Breakfast, Dessert, Tea time

Pain perdu: the genuine French toasts


It seems French toast is an hit of International hotels breakfast buffet. However, even after having tried many of them out of France, I’ve never appreciated them. I am a very demanding customer regarding French toast. Actually, “Pain perdu” (French toast in French) comes from my childhood: my mother used to do it for my kid snack (“goûter” in French) when I came back from School around 5 PM (we barely eat French toast for breakfast in France). Regarding recipes from my young age, I have an excellent culinary memory. The recipe bellow is the genuine one, the best of all for sure ?

Genuine pain perdu recipe

For 4 servings


  • Preparation: 5 minutes
  • Cooking: 5 minutes
  • Total: 10 minutes


  • 8 slices of sandwich bread (traditionally, we used old bread*)
  • 6.76 oz (20 cl) whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons vanilla sugar (or caster sugar if you don’t have vanilla sugar. In that case add vanilla separately)
  • 3 eggs
  • Icing sugar or liquid honey (optional for decoration)
  • Unsalted butter


  • Beat the eggs together with the sugar and the milk
  • Half the slices of bread (to get triangles). The cutting of bread is not mandatory. However, the bread will be easier to handle if the slices are shorter.
  • Heat a knob of butter in a large pan
  • Dip the slices of bread into the milk. It should be quite fast, otherwise you won’t be able to handle the bread…
  • Brown the slices for about 1 minute on each face over high to medium high heat
  • Sprinkle with icing sugar (or honey) and serve while still warm

Personnally I like cooking the remaining milk in the pan to do a sweet omelette…

Genuine French pain perdu recipe

* What does pain perdu mean?

Pain perdu means “wasted bread” in French. Our grandmothers used to recycle old bread dipping it into milk and eggs. That’s the genesis of the recipe. It means you can also use old bread. If you do it, make sure you deep the bread enough time in the milk. Personally, I prefer not to do it because I always fail: either the bread is not wet enough or it’s too wet and I cannot handle it properly. That’s why I prefer to use fresh bread and I deep it very quickly…


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