- 1 good-quality French baguette or loaf of ciabatta, preferably day-old
- 8 to 12 tablespoons (4 to 6 ounces) butter (divided use)
- 1½ cups almond milk
- 3 tablespoons uncooked white rice
- A 2-inch piece of cinnamon stick, preferably Mexican canela, broken up or 1 to 2 tsp ground cinnamon, preferably Mexican canela
- 3 egg yolks
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract, preferably Mexican
- Toasted slivered almonds (optional)
- About 1 cup warm Piloncillo Syrup (recipe at source), Buttermilk Caramel Syrup, or maple syrup, for serving
- If using a baguette, slice off and discard the end pieces. Holding the bread knife at a 45-degree angle to the loaf, cut off one 1-inch-thick slice (it should be roughly 4 inches long). Repeat until you have 8 similar slices. If using ciabatta, no need to slice on the diagonal; simply discard the end pieces and cut eight 1-inch slices. If the bread is very fresh, arrange the slices on a baking sheet and place in a 300-degree oven until they feel slightly hard and stale, about 30 minutes.
- Place 4 tablespoons of the butter in a microwave-safe bowl and melt it in the microwave at 50% power for 30 seconds. Combine the almond milk, rice and cinnamon in a blender and process for several minutes, until the rice no longer feels very gritty when the liquid is rubbed between your fingers. Add the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, melted butter and ½ teaspoon salt to the rice mixture and blend again, covered, until everything is well combined. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a 9x13-inch baking pan. Lay in the bread and let it soak until the bottom of the bread feels heavy with liquid but isn’t disintegrating, 10 to 15 minutes. Flip the bread and soak the other side. (If it’s more convenient, cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.)
- Heat a very large (12-inch) heavy skillet over medium. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and swirl it around the pan a few times until it has completely melted and the foaming has subsided. Use a spatula to transfer 3 slices of bread to the hot skillet. When they are richly browned underneath (about 5 minutes), flip the slices and cook until browned and crispy but custardy on the inside (about another 5 minutes). Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in a low oven. Add more butter to the pan (usually another 2 tablespoons per batch) and cook the remaining slices the same way. Top your French toast with slivered almonds if you like, and serve right away with warm syrup.
Notes: Brittany asked me what I wanted for breakfast on Father's Day. I had recently had horchata and the thought crossed my mind that horchata flavors would go well with French toast. I searched the internet and found only 2 or 3 recipes. This one looked the most interesting. I enjoyed this, but the horchata flavor didn't stand out as much as I'd like.
Source: Men's Journal