Alas, no nihonryouri this time. I’ve got outlines for some Jap food blog entries in my head, but right now, I felt like sharing one of my favorite breakfast dishes.
Mainly since I just finished eating it, and I realized that I haven’t updated this bloody thing for two months. Oops.
Anyhow….pain perdu. If you no speaka ze French, it means “lost bread”. As in, bread that’s gone stale, but is still more or less edible. And, if you don’t speak French, it’s pronounced “pan perdue”.
You might be familiar with a dish called “French toast”; if so, then prepare yourself for a revelation – this is pretty much the same thing.
Yes, French toast was invented by the French. Who would have guessed?
Sadly, I didn’t think of taking any pictures until I was finished. Because I was hungry. Because I hadn’t eaten anything since about 1900 hrs on Saturday. BUT, I did have the presence of mind to snap a pic before I snarfed it all down, so that’s something, I guess.
Now that the obligatory bad jokes are out of the way, on with the show.
You will need:
1/2 cup milk
pinch of salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
6 thick slices of day old French bread (staler bread is fine as long as you can slice it)
3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp vegetable oil
powdered sugar (optional)
In a mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and allspice. (I’ve found that putting the egg mixture into a large baking dish will make the next couple of steps a lot easier.)
Slice the bread into thick slices, at least 1-inch thick and add to the egg mixture.
Toss the slices until all the mixture has been absorbed into the bread. Depending on how stale the bread is this may take from 5 to 10 minutes.
In a large non-stick skillet, over medium heat, very lightly brown the slices in the butter and oil for about 2 minutes per side.
Transfer to a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F. for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes remove, turn over and put back in the oven for another 5 minutes to brown the other side.
After 10 minutes on one side and 5 on the other the custard should be cooked on the inside, and the French toast will be crisp on the outside. If it looks like it needs more time cook it longer, but be careful not to cooked very dark as the egg custard may become bitter.
If desired, sprinkle powered sugar on top before serving.
Obviously, I found this recipe somewhere (online, I think), and adapted it slightly to my own prefences. YMMV.