A true breakfast/brunch delight is found in this challah French toast with strawberry compote! Thick slices of challah pan fried in butter to golden perfection; and then finished with the most delicious homemade strawberry sauce for topping. Super easy to make and a real special treat to whip up for everyone!

black hand pouring syrup over challah French toast with strawberry compote

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? I mean, I’ll be honest and tell you that I don’t always remember to eat an actual meal in the mornings. You can usually find Quin drinking a smoothie, a granola bar, overnight oats, or something that’s quick and easy, ha! However, lately I find myself enjoying the days where I go a little slower and make an effort to really do something nice. Most of us have schedules that require us to move at high paces and basically get it in where we can fit it in.

I’ve been learning and getting into this thing called “slow living” that puts a lot into perspective about how we as humans function. From the time we wake up we’re inundated with grabbing our phones, hurrying to get to work/school/other life activities, and continuing that rushed aspect of life. In contrast, a life lived slowly focuses on a more relaxed and leisurely paced way of being. The idea is that it allows us to be more present and improves our overall quality of life. This lifestyle leads to a more calm, peaceful, and joyous life.

challah French toast with strawberry compote on white plate with silver spoon

If you’re thinking that it sounds super hippie, I feel you haha. But listen, I’ve been trying it out here and there and I’ve noticed a difference that I’m digging. When I make food for myself and loved ones; I put more focus on the enjoyment aspect and not just rushing to get something on the table. Less distractions like putting away the phones and laptops and just being more mindful + intentional. Like, it’s wild how odd it sounds to actively pursue slowness. Ha. Anyways, slow living isn’t an easy lifestyle but it has its benefits.

This Challah French Toast!!!

And this challah French toast with strawberry compote recipe is one that I have been obsessed with. Talk about such a nice treat to make for yourself or your favorite people. We’ve been loving it on the weekends where staying in, jamming to some tunes, and getting hella cozy with several cups of coffee/tea is the move!

DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored by Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs who I’m always so excited to partner with; all thoughts expressed here are my own. So grateful for brand ambassadorships like this one! I’ve made quite a handful of recipes using their high quality eggs that are raised on small family farms.

More Delicious Egg-Lovin’ Recipes

challah French toast with strawberries on white plate with Pete and gerry's egg carton

Ingredients To Make Challah French Toast

(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card directly below.)

  • Challah– This Jewish egg bread is usually braided and has a slightly sweet taste that is very similar to brioche bread. It’s enriched with both eggs and fat and makes for excellent French toast!
  • Heavy cream– Makes for an extra creamy and flavorful custard. Feel free to use all milk if you’d like!
  • Whole milk– Pairs with the heavy cream as liquids in the custard base.
  • Eggs– Works as the binder and adds richness! High-quality eggs are important since we’re making custard.
  • Brown sugar– Sweetness and some molasses notes. You can also use white granulated sugar too.
  • Vanilla– I highly recommend using *vanilla bean paste* for your challah French toast for more of a vanilla punch! And those little flecks, swoon. However, feel free to use regular vanilla extract as well.
  • Cinnamon– An absolute necessity! Love this earthy signature aroma so much.
  • Salt– You will need just a little to bring out the other flavors.
  • Butter– We want golden and crispy French toast and the use of butter will do just that as opposed to oil. Use salted or unsalted, your call, either will do the trick!

The Best Strawberry Compote, Ever.

Okay, we’ve discussed a bit about the challah French toast but let’s get into the strawberry compote, y’all. Some of you are thinking what the heck is a compote, Quin?! A compote is a warmed or chilled dessert that combines whole or pieces of fruit in a sugar syrup combined with spices. Furthermore, to put it more simply; a compote is like a fruit topping or sauce. The strawberries are slowly simmered and broken down until tender whilst a syrupy consistency forms. An absolute dreamy pairing alongside French toast!

How To Make The Best French Toast

>> Here are some tips + tricks to help you make amazing French toast! <<

  • Use day old bread or dry out the bread beforehand: Listen, nothing hurts my feelings more than some soggy French toast. The best bread for French toast is slightly stale so that it really soaks up the custard. This is why I highly recommend using bread that is at least 1-2 days old. Alternatively, if you only have fresh bread on hand here is another option! To dry out bread: Preheat the oven to 350°F and place the slices of bread in a single layer on an un-greased baking sheet. Bake them for 10 minutes until they are dried out and toasted, but not browned. Again, slightly stale or dried out bread is what you want.
  • Soak it up, baby: Allow each slice of bread to get a nice soak in the custard so that it fully absorbs and penetrates the bread for a lovely custardy center. A good soak for the bread will take about 5 minutes.
  • Use a non-stick skillet: I prefer using a non-stick skillet when making French toast because it helps to ensure that nothing sticks. French toast is very delicate and I find that when I use cast-iron skillets, I don’t get the same outcome. Although, use whatever you have on hand.
  • Butter, butter, butter: Ain’t nothing like butter to give French toast that signature golden, crispy, and flavorful outer crust. Use as little or as much as you’d like in between frying the slices!
  • Get that heat just right: Make sure that your heat is right at the medium mark for ultimate success. Too low and your French toast will not get a beautiful sear and also dry out. When the heat is too high, the bread wont cook evenly and it will scorch the custard and leave a soggy interior.
  • High-quality eggs: Since eggs play such an important part in this dish, go for a high quality option like Pete and Gerry’s. Their hens are free range, which means they actually go outside to munch on grubs and greens during the day. A free range diet = richer yolks, more flavor, and better French toast!

Why You’ll Love This Challah French Toast

I’m going to go out on a limb in assuming that most of us have enjoyed French toast before. There is nothing quite like a plate filled with this deliciousness in the mornings, I know. Challah is such a beautiful piece of bread that is enriched with so much flavor by itself. In addition, the custard is so easy yet deeply flavorful. We love French toast because of that signature soft and custardy center, drooling. This challah French toast is so easy to make right at home and you may even think you went to some fancy brunch spot, ha!

challah French toast cooling on wire rack

Let’s Make This French Toast

(Note: please see the recipe card directly below for the complete + full instructions.)

  1. Slice your loaf of challah into 1-inch thick slices and set aside.
  2. Combine the custard ingredients into a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  3. Whisk the custard together very well to thoroughly combine.
  4. Soak the slices of challah in the custard on both sides.
  5. Preheat your skillet and add the butter and wait for it to melt/sizzle.
  6. Carefully add slices of challah into the skillet and fry on both sides.
  7. Transfer the cooked challah French toast to a wire rack and repeat process until done.
  8. Serve French toast warm with strawberry compote and maple syrup.

Other Ways To Enjoy This French Toast Recipe

This recipe is incredible as it is but here are some easy ways to flip it!

  • Change the fruit compote: If you’re not feeling strawberries, no biggie! You can do the same exact thing using blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or a mixed berry combination- amazing.
  • Types of bread: The very best breads for making French toast include Challah, Brioche, Pullman loaf (sandwich bread), and French baguette bread. All of these types are absolutely perfect!
  • Add some nuts: For more texture, top your French toast with some walnuts or pecans.
  • Other toppings/garnishes: Whipped cream/cool whip, fresh fruit, a nice dusting of powdered sugar, sprinkle on more cinnamon, spread on some of your favorite jam/jelly!
challah French toast with strawberry compote and whipped cream on white plate

How To Store French Toast

Nothing is as good as fresh French toast straight straight out of the skillet. However, you can store any leftover challah French toast in freezer bags and then toast them in the toaster as needed. I recommend this method for best results. They will keep in the freezer for about one month and will keep stored in the refrigerator for up to one day for freshness; be sure to keep stored in airtight vessels.

Don’t Miss These Other Great Recipes

challah French toast with strawberry compote on white plates

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UNTIL NEXT TIME…LOVE AND BUTTER,

Q.

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black hand pouring syrup over challah French toast with strawberry compote

Challah French Toast With Strawberry Compote

  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 10m
  • Cook Time: 20m
  • Total Time: 30m
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Breakfast, Brunch
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Thick slices of challah pan fried in butter to golden perfection; and then topped with the most delicious homemade strawberry sauce for topping. Easy to make and the perfect treat for the weekends!


Ingredients

Scale

Strawberry Compote

  • 1 lb strawberries, hulled and sliced in half
  • zest of an entire lemon
  • juice from an entire lemon
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Challah French Toast

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 6 large Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste, or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 lb loaf Challah, sliced into 1-inch thick slices
  • 4 tablespoons butter, plus more as needed
  • maple syrup, for serving
  • whipped cream, cool whip topping, for garnish- optional

Instructions

Strawberry Compote

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the strawberries, lemon zest, lemon juice, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. Gently stir together and allow the mixture to cook until the strawberries break down some and release their juices, about 7-10 minutes. At this stage, look for the strawberries to still hold their shape while also becoming soft/tender. Then remove from heat and let the saucepan sit while you prepare the french toast.

Challah French Toast

  1. In a large 9×13-inch dish, add in the heavy cream, milk, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla bean paste/extract, cinnamon, and salt. Give everything a very good whisk to fully combine the custard. For extra good measure, whisk the custard together once more.
  2. Take as many challah pieces as you can and fit them into the dish, pressing gently to coat well in the custard, and then flip to coat the other side. Allow the challah to soak in the custard for at least 5 minutes. Move the baking dish vessel as close to the stove as possible for ease.
  3. In a large non-stick skillet, melt two tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Once the butter is sizzling, add in a few pieces of the soaked challah and fry each slice until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Then set the cooked french toast pieces aside on a wire rack. Repeat the process, adding remaining two tablespoons of butter for the other pieces until all challah is cooked. Feel free to use more butter for frying if needed.
  4. Serve challah french toast warm with strawberry compote topping, whipped cream, and maple syrup, if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. Storing: French toast will keep stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one day for freshness. When stored in the freezer, it will keep for up to one month. Simply reheat in the toaster as necessary.
  2. Please read the blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.

Keywords: french toast, strawberry, breakfast, brunch, custard, challah