If I am not mistaken, one of the first dishes I ever learned to cook for myself was French Toast. It’s always been one of my favourite breakfast items, and for a kid just learning the ways of the kitchen, it’s a relatively straightforward dish. Crack some eggs, whisk with cream, dip the bread and fry it up. Slather in butter and maple syrup, and you have yourself a delicious breakfast. I’d make it every chance I got, which is to say almost every weekend. I mostly just used the whole wheat sandwich bread we always had on hand, although sometimes I used my mother’s amazing, dense, healthy homemade bread. That’s the wonderful thing about french toast…as long as you can get that bread to soak up the eggy batter, you can use whatever bread you like best.
Obviously, conventional french toast made with wheat flour bread is no longer an option for me. But I’ve really been craving some of late. We’ve done a few breakfasts out with the kids, and I covet their thick, fluffy slices of french toast with the maple syrup dripping over the sides. I think I miss the comfort in what used to be one of my favourite breakfasts. So I decided I had to take matters into my own hands. For a while now, I’ve been thinking of making a plain almond flour quick bread, one that could be used for sandwiches and toast. I miss my toast slathered in peanut butter almost as much as I miss french toast, and I needed a plain-tasting bread to serve as the vessel to get my beloved PB to my mouth. The possibility of making it into french toast as well was all the motivation I needed.
One ingredient I had to purchase before I could make the bread was some unflavoured whey protein powder. Whey protein is so useful in low carb, gluten free baked goods, as it serves in part as a replacement for gluten, giving the bread or muffins some structure and helping them rise properly. But most whey protein has some added flavouring, usually vanilla or chocolate, in the assumption that it will be used in protein shakes and smoothies. I’ve noticed that the vanilla flavouring can be very strong, even in small doses, and can even overpower other flavours s. It’s also quite sweet and I wanted the quick bread to be very plain and not sweet, so that it could pair well with savoury foods like meat and cheese. I also decided to try out some oat fiber, a low carb ingredient I’ve just recently purchased, in this recipe. Do note, this is not the same thing as oat flour, as it is made purely from the fibrous portion of the oats. In essence, it has zero net carbs as it is pure fiber.
The Results: I am really, really pleased with this quick bread. It is quite dense, in part I think from the oat fiber, but it holds together beautifully when sliced. And although I wanted it to be quite plain, so I could top it with my favourite things, it had a very nice flavour on it’s own. It had a touch of sweetness, because almonds themselves can be a bit sweet, but it went nicely with cheese too. I really liked it just toasted with a bit of butter on it.
As for the french toast, it’s lovely that way too. The trick to making this work is to really dry out the slices of bread prior to dipping them into the batter. Since the bread itself is dense and fairly moist, it won’t soak up the batter as a wheat bread would, unless it is dried out first. Simply slice the bread and let the slices dry out in a warm oven ahead of time. Although it doesn’t taste identical to conventional french toast, I really enjoyed it and was impressed with how the batter browned and crisped on the outside. It certainly satisfied my hankering for one of my all-time favourite breakfast foods!
Almond Flour Bread
2 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup oat fiber
1/4 cup unflavoured whey protein powder
1 tbsp granulated erythritol
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
6 oz Greek yogurt
6 tbsp butter, softened
4 large eggs
6 tbsp almond milk
Preheat oven to 325F and grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, oat fiber, whey protein, erythritol, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt.
In a large bowl, beat together yogurt and butter until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time and scraping down bowl and beaters as needed. Add almond flour and beat until well combined. Beat in almond milk until thoroughly combined.
Spread batter in prepared loaf pan, smoothing the top. Bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan 15 minutes, then flip out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Almond Flour French Toast
8 slices almond flour bread, about 1/2 inch thick
2 large eggs
1 tbsp heavy cream
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp butter or coconut oil
Preheat oven to 200F.
Arrange slices of bread on a wire rack set over a baking sheet and place in oven. Let dry out for about 1 hr.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, cream and cinnamon until well combined. Pour batter into a large shallow dish Place two slices of bread into and let sit 30 seconds to 1 minute to soak in mixture. Flip over and let sit another 30 to 1 minute seconds.
Meanwhile, heat a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add butter and cook until butter just begins to brown, swirling to coat the bottom of the pan. Remove bread from batter and shake lightly to remove excess batter. Place in skillet and cook until golden brown on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
Transfer to wire rack and keep warm in oven while repeating with remaining bread.
Top with butter and sugar free syrup.
BREAD: Serves 15. Each slice has a total of 8.4 g of carbs and 5.5 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 2.9 g.
FRENCH TOAST: Serves 4 (2 slices). Each serving has 5.8 g NET CARBS.