Every Friday on Shabbat I bring home a beautiful golden brown braided challah from my daughter's pre-school at Temple Emanu-El in Westfield. Typically we rip it apart in the car ride home because it is so incredibly sweet and fresh. Hello my name is Lauren and I am a carboholic. It is odd for me to even be writing about bread items that go stale because they usually don't make it to that point. But this challah is tremendous and I find that while we devour it on Chestnut St and nosh on it over the weekend, by mid-week it is stale and tossed. But this week I have a different plan.
It turns out that stale challah makes the best french toast. The French call it "pain perdu" or "lost bread" -- bread that would be tossed because it is no longer fresh. Perfect! How timely, considering that the season premiere of LOST - which is full of questionable coincidences - is Tuesday night. Just when the challah starts to get a little stiff after 5 days...coincidence? I think not! Maybe this is what that lunatic French woman Danielle was ranting about in her radio transmission from the island?
Well my friends, the loss of fresh challah is the gain to french toast lovers everywhere. Parfait!
Lightly beat eggs with milk and mix in cinnamon, lemon zest and juice and a pinch of kosher salt. Soak sliced challah well and add to a frying pan with melted sweet butter. Stale slices will absorb less of the milk/egg mixture and fry better so the less fresh the better (to a point!) When golden brown flip and cook other side until it resembles a Denny's ad. You are ready to add syrup, fresh fruit or confectioner's sugar and chow down.
It is God's will...or Locke's will...or Jack's will... whatever, will you please pass the Aunt Jemima?