The Stepson and I have spent the weekend rotting our brains on our respective Xbox 360s. During the madness and mayhem we enjoyed, I managed to convert another Vault recipe to be gluten-free and tantalize my tastebuds in the process.
(I also managed to play Guitar Hero for the first time in my life. It wasn’t pretty.)
Actually it would be two recipes, one playing off the other. The second recipe is one I’ve had since a college road trip to my friend’s home just a stone’s throw from the Wisconsin-Michigan UP border. Her mom made the french toast recipe for me then and oh my god is it good. I hadn’t made it since I moved to Illinois over 10 years ago, until about a month ago when I whipped up the gluten version for The Stepson. The problem with making stuff you haven’t made in eons is that you then crave the hell out of it until you eat it yourself.
The first recipe becomes a huge player in the second (if that makes any sense) and the first loaf I made (yesterday) was devoured by the gluten-eaters in less than two hours.
Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Adapted from the Vault
For the bread:
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup softened butter
2/3 cup raisins (if yours are a bit more dried out than usual, soak them in hot water for a few minutes before adding)
1 1/3 cups brown rice flour
1/3 cup millet flour
2/3 cup tapioca flour
1/3 cup potato starch
1 tbsp xanthan gum
For the filling:
1 tbsp buttermilk
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
Pour the 1/2 cup buttermilk into a measuring cup and let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before starting to give it a chance to warm up a bit. Take your egg out of the fridge too.
Place the yeast, 1 tbsp sugar and warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, sift together the brown rice flour, millet flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, and xanthan gum. Set aside.
After waiting the 5 minutes or so for your yeast to get all bubbly, add the buttermilk, egg, butter, salt, 1/3 cup sugar, and raisins. Mix on low speed for a couple of minutes. Gradually add the flour mixture. After all of the flour is incorporated, increase the mixer speed to medium and continue to beat for 3 minutes.
Spray a 2-foot piece of plastic wrap with cooking spray. Pour the dough onto the wrap. Lightly spray your hands with the cooking spray and then use them to press the dough into a rectangle about 8 inches wide and 2″ long. Brush 1 tbsp buttermilk over the dough.
In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and the cinnamon. Sprinkle liberally over the dough (use it all or you’ll miss something special!).
Using the plastic wrap the dough is sitting on, roll the dough jelly-roll style beginning at one of the narrow sides until you have a big loaf (think cinnamon rolls when rolling it up). Make sure you press down on the dough every “roll” so you don’t end up with pockets. Tuck the ends as best you can. You should have a loaf about 3 inches wide.
Lightly coat a loaf pan with cooking spray, then gently pick up the loaf and place it in the prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for 60 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees; bake the bread for 45 to 50 minutes (I stick a skewer in to see if it’s done all the way through). Remove from the oven and place on a baking rack for 10 minutes before removing the bread from the pan. Allow to cool completely before slicing.
And now, for the piece de resistance…
Caramel Apple French Toast
Adapted from The Vault
6 tbsp butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
4 apples, peeled and thinly sliced
2/3 cup milk
1 recipe Cinnamon Raisin Bread (above)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, pecans, or whatever you like (optional-I skipped it this go-round because my men don’t eat them)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Melt the butter in a small saucepan; add the brown sugar and stir until combined. Pour the ‘caramel’ onto a jelly roll pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle the nuts (if desired) and then layer the sliced apples over the top.
Slice the cinnamon raisin bread into 12 slices, if you haven’t already cut it.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Dip each bread slice into the egg mixture and then lay it on top of the apples in the jelly roll pan (start in one corner and work out). Continue to dip and place the bread slices snuggly against each other until all pieces have been used.
Bake for 20 minutes. When serving, flip the french toast slices over so the apples and caramel are on top.