You all know that I am pretty bad at making gluten free bread. I’ve been trying for forever to get my bread to rise and stay that way. So, I often end up with what I call “Short Bread.” I usually end up using the bread for either bread crumbs, or even for short sandwiches, or a play on biscotti. However, this morning I didn’t have a plan for breakfast until I started thinking about that “Short Bread” sitting in my refrigerator.
Who knew we would be dining at my imaginary restaurant “Nom Noms” this morning? As soon as Devin saw his plate arrive on his desk he was in shock. He examined it carefully and asked “What’s this?” You see, usually during the week he gets something like oatmeal, yogurt, or a smoothie. Things like pancakes are reserved for the weekends when I have a bit more time.
As soon as he took his first bite, I knew I had a winner. His eyes rolled back, he made a low moan, and asked me if I’d had any yet. I told him I hadn’t, and he said I needed to go have some “Now.”
So, I’m actually eating mine while I write this up. There’s the faint hint of powdered sugar, yet there isn’t any in the dish. Because this slice is a bit thick I should have let it soak a bit longer, but after seeing Devin’s reaction I knew I wanted to eat it sooner than later (and I have some other things to do after breakfast). The slight crunch of almonds on top is a nice contrast to the fluffy bread, and the hint of salt in the mixture actually plays off the sweetness of the almonds and maple syrup nicely.
I adapted this recipe from the French Toast recipe in Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything.” I used the same ratio, but I changed up the ingredients and toppings a bit. Feel free to take the same idea and make it your own with your favorite flavors. Instead of cinnamon, try cardamom. Instead of almond extract, try vanilla or coconut. This is a very good time to play with your food.
Amande Pain Perdu or Almond French Toast
adapted from “How to Cook Everything” by Mark Bittman
- 4 slices gluten free bread, homemade or not
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)
- 1/2 T of Whole Cane Sugar, or sweetener of choice
- Pinch of salt
- 1/8 cup of almonds (raw or crispy)
- maple syrup
- 2 T butter for the skillet or griddle
Put the milk, extract, egg, cinnamon, sugar and salt into a bowl and whisk lightly until the mixture comes together evenly. Pour into a pie dish (my preference) or other shallow dish which your bread slices will fit into. Into the mixture place your slices of bread and allow to soak for about 5 minutes, each side (depending on thickness).
Meanwhile, with a food processor, mortar and pestle (what I used), or with a rolling pin, crush the almonds until there is an even mix of powdered almonds and crunchy almonds (it’s not an exact science).
Heat a skillet, or griddle, over medium low heat and add in the butter. Let the butter melt and get slightly foamy. Don’t let it smoke.
Once the butter is melted and your pieces of bread have soaked, put your pieces of bread into the skillet (or on the griddle) all at once or in batches (but don’t crowd the pan). Slowly raise the temperature, and flip your pieces as soon as the first side is nicely browned. This should only take about 10 minutes in total, five minutes per side.
You can serve at once, or you can store them in a 200F oven until you’re ready to eat.
Once it’s time to eat, top your toast with a drizzle of maple syrup and a sprinkling of crushed almonds.
Serves 2 (easily multiplied for larger batches); Total time: Approximately 20 minutes
Et voila! A fantastic use for those times when your bread recipe doesn’t quite turn out, or for anytime you feel like treating yourself during the week.