There’s something you should know about my husband.

He’s the biggest dog-lover I know.

He’s been known to stop people on the street to pet their dog; possibly circle the block to get a second look at a cute puppy; and it wouldn’t be unheard of if he held the elevator in our building extra long to see if we can share the ride with a furry friend.

I have to tell you, this dog obsession, it’s contagious. And I caught the bug.

We’ve discussed getting a dog for several years, and finally our dream came true.

Yesterday Knox, a King Charles Cavalier, at 5 lbs and 10 weeks old, became ours. To say we’re in love with him would be an understatement.

As we hole up in our apartment to bond with our new boy, we enjoy a delicious brunch of Challah French Toast. The addition of orange zest and honey in the recipe gives this typical breakfast item something extra special. Using challah guarantees sturdy bread that can withstand the egg-soaking, while producing fluffy sweet slices of French toast.

Challah French Toast

Source: Ina Garten

What You Need

  • 6 extra-large eggs
  • 1½ cups half-and-half or milk (I used skim milk)
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon good honey
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large loaf of challah
  • Unsalted butter
  • Vegetable oil
  • Pure maple syrup, to serve
  • Good raspberry preserves (optional)
  • Sifted confectioners' sugar (optional)

What To Do

  1. Preheat the oven to 250°.
  2. In a large shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, orange zest, vanilla, honey, and salt.
  3. Slice the challah 3/4-inch-thick slices. Soak as many slices in the egg mixture as possible for 5 minutes, turning once.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a very large saute pan over medium heat. Add the soaked bread and cook for 2 to minutes on each side, until nicely browned.
  5. Place the cooked French toast on a sheet pan and keep it warm in the oven.
  6. Fry the remaining soaked bread slices, adding butter and oil as needed, until it's all cooked.
  7. Serve hot with maple syrup, raspberry preserves, and/or confectioners' sugar.

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