Pane Tosto: The Maillard Reaction At Its Finest!- Gluten Free Suggestions

Pane tosto, is a wonderful treat and comfort food. It is totally customizable and even helps use up bread that is going stale! This dish can be eaten at all times of the day and made into a variety of dishes. Say you are having guests come over and you need a quick appetizer. Pane Tosto is a great starter, topped with a delicious dip or cold cuts. The firmness helps hold the toppings really well and the satisfying crunch and sweet subtle flavor, will make all your guests happy! Pane tosto is often found during breakfast, tea time, lunch and dinner. Even as a light snack, this is a great treat, especially with some cheese. You can only make this wonderful treat by using the Maillard Reaction. The Maillard reaction is a chemical reaction between an amino acid and a reducing sugar, usually requiring heat. It is vitally important in the preparation or presentation of many types of food, as a form of nonenzymatic browning.  This reaction was named after Louis-Camille Maillard, who first described it in the 1910s, while attempting to reproduce biological protein synthesis. This reaction is used in a variety of foods and products. Examples aside from today’s recipe: Steaks, biscuits, tater tots, onions, coffee, syrup.

I can’t say enough, for my love of this chemical reaction. It is the centerpiece to the majority of what I cook and makes everything taste better! Pane Tosto, is one of my favorite comfort foods! Without further ado, my favorite recipe of all time: Pane Tosto


2 slices of bread (your favorite type)

*Gluten sensitivity, please make sure you are using gluten-free bread


A mechanical device that contains electrically heated wire coils


Frying Pan with or without butter



Optional toppings:

Butter, soy butter, jam, tuna fish, cold cuts, egg salad, nutella, etc

Directions With Mechanical Device:

  1. Place mechanical device on a sturdy counter top, in close proximity to an electrical outlet.
  2. Please make sure that children do not use this device, unattended and keep away any metal utensils, while device is plugged into electrical outlet.
  3. Water should also be far away from device when in use.
  4. With safety measures noted, plug device into electrical outlet
  5. Your device should have several dials with numbers.  The lowest number allow for the least amount of the Maillard reaction, while the highest number causes the most amount of this reaction to occur.
  6. Place the two slices of bread in the slots at the top of the device.
  7. There is a lever, along side of the device. Push this lever down. The lever will remain down until the reaction is complete. The slices of bread will also be lowered into the device at this time.
  8. Once the maillard reaction has been completed, the lever will automatically pop up, along with the slices of bread
  9. Using your fingers or special wooden tongs, retrieve your bread from the device. If the slices are difficult to obtain, unplug device and wait for it to cool before attempting to retrieve your bread.
  10. If all goes well with the reaction, your bread slices will have been converted into a browned, crispy and crunchy composition.
  11. Feel free to now eat your creation as is or with your optional toppings.

Directions With Frying Pan:

  1. Place frying pan on stove and heat on medium
  2. Place slice of bread on pan (with or without butter) and let it sit, undisturbed for at least 1 – 2 minutes.
  3. Check to see if browning has occurred
  4. If the bread has been browned (to your taste), flip over bread and repeat with other side
  5. Using butter will make this reaction go faster and add extra flavor to your bread
  6. Eat as is or with your favorite toppings

Directions With Oven: (good for when you are making more than 2-4 slices using the Maillard Reaction)

  1. Heat oven to 350 F
  2. Arrange slices of bread on a large baking sheet
  3. Place baking sheet in oven and let bread slices bake for at least 10 minutes
  4. Check to see if bread has been browned to your satisfaction
  5. Flip if necessary and bake for an additional 5 minutes

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Filed under Appetizer, Breads, Breakfast, Desserts, Gluten Free/ Gluten Free Suggestion, Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Snacks

6 responses to “Pane Tosto: The Maillard Reaction At Its Finest!- Gluten Free Suggestions

  1. This is almost molecular gastronomy, too complex for the novice chef, best left for professionals and scientists:)

  2. Chrissy

    Cute April Fool’s recipe lol 🙂

  3. I have never even heard of this, but it reminds me of a gourmet tea sandwich. I know it’s different but it really does look delicious. I’m not a big bread eater as you know, but I would definitely try making these. I’m sooo happy you’re back girl 🙂 *HUGS*

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