I was driving back to town, after a night away, and could not pass up the opportunity to visit Neighbors Bakery, in Harrison, Arkansas - one of our favorite spots for refreshments when we are in that area.
I bought coffee, cookies and several loaves of bread - but was especially excited to try the challah - remembering I had seen recipes using this particular style of egg bread.
I found this great french toast recipe - delicious!! I loved the hint of orange, and felt it really made the dish something special - perfect for a quick week day breakfast with the kids, or a leisurely brunch with friends.
CHALLAH FRENCH TOAST
1 1/2 cups half and half
zest from one orange
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 loaf challah bread
In a large, shallow bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, orange zest, vanilla, honey and salt. Slice the challah in 3/4 inch thick slices. Soak as many slices in the egg mixture as possible for 5 minutes, turning once.
Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a very large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the soaked bread and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until nicely browned. Place the cooked french toast on a plate and keep warm. Cook the remaining soaked bread slices adding butter and oil to the pan as needed. Serve hot with butter, maple syrup and confectioners sugar.
Recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa, 2002