It’s fair to say, that I was already growing impatient when it came to Fine Bagel’s Challah French Toast Sunday. So my heart jumped a little when I saw the new announcement on their social media. I attended last summer, and then missed out on at least three of them because I was traveling, and then I guess they took a little break but now they’re back! Why I’m that excited: because Challah French Toast is amazing! Made from the Jewish Challah bread, which is dipped in a very vanilla egg mixture, fried to perfection, and then served with maple sirup it will give you all the good feels needed.
We arrived during the early lunch hours at Shakespeare and Sons, the fabulous Friedrichshain bookstore inside of which Fine Bagels is located. As usual with menus written as nice as Fine Bagels’, I ordered way too much – a poppy seed bagel with horseradish and beet root schmear (3,50 Euro), and a serving of the Challah French Toast (7,00 Euro). Needless to say, I didn’t finish neither the bagel, nor the French Toast, but I seriously tried (need to work on that whole restrained eating that so many food critics seem to practice).
Laurel Kratochvila is the master behind every treat in the house, and while her speciality is with bagels, which she delivers to loads of other cafés in the city (like Brammibal’s), her sweet bakes are equally remarkable. Like the tahini cookie I’m eating while writing this text, or the rugelach which made a tremendous breakfast treat this morning with a big mug of black tea with honey and milk. As said, I ordered way too much…
But, back to the Challah French Toast – key to its deliciousness is the homemade Challah, a Jewish braided bread made from an egg-heavy yeast dough, similar but not the same as brioche, because Challah is made without butter. Here at Fine Bagels, they’re serving three giant slices of fried Challah with maple sirup – they rest on the dark plate, looking sumptuous like a puffy pillow (see a very satisfying video of Laurel punching the risen dough here), they are delicious with a crispy outside and an almost creamy inside, and a generous splash of vanilla, with the yeast and wheat of the Challah still coming through.
In more good news, the next Challah French Toast Sunday is happening end of February, follow Fine Bagels facebook for updates!
Also something to keep an eye on is Fine Bagels’ upcoming event Nosh Berlin, a week filled loads of wonderful Jewish food, starting with the Nosh Breakfast Market at Markthalle Neun with everything from Sabich, bagels, and blintzes, to smoked fish, and cream soda, followed by a Shabbat supper club hosted by Gil Hovav and Adeena Sussman, a presentation by Amy Kritzer of the blog WhatJewWannaEat, and so much more.