French Toast {Pain Perdu}

When my husband and I first started visiting the US as a young couple, one of our indulgences was enjoying freshly made French Toast at one of our favorite breakfast places in Orlando. So back home in the UK with no French-toast-making restaurant in sight, I made it my mission to come up with a foolproof version of our own we could enjoy on cold Sunday mornings! Though the recipe was originally used to make good use of old stale bread (which is why it’s also known in French as Pain Perdu – lost bread), I get better results with fresh baguette. Over the years I have experimented with evaporated milk, cream, stale bread, fresh bread and every combination in between. This is the final result. Enjoy!

French toast ingredients

Eggs, sugar, salt, Ghee (or butter), cinnamon, vanilla and milk

 

French baguette

Fresh, French baguette slices

 

Batter

Whisk together the eggs, sugar, milk, salt, vanilla and cinnamon

 

Soak bread

Soak bread slices

 

Fry in batches in a heavy skillet

Fry the soaked slices in batches in a 12″ heavy skillet

 

Serve with maple syrup and pecans.

FRENCH TOAST {PAIN PERDU}

  • Difficulty: Super easy
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Ingredients:
6 tablespoons of clarified butter (Ghee) – See notes
2 cups of whole milk at room temperature (so it’s more easily absorbed by the bread)
6 large eggs at room temperature
3 tablespoons of sugar
2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1 fresh French baguette loaf

Ingredients for serving (optional):
½ cup of Maple syrup warmed up
1 tsp of butter
½ cup of unsalted native pecans lightly toasted (they are smaller and packed with flavor)
Confectioners sugar for dusting

Instructions:
Pre-heat the oven to 250°F to keep your cooked slices warm as you work in batches
Whisk the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt together until the sugar is dissolved
Transfer the mixture to a shallow dish and add your slices of bread to soak, turning once until the slices are saturated but not too soggy
Only soak as many slices as will fit into your skillet in a single layer
Melt half of your ghee or butter
Add the soaked bread in a single layer
Cook turning once, until golden brown (1 1/2 to 3 minutes per side)
Clean skillet and repeat with the remaining butter, batter and bread
Keep cooked slices warm in the oven
Serve, sprinkled with confectioners sugar and topped with warmed up real maple syrup

Notes:
The batter can be made ahead and kept at room temperature for up to 1 hour.
Many recipes call for icing sugar – I think these beauties are sweet enough with the maple syrup.
Use denser bread, it will hold its shape better, but of course, white sliced bread works also. Just don’t soak it for long.
Use clarified butter (ghee) if you can instead of normal butter to retain the full buttery flavor but without the inevitable burnt butter solids (As you can see, I ran out of ghee for this recipe)
Clean your skillet in-between batches
There is no substitute for pure maple syrup
Use one egg for every half cup of milk. This will give you a creamier center
I have used this batter recipe successfully with fresh plain white sliced bread, though I prefer the consistency of the baguette. And I prefer to use fresh bread over stale, as this results in a softer toast.

© 2014-2015 Caroline’s Family Kitchen and CarolinesFamilyKitchen.com

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