Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Wednesday Brunch: Nutella & Banana-Stuffed Challah French Toast
Welcome back to another edition of Wednesday Brunch. This week, French Toast and Challah: the perfect combination. I've been enjoying challah French toast from a young age, but have near-perfected my own version in recent months. French toast is a pretty fascinating idea for breakfast. At once, it's seemingly simple but unquestionably elegant, in both taste and concept. In terms of taste, good French toast is unparalleled, offering the contrasting textures of a semi-firm, bread-y outside and a soft, creamy interior.
The concept behind French toast, to me, is of particular interest. When you think about what really comprises French toast, its parts are those of a traditional American breakfast: eggs and toast. Some people eat breakfast sandwiches, and those can be delicious, but there's a certain complex thinking behind cooking the bread and eggs together, as one unified vision. I like the versatility and creativity that certain foods allow. Surely egg lovers rank their beloved ingredient as the most versatile of all, and I would readily agree. There are many odes to the egg out there, though, so let's stick to French toast for today.
Pictured: Challah; eggs, milk, and vanilla; cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves; griddled. If you have a griddle, be sure to use it for French toast. Besides the fun of playing short-order cook in the comfort of your own kitchen, a griddle can handle a number of items at once and, in my experience, makes the perfect French toast: a slightly firm, barely crusty exterior, with the smoothest of interiors. To me, French toast is severely lacking without cinnamon and nutmeg. Cloves offer a slightly stronger flavor, but I think they complement the other two spices really nicely.
For the titular dish, you're going to want to set up an egg bath for your stuffed French toast. Crack a couple of eggs into a shallow bowl, pour in a splash of milk, and shake in some of the aforementioned spices. Stick with the cinnamon and nutmeg, but skip the cloves for your stuffed French toast--their stronger flavor will clash with the chocolate, banana, and nut flavors.
The great thing about challah is that it's a very eggy bread in the first place, so challah French toast packs a decidedly egg-heavy flavor. Spread nutella on each side of the bread, top with sliced banana--
--and adhere the two sides together. This is a pretty rich and dessert-y breakfast. Feel free to make a smaller portion or split it between two people. Either way, it's going to fill you up for a while.
Bathe both sides of your stuffed challah in the egg wash.
After cooking through on both sides, plate, top with walnuts, and serve. Bon appetit!
Thanks for stopping by Beach City Cooking! Tomorrow, find out how to save over 85% on the price of a certain expensive store-bought spread by making it at home. Have a great day, and stay cool!