(The Nosher via JTA) – This recipe sounds complicated but is actually very simple. Using store-bought babka will make this Babka French Toast Loaf as easy as 1-2-3, but if you happen to bake your own babka, definitely use it!
Instead of serving the babka slices arranged on a serving platter, I transfer the slices into a loaf pan and line them up in a row, so they go back to forming the original loaf shape. When you serve the “loaf,” your guests will be pleasantly surprised to see that it is in fact already sliced into crispy, thick slices of toasty, chewy babka French toast.
Babka French Toast Loaf may be prepared up to two days in advance and stored, covered, in the refrigerator. If preparing ahead, do not bake in the oven before refrigerating (skip the last step in the recipe).
Babka French Toast Loaf may be stored in the freezer for up to one month. If preparing ahead of time, do not bake in the oven before freezing (skip the last step in the recipe).
How to reheat: Babka French Toast Loaf may be reheated, uncovered, in a 400 degree F. oven for 10 minutes just before serving. The frozen loaf may be thawed in the fridge overnight and reheated as indicated above.
Babka French Toast
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
1 babka loaf or cinnamon loaf, about 15 ounces
3 large eggs
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract or seeds from 1 vanilla bean
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan with butter and set aside. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Use a large chef’s knife to cut the babka into slices 1-inch thick. Lay out the slices on the prepared baking sheet and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Dip the babka slices, 1 slice at a time, in the egg mixture. Coat both sides for about 30 seconds, allowing the babka slice to absorb some of the egg mixture without getting too soggy. Repeat with all of the slices, placing them back on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
In a large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted, add 2 slices of babka and fry, turning once, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Be careful that the heat isn’t too high to avoid burning the babka slices. Transfer the browned slices to your prepared loaf pan, lining up the slices to re-create the original loaf shape. Continue heating 1 tablespoon of butter at a time in a pan and browning the babka slices in batches, 2 slices at a time, and transferring them to the loaf pan. Use all of the French toast slices to fill the loaf pan.
If serving right away, place the loaf pan in the oven, uncovered, for 5-7 minutes longer. This will heat up all the slices to the same temperature and make them nice and toasty. Serves 8-10.
Reprinted from “I Heart Kosher: Beautiful Recipes from My Kitchen,” with permission from Weldon Owen Publishing.
KIM KUSHNER’s third book, “I Heart Kosher: Beautiful Recipes from My Kitchen” (Weldon Owen), will be released in November.