I don’t know about you, but leftover challah just isn’t a thing in my family. We specifically have to make or buy extra loaves of the sweet, fluffy bread if we plan on making challah French toast on a morning after celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. But maybe you and yours are better at not finishing entire loaves of bread in one sitting and are used to having leftovers. If so, this is the recipe for you.
You’re going to slice up that leftover loaf of thick, fluffy bread and dunk it in a honey-sweetened egg mixture. Once you’ve fried up a pile of French toast, you’ll cover it in magnificently deep red pomegranate sauce, perfumed with just a bit of cinnamon and ginger.
Not only is tart pomegranate a delightful pairing with the rich fried bread, it actually holds significance during the celebration of Rosh Hashanah. Some people believe eating pomegranate makes a wish for the new year to be filled with as many good things as there are seeds in the fruit, and some think the infamous apple described in the Garden of Eden was in fact actually a pomegranate. Others simply enjoy pomegranate as another sweet on the Rosh Hashanah table, perfect for eating and then wishing your family and friends “shanah tovah,” a sweet New Year.
To make the dish, first comes the spiced pomegranate sauce: In a medium saucepan, whisk together 2 cups pomegranate juice with ⅓ cup granulated sugar, and 3 tablespoons lemon juice over low heat. Peel an orange and let the strips of peel drop into the saucepan. Add 1 cracked cinnamon stick and a 1-inch piece of peeled ginger. Turn the heat up to medium and let the mixture come to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and let simmer for 25 minutes. Fish out the orange peels, cinnamon stick, and ginger with a slotted spoon and let the mixture continue to simmer for another 30-40 minutes, whisking every 15 minutes or so until it has reduced into a syrup. Strain the sauce into a heatproof jar and set aside. Stash leftovers in the fridge and use it in place of honey or maple syrup for your next few breakfasts. It also works wonders when whisked into salad dressings or shaken into lemon or lime-heavy cocktails.
Whisk together 2 eggs, ½ cup milk, 3 tablespoons honey and a pinch of kosher salt.
Cut thick slices of challah and soak them in the egg mixture for about 3 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Heat a nonstick pan over medium and melt a pat of butter. Drop 1 or 2 slices of soaked bread into the hot pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip, and cook the other side of the bread. Repeat with the rest of the soaked challah slices.
Serve challah french toast with a heavy glug of pomegranate sauce, pomegranate seeds, and a plop of applesauce if you’d like.