Tomato Peach Panzanella with Prosciutto
In the summer, simple food is sometimes the best.
Challah has such a unique crumb. The air bubbles it contains are smaller than your average loaf of bread, but it is still so light! It is a delicious treat with a hint of sweetness to its flavor – almost like it’s asking to be used to soak something up. An egg custard mixture, perhaps.
Some people might argue that it is even better than fresh when it’s in French toast form. The good news is, you don’t have to decide. This recipe is for about half a loaf. It can be for your leftover challah or you can buy the loaf and divide it between projects (which is what we did).
Here’s what you need:
– a few Tbps. unsalted butter
– About six slices of day-old challah
– 2 eggs
– 1/2 cup milk
– 1/2 tsp. vanilla
– 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
– 1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
– 1 Tbsp. half and half
– Pinch of salt
– powdered sugar
– fresh fruit
– maple or fruit syrup
The night before, it is helpful to slice the challah and lay it out so that as much surface area as possible touches the air, so it dries overnight. If you don’t do this, it is OK to go ahead with the recipe. It just makes for maximum absorbtion of the custard mixture.
In a shallowish bowl, use a fork to whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and half and half. Make sure the eggs are totally broken up and well incorporated into the rest of the mixture.
Heat a large nonstick pan on medium, and melt 1 Tbsp. of butter, making sure to spread the butter over the entire hot surface of the pan.
Select as many challah slices as will fit into your pan without touching (for me it was 3). Dredge each cut side of the slices of bread in the egg mixture, allowing any large amounts of excess to run off. Lay in the pan and cook on one side until golden brown it will be just a few minutes. Flip and do the same on the other side. Remove to a pan and store in a low oven while you cook the rest of the toast slices.
Serve with fresh fruit, syrup or whipped cream. I recommend a sprinkling of powdered sugar and cinnamon.
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