20 years ago, I was an editorial assistant who walked just 9 blocks to work. Along the way, there was a mysterious bakery I still dream about to this day. I never saw an awning or a name inscribed on the window. Sometimes I could find it, sometimes I couldn’t. Sometimes it was open, sometimes it wasn’t. And sometimes it had the almond toast, and sometimes it didn’t.
The toast was an indulgence. It was a sort of brioche with a thick paste of ambrosial, chewy something or other, with sliced almonds on top. The nameless bakery didn’t even label its goods, so I never knew what it was called. I just called it almond toast.
At some point I ceased to be able to find the bakery, though I firmly believe it’s somewhere else in space and time, bewitching some other young thing. But the search engines of the day were primitive, and I was both shy and busy, and I never did figure out a way to find those almond toasts again.
This year, when Emily Luchetti’s marvelous Fearless Baker came out, I turned to page 251 and there it was: “Almond Morning Bread,” or “Bostock”. And at last, I had a chance to make it this week.
It was, I’m happy to say, every bit as good as I remembered.