Challah French Toast is an easy, delicious breakfast recipe made with light airy Challah bread and fresh berries. It’s baked French Toast is easy to prepare and perfect for breakfast any day and special occasions!
Weekends are a perfect time for a hot breakfast recipe. Why make everyday French toast when you can make flavorful French toast to share with family and friends in the oven?
Challah French Toast is easy enough to make on weekdays too! Soaked bread develops a custardy center and crispy exterior. Made with fresh berries between the bread slices, easy challah French toast is served with warm maple syrup as a finishing touch. It takes the traditional flavors of French toast up a notch and is so much easier than making a slice of French toast one by one in a skillet.
The lightly sweet challah bread and the natural sweetness from the fresh berries give this easy French toast a wonderful flavor.
French toast is usually made by dipping slices of bread in an egg mixture then cooking it in a hot skillet.
This Challah French Toast recipe is made by baking it. Thick slices of challah with fresh berries stuffed between are all placed in a small baking dish.
An egg and Half & Half mixture coat the slices before baking for 30 minutes.
The end result is a luscious custardy bottom (think bread pudding) and golden brown top. Drizzled with syrup and dusted with powdered sugar, it’s a favorite breakfast recipe any day.
Another fun recipe is Baked French Toast made with croissants. Specialty breads make delicious French toast casseroles!
What is Challah Bread?
Challah (pronounced ‘haa-luh’) is a light, slightly sweet braided bread. It is a Jewish bread that is typically made without dairy products. Eggs give it a wonderful airy texture.
Challah is most similar in texture to brioche, the French bread, rather than traditional bread. It can be found all year but is widely available around the Jewish holidays.
Recipe Ingredients Notes
Challah Bread. Challah is usually available at bakeries and grocery stores especially during the Jewish holidays. Its familiar braided form makes it easy to spot. If you enjoy baking you can also make homemade challah bread yourself with a mix or recipe. Depending on the size of the loaf of challah, you’ll use one loaf or a half loaf if it’s very large.
Eggs. You’ll need four large eggs.
Half & Half. This is whisked with the eggs to make the French toast a have a custardy center texture. Whole milk could also be used.
Fresh Berries. One and one half cups of berries are used. We love the visual and flavor combination of raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. You can use one type of berries or a mixture. Reserve some extras for serving too!
Using Gluten-Free Challah Bread
Most challah bread is made with traditional flour although gluten-free challah can also be used for this French bread recipe.
Gluten-free Challah can be trickier to find. My recommendations:
- Contact local gluten-free bakeries or grocery stores. Ask if they carry it or if they know where to find it
- Make it yourself. It’s an easy bread to make. There are gluten-free mixes or several recipes available online.
PRO TIP: Gluten-free breads often do not absorb liquids the same as wheat flour. If using gluten-free challah you may not need the entire egg mixture. Use less if the challah bread has absorbed enough (refer to the recipe step photos for guidance).
How to Make Challah French Toast
For a detailed printable recipe refer to the recipe card at the end of the blog post.
STEP 1. Preparation
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a small baking pan lightly with non-stick spray.
Slice Challah into 1-inch thick slices.
STEP 2. Assemble French toast
Whisk eggs (photo 1). Add Half & Half and whisk together (photo 2).
Layer challah slices into the prepared pan with berries in between slices (photo 3).
Pour egg mixture over bread, moving the slices slightly to ensure the egg mixture gets in between each slice (photo 4).
STEP 3. Bake
Bake for in the warm oven for 30-35 minutes or until slices have turned golden in color and a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Place on a cooling rack to cool slightly.
Garnish with additional berries and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with warm syrup, if desired.
Add some vanilla extract. Stir in a teaspoon of vanilla extract for homey vanilla flavor. Other extracts like almond extract can also be used.
Orange zest or lemon zest. For some citrus flavor lemon zest or orange zest can be added to the milk mixture.
Add spices to the egg mixture. Cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, apple pie spice, nutmeg or allspice can be used to add more flavor to the challah French toast.
Frequently Asked Questions
Stale bread is usually more absorbent than fresh bread which is why its often used for making French toast. You can use either fresh or slightly stale bread. Don’t use bread that has become dried out.
How to store
If you have leftovers store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. Reheat in the microwave before serving. Individual servings can also be quickly reheated in a hot large nonstick skillet or cast iron skillet in a bit of melted unsalted butter! It will give the slices a nice crust. Serve with real maple syrup.
More recipes you’ll love!
Challah French Toast with Berries
- ½ loaf Challah Bread regular or gluten-free
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup Half & Half
- 1 ½ cups fresh berries plus more for garnish
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- Syrup for serving
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a small baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- Slice Challah into 1-inch thick slices.
- Layer bread slices into pan with berries in between slices.
- Whisk together eggs and half & half.
- Pour egg mixture over bread, moving the slices slightly to ensure the egg mixture gets in between each slice.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until slices have turned golden in color and until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.
- Garnish with additional berries and dust with powdered sugar. Serve with warm syrup, if desired.
- Fresh or stale challah bread can be used for this recipe.
- Whole milk can be substituted for the Half & Half.
- Any desired combination of berries can be used or a single type of berry. The amount should be equivalent to 1 1/2 cups.
- Store any leftovers store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. Reheat in the microwave before serving.
- Individual servings can also be quickly reheated in a hot large nonstick skillet or cast iron skillet in a bit of melted unsalted butter! It will give the slices a nice crust. Serve with real maple syrup.
Originally published: September 29, 2019
Challah French Toast is a fast easy breakfast recipe perfect for families or brunch with friends!