Here is the French toast recipe by François Perret the Pastry Chef of the Ritz Paris! French Toast, also known as “Pain Perdu” (meaning lost bread) or “Brioche Perdu” in French, is a delicious recipe, easy to make, and perfect for breakfast or brunch.
The traditional French recipe for French toasts only includes bread, eggs, milk, a bit of sugar, and butter to fry. In France, French toast is generally served as a sweet dish and toasts may be topped with sugar (often powdered sugar), chocolate, butter, fruit, jam, or honey. A variety of bread can be used, from plain white loaf to brioche, or challah bread.
This dish is a great way to use up all the bread from the days before that had gone stale! Dipping the leftover bread in a mixture of eggs and milk and frying it on a pan brought it back to life and made for a substantial and very filling dish to feed a family.
Is French Toast Actually French?
The origins of French toast are not entirely clear, and the story isn’t as straightforward as it seems. The earliest known reference to French toast is in the Apicius, a collection of Latin recipes dating from the Roman Empire. In the Apicius, a recipe described as “Aliter Dulcia”, meaning “another sweet dish”, prescribes to “slice fine white bread, remove the crust, and break it into rather large pieces. Soak in milk and beaten egg, fry in oil, cover with honey, and serve.”
The trace of the same recipe is found in the 15th century at the court of Henri V where the “lost bread,” as it was then called, was a hit. And it was not until the 17th century that the term “French Toast” appeared in England, in a book called The Accomplisht Cook.
One of the most convincing explanations is that French toast would have been called “French” because calling it French made the dish seem fancier. There’s no chance that “lost bread” could have worked. The name “French toast” sounds good and the French adjective gives it a high-quality connotation. And since the dish was successful and the recipe was easy, the name spread.
Classic French Toast Recipe
I’ve been making this classic French toast recipe for as long as I can remember. What I love about this recipe is that if you have any leftover mixture, you can bake it like a crème brulée. Here is the link to the recipe video.
French Toast Recipe by François Perret
- 4 thick slices brioche
- 140 g whole milk
- 1 vanilla pods
- 5 egg yolks
- 55 g brown sugar
- 400 g single cream 33% fat
- 10 g french butter
- 1 piece of chocolate
- Bring the milk and the vanilla to a simmer in a saucepan, cover, let infuse for 10/15 minutes.
- Whisk the egg yolks and brown sugar. Then, pour the milk over the egg mixture. Pour everything over the single cream and mix again.
- Lay the brioche slices in a single layer in a shallow dish and pour preparation over them. Allow to soaking for 1 hour in the fridge.
- Heat one tablespoon of brown sugar in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat to make a caramel. Carefully lift the slices of the soaked brioche out of the dish and add to the frying pan. Add a little bit of butter to prevent the brioches from sticking. Fry for several minutes on each side, until golden and crisp. Place the slices of brioche directly on a serving plate and grate chocolate on top.
Et voilà! I hope you’ll enjoy this French toast recipe as much as I do! If you do this recipe let me know what you think in the comment section below.