Leftover Challah

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Q. What can I do with lots of old challah, aside from the usual French toast or breadcrumbs? Also, do you have a recipe for challah kugel?

While French toast or breadcrumbs may seem overdone, consider making creative versions of these typical bread-centered dishes.

Instead of pan-frying and topping with butter and syrup, overnight French toast is a simple, make-ahead casserole that can be easily prepared for a small family breakfast or doubled for a large brunch. For a creative rendition, try French Toast a la Crème Brulee where melted butter, brown sugar and corn syrup is spread in a 9 X 13 pan, covered with slices of challah, on top of which a mixture of eggs and milk is poured. After soaking in the fridge, the casserole is baked in the morning; and once plated, the overturned challah slices are deliciously caramelized (and addictive!).

Instead of breadcrumbs, consider making homemade croutons, which can be easily used to enhance a soup or salad. To make croutons, dice leftover challah into small cubes, transfer to a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil or generously coat with non-stick cooking spray, and sprinkle with Za’atar or whatever spice blend you have on hand. Bake in a 300 degree oven, tossing every 20 minutes, until golden and dried. Feel free to bake the croutons at a higher temperature, just make sure to monitor them more frequently so they don’t burn.

Of course, you can’t go wrong simply freezing sliced leftover challah. When stored in slices, making sandwiches which call for hearty bread, such as paninis or tuna melts, becomes an easy chore.

And, as per your request, here’s a savory version of challah kugel from “Quick and Kosher: Recipes from the Bride Who Knew Nothing” (Feldheim)