Classic Pain Perdu: French Toast Reborn

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Pain Perdu, literally translated to “lost bread” in French, is anything but lost! This delightful breakfast dish transforms stale bread into a rich, custard-soaked treat. It’s a fantastic way to avoid food waste and create a satisfying and flavorful meal.


Pain Perdu
Pain Perdu

4 slices of day-old bread (brioche, challah, or french bread work well)

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup of milk (whole milk or a non-dairy alternative)
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • Butter, for cooking

  • Instructions:

    1. Prepare the Custard: In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and salt.
    2. Soak the Bread: Dip each slice of bread into the custard mixture, letting it soak for 20-30 seconds per side. Be careful not to over-saturate the bread, or it will become mushy.
    3. Heat the Pan: Melt a pat of butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
    4. Cook the Pain Perdu: Once the butter is melted and slightly bubbly, carefully add the soaked bread slices to the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through.
    5. Serve Immediately: Plate your Pain Perdu and enjoy it warm. You can dust it with powdered sugar, drizzle it with maple syrup, or top it with fresh fruit for an extra touch of sweetness.

    Nutrition Facts (per serving)

    Calories: 250-300 (depending on the bread and toppings used)

  • Fat: 10-15g
  • Carbohydrates: 30-40g
  • Protein: 10g
  • Sugar: 10-15g

  • Please note: This is an estimate, and the actual nutritional value will vary depending on the specific ingredients you use.


    Pain Perdu is a simple yet satisfying breakfast option. It’s a great way to use up leftover bread, and it’s endlessly customizable with different toppings and flavors.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. What kind of bread is best for Pain Perdu?

  • Stale bread works best, as it absorbs the custard better. Brioche, challah, and french bread are all popular choices, but you can experiment with other types of bread as well.

  • 2. Can I use a different type of milk?

  • Yes! You can use whole milk, skim milk, almond milk, oat milk, or any other milk alternative you prefer.

  • 3. How can I make Pain Perdu more decadent?

  • For a richer flavor, you can add a splash of heavy cream or rum to the custard mixture. Additionally, you can top your Pain Perdu with sliced bananas, chocolate chips, or whipped cream.

  • 4. Can I make Pain Perdu ahead of time?

  • You can prepare the soaked bread slices ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator overnight. Simply cook them as usual the next morning.

  • 5. Is Pain Perdu just a breakfast dish?

  • Not at all! Pain Perdu can be enjoyed for breakfast, brunch, or even as a light dessert.