Sunday, May 08, 2011

What's better than brunch? Nuthin.

Here's a great recipe that you can set up the night before and bake off right before you're ready to chow down on a lazy weekend morning:

Baked Almond French Toast
(Source: Kitchen Daily)

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

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.


Virginia said...

You're absolutely right, nothing is better than brunch. But I'm guessing that baked almond french toast sends it slightly over the top. I tried this at my last brunch gathering with some items I'd found on my favorite recipe club and we all agreed we were spending the afternoon napping after such a large feast.


Joy Bugaloo said...

Thanks, Virginia! I will check out the recipe club.