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  • Writer's picture Natalie Budnyk

A Recipe for Unsolicited Bread

Last night, I had a craving for chicken parmesan, as one does during a Netflix binge that cannot be categorized as casual. I don't know if this is a thing everywhere, but in my neighborhood, every time I order Italian food, no matter what it is, they send like half a baguette with it. I could order JUST garlic knots (lol that never happens), and it would come with this baguette. This poses a series of problems because I certainly am not going to throw out this nice bread. Problem #1: I already ordered so much food that the delivery guy packed me three sets of plastic silverware. Problem #2: this bread is pre-sliced, so it's going to be stale tomorrow if I don't freeze it. Problem #3: I really hate the process of defrosting bread.

Which brings us to the solution: use the bread to make breakfast. I wrapped the half baguette in tinfoil because the place I ordered from literally threw the bread in the delivery bag with no receptacle. Just wanton bread slices mingling with my three sets of silverware and approximately 700 napkins. So the wrapped up bread went in the fridge, and in the morning, rather than eat the leftover spaghetti for breakfast (you can make a frittata out of anything, guys), I used the below mish mash of ingredients to create a VERY GOOD french toast bake. You can put whatever you want in this, so I italicized the ingredients that are optional and could be replaced with anything from nuts to raisins to Halloween candy (wish I had some Reeses Peanut Butter Cups honestly).


For the base:

1/2 of a day old baguette ripped into crouton sized cubes

1/2 a bar of chocolate chopped up into little pieces (I used a caramel, sea salt one)

For the "custard":

2 eggs

1/2 cup of some kind of milk (I used dairy free hazelnut milk)

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

3 tbsp cocoa powder

1/2 tsp vanilla

For the crumble:

6 tbsp unsalted butter cut into cubes

2 tbsp flour

3 tbsp light brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350, and find yourself a receptacle. I used a disposable bread tin, but you can use a 6" round cake pan or little pyrex dish as well (those were my backup plans). Dump the bread and chocolate pieces (or nuts/raisins if you're going that route) into the baking dish of choice. Whisk together all the "custard" (not technically custard, but I had to call it something) ingredients, and pour that over the base. Squish the crumble ingredients together until the sugar and flour coats the butter, and there are no stray granules left in the bowl. Make sure there are still some big, cold lumps of butter in the mixture. Plop this on top of the base/custard, and put it in the oven for 40 minutes. Let it cool and solidify before eating.

If you make it in a bread tin, this will serve two perfect squares of french toasty goodness for you and...probably also you, but theoretically maybe like your roommate or something.



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