In about an hour and using only 4 ingredients, you can have crunchy, biscotti-like bread slices to dunk in your morning coffee or accompany a fruit-and-yogurt breakfast bowl.
You don't need more than the egg whites, sugar, flour and nuts that are called for, but you could also consider this recipe a blank canvas on which to layer favored flavors: maybe a little finely grated citrus zest, a light sprinkle of ground aniseed or ginger, a drop of vanilla extract. For enhanced nut flavor, lightly toast the almond slices and let them cool before folding them into the egg white-sugar mixture.
One more attractive attribute of this recipe: no loaf pan to clean at the end.
Servings: 15 slices
- 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup sliced almonds
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with aluminum foil that overlaps the rim of the pan. Have a baking sheet at hand.
Beat the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer, first on low speed for about 1 minute, then on high speed for 1 to 2 minutes or until the egg whites form stiff peaks. Gradually add the sugar while continuing to beat on medium-high speed; the mixture will become glossy.
Use a flexible spatula to gently fold in the flour and almonds, deflating the egg whites as little as possible. Transfer the batter to the loaf pan, spreading it evenly and leveling the surface. Bake for 40 minutes, until the top is a light golden brown, or longer if you want crisper slices.
Transfer the loaf pan from the oven to a cutting board; leave the oven on. Use the foil to extract the loaf from the pan; gently peel off and discard the foil. When the loaf is just cool enough to handle, use a sharp, non-serrated knife to cut it into 15 slices of equal size. (You might find it easier to turn the loaf over and slice it from the bottom.) Lay the slices flat on the baking sheet and return them to the oven. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Cool for 5 minutes before serving, or cool completely before storing.
Adapted from "4 Ingredients: More Than 400 Quick, Easy, and Delicious Recipes Using 4 or Fewer Ingredients," by Kim McCosker and Rachael Bermingham (Atria Books, 2011).
Tested by Jane Touzalin.
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