Pain Perdu aka French Bread

Here in the States, we call this egg-battered and fried bread “French Toast.” In France, it is known to as “Pain Perdu” (pan per-doo), which literally translates to “Lost Bread.” The term refers to the method in which this bread preparation is made. It was a way to re-use stale, or ‘lost,’ bread. But as you of course know (from surely haven eaten this by now somewhere along the way), this is no longer a recipe reserved for leftover and unwanted bread. I love French Bread. It is by far one of my favorite breakfast/brunch menu items. Heck, I’ve had this for supper once before at a little French café in Los Angeles because I spotted it on the dinner menu. I mean, what is there not to love about an immaculate combination of crisp, sweet, and buttery?

Ingredients
– 2 slices of Challah bread, sliced 3/4 to 1 inch thick
– 1 egg
– 1 tablespoon milk
– 1 teaspoon honey
– 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
– 1 tablespoon butter
– 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
– maple syrup and powdered sugar, for serving

1. Toast the slices of bread in a 300F oven for 10 minutes.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, honey, and cinnamon. Transfer mixture to a wide shallow dish that will accommodate dipping the bread (ie: pie dish).
3. Heat the butter and vegetable oil in a skillet over a medium heat. Dip the bread into the egg mixture, about 20 seconds each side. You want an even coating, but take care not to saturate the bread.
4. Fry the bread until golden brown and crisp; about 2 -3 minutes each side.
5. Serve with maple syrup and a dusting of powdered sugar.
6. Wasn’t that easy? Now go eat!

* I prefer to use Challah bread, but Brioche or a regular white bread works too.
* Lightly toasting, or rather, drying out the bread first in the oven helps reduce sogginess.
* Serve with whipped cream, or cream cheese, or seasonal fruits. It’s your toast!

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