French toast is the champion of brunch. Nothing says “weekend” like tucking into crispy triangles of bread dripping with syrup or honey. In France, French toast is referred to as “pain perdu”. It is referred to as “lost bread” because it is a way to reclaim stale or otherwise “lost” bread. The hard bread is softened by dipping it in a mixture of milk and eggs, and then pan-fried in butter. It is served with a dusting of icing sugar and jam or syrup. It is also known as eggy bread, gypsy toast or omelette bread. In France, pain perdu is served as a dessert, a breakfast or an afternoon tea snack.
See my post “New Foodie Movie: French Toast” for info on this South African movie that will be released on 24 April 2015. If you haven’t been to Paris, France, it will feel as if you’ve been after you have seen it through Lise’s eyes!
Be sure to also try Carolié’s recipe for Baked Apple French Toast.
6 large eggs
375 ml milk
2.5 ml vanilla extract
6 slices day old bread, sliced 1 cm thick (sourdough or Brioche works well)
15 g butter (for frying)
syrup to drizzle
icing sugar to dust
fresh seasonal fruit, e.g. blueberries or raspberries
- Pre-heat the oven to 120°C.
- Beat together the eggs, milk and vanilla essence in a mixing bowl. Set it aside.
- Place the bread in a shallow baking dish large enough to hold the bread in a single layer.
- Pour the egg mixture over the bread and soak for 5 to 10 minutes. The soaking time will be determined by die denseness of the bread – the denser the bread, the longer it needs to soak!
- Turn the slices over and soak for about 10 minutes more.
- Heat the butter in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat.
- Fry a few of the bread slices at a time in the pan until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
- Transfer the french toast to a serving dish and keep warm while cooking the remaining slices of bread.
- Keep the french toast warm in oven until ready to serve.
- Serve warm with syrup, a dusting of icing sugar and fresh fruit.