There was a time when I used to skip breakfast – have an orange juice, coffee and a smoke then just wait for lunch. Those days are long gone – cut the smokes, I have at least some toast in the morning, add fruit and some Greek yogurt where I can.
One thing I’ve never dropped from my lifestyle is the weekend big breakfast of bacon and eggs, sometimes Eggs Benedict or an omelet and of course, French Toast. French Toast is where you dunk sliced bread into an egg/milk mixture then fry in buttered pan until golden and crisp on both sides. Maple syrup is drizzled on top and enjoy.
Today’s French Toast is made using Tsoureki, a Greek Easter bread that often contains spices like mastiha, mahlepi, citrus zest and sometimes cardamom. It looks like challah bread but Tsoureki is definitely sweater, more aromatic – more flavourful.
Our family always makes lots of Tsoureki for Easter (Orthodox Easter was on May 5th this year) for ourselves and to give away to family and friends. We still have some as we enjoy Tsoureki for breakfast throughout the year.
Even if you can’t find Tsoureki at a Greek bakery, this egg/batter mixture will still impress when using regular sliced bread. The combo of orange juice, zest, cinnamon and vanilla will captivate you as soon as the toast hits the pan. Finish off with honey or maple syrup and a dusting of icing sugar and prepare to eat French toast like you’ve never had before!
Tsoureki French Toast
3 large eggs
3 Tbsp. sugar
3/4 cup whole milk
zest and juice of 1/2 orange
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
8 slices of Tsoureki (Greek Easter Bread), cut into 1/2 inch slices
approx. 4 Tbsp. of butter (for frying French toast)
- In a large shallow bowl, add cracked eggs, sugar, milk, zest and orange juice, vanilla and cinnamon and beat/whisk well. Place a large non-stick skillet on your stovetop over medium heat and add the butter. Meanwhile, dip the Tsoureki into the egg mixture and push the slices into the mixture to soak in for a minute.
- Cook in the pan for 2-3 minutes a side in batches and repeat with remaining Tsoureki slices (I recommend keeping the French toast warm in a pre-heated 250F oven).
- Top with Greek honey or maple syrup and a dusting of icing sugar.
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