicken into a custardy texture when cooked.
  • Vanilla extract – Gives the French toast its signature rich vanilla flavor.
  • Cinnamon – Adds warmth and spice to the French toast.
  • Sugar – Sweetens the dish.
  • Milk – Makes the liquid rich and custardy.
  • Challah bread – The eggs used in this bread make it extra rich and perfect for French toast. Leftover, stale bread is perfect for this recipe.
  • Butter – Helps the toast crisp up. Make sure to preheat the pan and melt the butter before cooking to ensure a perfect brown exterior.
Challah bread, sugar, and other French toast ingredients.

Tips and Substitutions 

  • Challah is far and away my favorite bread to use for making French Toast. The bread is made with eggs, so it is richer than plain white loaves. Brioche is another egg-based bread that is a great choice. And you can definitely use a plain Pullman loaf if you like — just make sure your slices are nice and thick.
  • For the egg custard, I almost always lean into more full-fat dairy products, preferring a smaller portion of a richer dish to a larger portion of a less satisfying one. You can definitely make your own call on that, but whole milk will give you the richest version of French toast, 2% a bit less so; 1% will work fine, and skim milk…well, let’s just say I’m not a fan. But if you are watching your fat and calories for dietary reasons, then please go ahead and use what you wish!
  • Make sure to mix the custard batter thoroughly so you don’t get patches of just egg or milk.
  • Soak the bread until the custard permeates the slices to the middle. Don’t let it sit too long, or the bread will become soggy and fall apart.
  • Don’t turn the heat up too high, or your French toast will scorch instead of gently browning.

How to Make French Toast

  1. Make the custard: Beat the eggs, vanilla, cinnamon (if using), sugar, and milk in a wide shallow bowl or baking dish.
Whisking eggs, milk, and sugar in red dish.
  1. Soak the bread: Heat a very large skillet over medium heat. While the skillet is heating up, place a piece of the challah in the milk mixture and let it sit for about 1 minute. Flip the bread and let soak for another minute.
Soaking Challah bread slices in custard-filled bowl.
  1. Cook the French Toast: Melt some butter in a hot pan, then place the dipped bread in the pan, fitting as many pieces in the pan as possible in a single layer. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side, then transfer the French toast to a serving plate or platter. Repeat with the remaining butter and dipped bread.
Challah French toast cooking in skillet.
  1. Serve: Serve the French toast hot with confectioners’ sugar, maple syrup, and whatever other toppings you like.
Topping French toast with powdered sugar, raspberries, and syrup.

FAQs

Which bread is best for French toast?

Challah is my go-to bread for making French Toast. The bread is made with eggs, so it is richer, and the middle becomes almost custardy in texture when it is soaked in a milk and egg mixture, then griddled up on a pan.

Brioche is also egg-based and makes a great substitute. Make sure your slices are thick enough to be able to brown on the exterior while it stays soft in the center.

Do you have to use stale bread for French toast?

You will want to use challah (or any bread) that is a bit on the dry side, meaning it needs to be a few days old. When I have a fresh challah, I simply slice it ¾-inch thick and leave the slices on the counter for about 24 hours to dry out a bit. Flip them sometime in the middle of the day so that both sides have a chance to air dry. Or put them on a wire rack, and then you can just let them dry without having to flip them.

How do you make French toast not soggy?

Make sure you soak the bread for just long enough. Too long, and it will get soggy and disintegrate. Too short, and the milk and egg mixture won’t penetrate to the center of the bread, offering that custardy texture in the middle.

Also, make sure your bread slices are around ¾-inch thick, no more than 1-inch thick — thinner slices might get too soggy in the custard dip and fall apart. Thicker slices are hard to cook through properly.

What to Serve With Challah French Toast

Challah French Toast topped with raspberries with bacon on plate.

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5 from 5 votes

Challah French Toast

This French toast is SO easy to make! Tender and creamy on the inside, a little crunchy and nicely browned on the outside. Pass the syrup!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 People
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Ingredients 

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups milk (I prefer whole)
  • 1 loaf slightly stale challah (sliced ¾-inch thick)
  • 4 tablespoons butter (for cooking; approximately, divided)

For Serving (pick and choose, or combine):

  • Maple syrup
  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Berries or chopped soft fruit (like ripe peaches or nectarines)

Instructions 

  • Use a whisk or a fork to beat the eggs in a wide shallow bowl or baking pan. Beat in the vanilla, cinnamon (if using), sugar, and salt. Add the milk and whisk to combine thoroughly.
  • Heat a very large skillet over medium heat. While the skillet is heating up, place a piece of the challah in the milk mixture and let it sit for about 1 minute. Flip the bread and let soak for another minute. If your bread is very dry, it might need to soak for longer, take it out when it is soaked through but not mushy.
  • When the skillet is quite hot, take the bread from the milk mixture, allow any excess to drip back into the bowl, and then melt a tablespoon of the butter in the pan, swirling it to coat the bottom. Place the dipped bread in the skillet, and repeat with more slices, sitting as many pieces in the pan as possible in a single layer. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side, then transfer the French Toast to a serving plate or platter. Repeat with the remaining butter and dipped bread.
  • Serve the French toast hot with confectioners’ sugar, maple syrup, and whatever other toppings you like.

Notes

  • Challah is far and away my favorite bread to use for making French Toast. The bread is made with eggs, so it is richer than plain white loaves. Brioche is another egg-based bread that is a great choice. And you can definitely use a plain Pullman loaf if you like — just make sure your slices are nice and thick.
  • For the egg custard, I almost always lean into more full-fat dairy products, preferring a smaller portion of a richer dish to a larger portion of a less satisfying one. 
  • Make sure to mix the custard batter thoroughly so you don’t get patches of just egg or milk.
  • Soak the bread until the custard permeates the slices to the middle, but don’t let it sit too long, or the bread will become soggy and fall apart.
  • Don’t turn the heat up too high, or your French toast will scorch instead of gently browning.

Nutrition

Calories: 394kcal, Carbohydrates: 46g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 150mg, Sodium: 603mg, Potassium: 246mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 644IU, Vitamin C: 0.01mg, Calcium: 187mg, Iron: 3mg
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About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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