This French Toast is as French as it gets. Pain Perdu literally translates to “lost bread” in French. This refers to the loss of freshness in the bread. But it gets another shot at life in this totally gourmand/gluttonous dessert.
The French obviously consume a lot of baguette and as a result they often have leftovers. When this is the case, instead of wasting the bread, they make french toast. And they don’t serve it for breakfast, like we do in America, they serve it for dessert or in accompaniment to crepes during soirée crepes. Yep, literally dinner parties with crepes. Why did I move back??
The American recipe is similar: stale sliced bread dunked into a mixture of eggs and milk and then cooked on a skillet and served with maple syrup.
The French use baguette, as opposed to sliced sandwich bread, and they take one extra step after the cooking process: smothering the slices of bread in sugar until fully coated. I find it much more satisfying then the American version because the baguette crust gets chewy in the soaking/cooking process. Then you don’t even need maple syrup…although I’m sure it’s not bad. 😉
Fabien laughed when he caught me watching him smother a sparkling sugar encrusted slice of french toast with Nutella. That must have been the moment I fell in love with him. We had a soirée crepes with his entire family. I didn’t speak French at the time but I didn’t need to that whole night. My expressions and pure joy was enough for them to know, I was very happy. And loved them. We ate a mountain of pain perdu and crêpes for dinner. It was exceptional. The centerpiece on the table was a tray that had a variety of jams and confiture, Nutella, chantilly (whipped cream), and more sugar. We drank cider from wine glasses. Needless to say, it remains one of my favorite memories. See the pictures from that night below.