Some brunch lovers favor sweets for their morning dish. Our challah French toast with fresh berries and maple butter is for them.
For the days when we have more strenuous activities planned, we created lighter brunch fare such asthe Stanwich - the perfect start to a day for the Blue Ribbon Cycling Team (yes, there is one of those).
And we've always loved the translucent delicacy of thin, ethereal pancakes, adapted from recipes made from our partner Suzanne Allgair's mom.
Challah French Toast with Fresh Berries and Maple Butter
We love to make French toast with challah because the bread is already so extravagantly eggy, rich, and buttery that it adds a lot to the overall flavor of the dish, and it soaks up the custard surprisingly well.
4 - 6
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
6 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
8 (1-inch) slices challah bread, homemade or your favorite store-bought soft loaf
3 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, as needed
Fresh berries, such as blueberries, raspberries, or sliced strawberries,for serving
Confectioners' sugar, for serving
To prepare the maple butter: In a small bowl, beat together the softened butter with the syrup until smooth. Cover tightly and refrigerate if not using soon (it will keep for up to 1 week).
To make the French toast: In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Pour the custard into a wide, shallow dish. Soak each slice of bread in the liquid, turning to coat on both sides, until the bread is saturated but not falling apart, 4 to 5 minutes.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Melt 1. tablespoons of the butter in the pan. Working in batches, cook the challah until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining challah, adding butter as needed.
Divide the toast among individual plates and serve, topped with maple butter, fresh berries, and a dusting of confectioners' sugar.
Cinnamon Sugar French Toast
Omit the maple butter and berries. Combine 1/2 cup sugar with 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon in a small bowl. Divide the hot French toast among individual plates and top each slice with a fat pat of butter. Let the butter melt slightly, then sprinkle immediately and liberally with the cinnamon sugar.
Raisin Walnut French Toast with Cinnamon Maple Butter
If you eat a slice of our raisin walnut bread still warm from the oven, it's so cakelike, soft, and cinnamony that you can't help but think of turning it into French toast. Using this bread rather than challah will make for a firmer, sweeter, and spicier pain perdu, as the French say, with a more pronounced crust. So for crust lovers, this is your breakfast. When we were little, Bruce would never eat his crusts; he'd cut them all off and Eric would eat them. Eric was a big fan of the crusty outsides while Bruce loved the fluffy insides. That was kind of a jumping-off point for our culinary partnership. But we both love this French toast. Add a pinch of ground cinnamon to the maple butter. Substitute Raisin Walnut Bread or purchased for the challah.
Our partner Suzanne Allgair's husband, Stan, kept talking about this fantastic, revolutionary egg concept he had that was going to turn the breakfast world on its head. Sure enough, he was really onto something. Ever since the day we finally tried it, it's become a mainstay among staff and customers alike.
Get the recipe.
Light and Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes
Pancakes have been one of our all-time favorite cooking experiences ever since we were little kids. We always used a recipe from our mom's Joy of Cooking for something called "French Pancakes," which were basically crepes. We've tried to reproduce that here, with the added fluffiness factor that separates the pancake from the crepe.
Get the recipe.
MORE FROM BABBLE:
Pancakes 10 Ways
The Best Buttermilk Pancakes
My Must Have Ingredient: Buttermilk