This is one of those recipes that sounds super complicated but is actually so simple (actually laughable) that I had to ask around to see if my friends thought I should include it in this book. It was unanimous—everyone I asked said “Yes!” So, here it is: Using store-bought babka will make this Babka French Toast Loaf as easy as 1-2-3, but if you happen 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 pre-sliced into crispy, thick slices of toasty, chewy babka French toast.
Recipe courtesy of I Heart Kosher: Beautiful Recipes from My Kitchen
- Cook Time
- Prep Time
- ¼ cup (4 tablespoons/60 g) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
- 1 babka loaf or cinnamon loaf, about 15 oz (430 g)
- 3 large eggs
- ⅓ cup (75 ml) heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or seeds from 1 vanilla bean
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). 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 (2.5 cm) thick. Lay the slices out 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 or so, allowing the babka slice to absorb some of the egg mixture without getting too soggy or falling apart. Repeat with all of the slices, placing them back on the parchment-lined baking sheet while you finish up.
In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted, add 2 slices of babka and fry, turning once, 1–2 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 the slices up 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 all the slices up to the same temperature and make them nice and toasty.
Make-Ahead Tip Babka French toast loaf may be prepared up to 2 days in advance and stored, covered, in the refrigerator. If preparing ahead of time, do not bake in the oven before refrigerating (skip the last step in the recipe).
Can I Freeze It? Babka French toast loaf may stored in the freezer for up to 1 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°F (200°C) oven for 10 minutes just before serving. Frozen French toast loaf may be thawed in the fridge overnight and reheated as indicated in the recipe above.