It's the weekend morning and perhaps you're up early with a cup of coffee and the journal. There are few things that feel more like home than a leisurely weekend breakfast or brunch with family. One of our favorite staples is pain perdu, or “lost bread,” which is the name for French toast in France. The French name pain perdu perhaps refers to how the fresh breads in France quickly become stale – or lost. This is one of those recipes that is just as delicious as it is useful in using up leftover bread, which in France is simply too good to waste!
While you can really use any type of bread and have lovely results, pain perdu in France is traditionally made with brioche or pain de mie, which are both slightly sweet breads often made with a touch of sugar. Check in your local bakery for brioche for the real pain perdu experience at home. Top with fresh fruit for a beautiful and tasty garnish!
Recipe for Pain Perdu – French Toast
For 6 people
20 cl milk (a little more than ¾ of a cup)
80 cl cream (about 3 ½ cups)
5 egg yolks
140 g caster sugar (superfine sugar) (.62 cups)
50 g brown sugar (1/4 cup)
100 g butter (3.5 ounces)
1 loaf of unsliced bread like brioché
1. In a bowl, mix the milk, cream and the caster sugar. Add the egg yolks and blend well with a hand mixer. Put in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F. Cut the bread in slices 2-3 cm thick.
3. Pour the egg mixture into a deep dish and place the slices of bread in the mixture, turning to coat and let them soak up the mixture for about 30 minutes.
4. Melt the butter in a nonstick pan over low heat. Add the brown sugar and let it slightly caramelize before adding the slices of bread. Cook the slices of bread, turning when ready until both sides are caramelized.
5. Remove the slices of bread from the pan and place them in a large oven safe dish lined with parchment paper. Bake in the preheated oven for 5-6 minutes.
6. Serve right away with fresh fruit, powdered sugar or your favorite toppings.
Photo Credits: Pain perdu by Kristen Taylor