Authentic Pain Perdu (aka French Toast)

This is a back to basic recipe. Not even a recipe. Just a reminder that you can make delicious food with the most humble ingredients: bread, eggs, milk. Hopefully it’ll inspire you to step up your game at breakfast or what us French like to have for tea: “goûter”.

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First, I want to put a few things out there.
1. French toast, or “Pain Perdu” is traditionally eaten in the afternoon, at “goûter” time. Although I love having it for breakfast, it is something I believe was invented by Americans who cannot help indulging every minute of the day. (no offence)
2. Authentic French toasts do NOT call for CREAM! Argh! They are a treat, I know, but it’s not an excuse to make them heavy and richer than they need be. Always remember that cooking is about balance and trust me, you don’t need cream to make your Pain Perdu delicious.
3. Do not use brioche, please? “Pain perdu” literally means “lost bread”. It’s stale bread, old baguette: bread that’s going to absorb lots of milk and yet hold its shape. Plus, you don’t want a sweet bread, the custardy mix will take care of the flavour. So forget brioche will you?

Now that we’ve cleared this out, let’s get to the good stuff. The real stuff! Pain Perdu and Raspberry compote.

For two people, you will need:

-1/2 baguette, sliced in 1inch slices
-1 egg
-1 1/2 cup whole milk
-2 tbsp sugar
-pinch of salt
-1 tbsp vanilla extract/vanilla bean paste
-big knobs of butter
-1 cup raspberries
-2 tbsp raspberry jam
(Note: I mix fresh raspberries and raspberry jam to have the right amount of both tartness and sweetness)

 

  1. Start by making your compote: in a saucepan, place your raspberries and raspberry jam in a sauce pan with 1/4 cup water and cook it on a medium-low heat until you have a nice compote.
  2. Meanwhile, in a rather flat bowl/soup bowl, beat your egg and mix it with the sugar, pinch of salt, vanilla and milk.
  3. Grab as many slices of bread as you can fit in the bowl at once and soak one side for at least 2 minutes, then flip to soak the other side.
  4. While the bread is soaking, place a frying pan on medium heat and melt a knob of butter in it.
  5. Once your bread slices are soaked, place them in the frying pan and cook them for about 2min on each side or until they’re nice and golden.
  6. Repeat until you finish the bread, but remember to wipe the butter after cooking each batch of bread (or it will burn) and replace it with new cold butter.
  7. Serve or stack the pieces of bread and top them with your compote.

 

Hope you enjoy them! Post a picture on isntagram and tag me in it @powlx !

 

xxx

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