Meyer Lemon French Toast

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8

Golden, egg-rich challah makes the most decadent French toast, since it really soaks up the custard and adds a richness of its own. And, because the entire dish can be assembled the night before it’s popped into the oven, it’s the ideal dish for serving brunch to a house full of guests.


  • Unsalted butter for greasing
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) half-and-half
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
  • Grated zest of 2 Meyer lemons
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 loaf day-old challah, about 1 lb. (500 g), cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) slices
  • Confectioners' sugar for dusting
  • Mixed fresh berries for serving
  • Maple syrup for serving


Butter the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33-cm) baking dish. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, vanilla, lemon zest and brown sugar until combined. 

In batches, dip the bread slices into the egg mixture, turning the slices to coat them evenly and letting the bread sit in the bowl for about 2 minutes to absorb the liquid.

Arrange the slices in the prepared baking dish, overlapping them slightly. Pour any of the liquid remaining in the bowl evenly over the bread in the dish. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).

Transfer the pan, still covered with the aluminum foil, to the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the French toast is puffy and the top of the bread is lightly browned, about 15 minutes more.

Lightly dust the French toast with confectioners’ sugar. Serve with fresh berries, if desired, passing the maple syrup alongside. Serves 6 to 8.

Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen