Baked Almond French Toast
New Media Publishing / Photography: Flat Art Studios.com / Stylist: Abigail Donnelly
Provided by: Kemp Minifie
Inspired by almond croissants, this baked version of French Toast, which is assembled ahead and then slid into the oven, is the way to go when you are serving a brunch; the classic top-of-the-stove method for French Toast is too labor-intensive. You'll love the way the almond topping crisps up to offset the custardy innards of the bread. Get the kids involved in the puzzle game of fitting the bread into the pan.
- FOR FRENCH TOAST:
- 1 14- to 16-inch long soft Italian loaf
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
- FOR TOPPING
- 1 large egg white
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3/4 cup sliced almonds
- Accompaniment: fresh raspberries and vanilla ice cream
- Make French toast: Cut loaf crosswise into 1-inch thick slices and gently squeeze as many as possible, a cut side up, into a buttered 13- by 9-inch pan. Whisk together eggs, milk, butter, sugar, salt, and extract and pour evenly over bread. Chill, covered, until bread has absorbed custard, about 1 hour or overnight.
- Assemble topping: Preheat oven to 375 F. with rack in middle.
- Lightly whisk egg white with sugar and a generous pinch of salt and stir in almonds until well combined. Spread mixture over bread and bake until bread is puffed and golden, 25 to 35 minutes. Serve warm.
- Notes and Tips:
Custards combine well if you begin by whisking the eggs first, then add the milk. When you add the butter, do it in a slow stream, whisking all the while.
Use a long serrated knife to cut the bread.
Use a rubber spatula to spread the almond mixture over the bread.
French toast is delicious on it's own or with maple syrup but it's particularly nice with fresh berries.
In addition to being a great brunch main, French toast is an excellent dessert.
- Game Plan
1 1/2 hours Ahead and Up to 1 Day Ahead:
Butter pan, then slice bread and fit it into pan.
Make custard and pour over bread, then chill, covered.
45 Minutes Ahead:
Assemble almond topping while oven is preheating.