Meet your new brunch superstar.
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French toast might just be one of the easiest ways to deliciously use up leftover bread. Slightly stale bread revives with a brief soak in a simple custard and pan-fries to crispy browned goodness. Topped with butter and syrup or confectioners' sugar, French toast is a dish that always seems greater than the sum of its parts.

A French inspiration for French toast: bostock

But for my new favorite breakfast, whether it is for myself or a brunch crowd, is a riff on a French pastry called bostock. Likely invented by bakers looking to turn day-old breads like brioche into newly saleable pastries, bostock is made by soaking slices of the stale bread in sugar syrup, topping them with almond paste, and baking them to crisp perfection. Bostock is a perfect accompaniment to an afternoon café au lait or alongside ice cream for dessert but is a bit rich to have for breakfast.

So, I created a mashup of French toast and bostock that is my new morning treat. The topping can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for up to a week, making it extra easy. While I usually save my Bostock French Toast for a weekend morning, you can absolutely fit it into your weekday plan if you have a bit of time in the morning.

How to make Bostock French Toast

Unlike most French toast recipes, the custard for the bread is simply eggs, milk, and a pinch of salt: no added sugar or spices, since the topping brings plenty of sweetness and flavor. 

Bostock French Toast

For the bostock topping:

6 ounces almond paste (not marzipan)

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2-4 drops almond extract (optional)

Pinch kosher salt

Pulse all ingredients in the food processor until the almond paste breaks up, then process until smooth. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

For the French toast:

1 egg per 2 slices of bread

3 tablespoons milk per 2 slices of bread

1 tablespoon sliced almonds per 2 slices of bread

1. Heat your oven to 425°. Line a sheet pan with a piece of parchment or foil and spray with nonstick spray.

2. Blend egg(s) with milk to make custard base. 

3. Soak slices of bread in the custard until well soaked. Arrange on the greased sheet pan. Using small dollops, top each slice generously with the almond mixture (be careful not to tear the bread). Don't worry about getting perfect coverage—it will spread naturally as it bakes. Sprinkle the top with sliced almonds.

4. Bake 10-12 minutes until the tops are browned, the almond mixture is a bit bubbly, and the bread is golden brown on the bottom. Serve hot with a dusting of powdered sugar.

Pro tip: You can make the almond topping in advance and store in the refrigerator. 30 minutes to 1 hour before cooking, remove it from the refrigerator to allow it to come to room temperature and give it a good stir to loosen it up before using. 

By Stacey Ballis and Stacey Ballis