Pain Perdu a.k.a French Toast

Why French women don’t get fat – Flavours from France…

LSD is very excited to feature our first ” From around the world” food story. This comes from a French woman’s kitchen who is originally from Lyon in France, but now living in the food capital of Australia, Melbourne! Read on as she shares her passion for all things French!!


“Mangez bien, riez souvent, aimez beaucoup”
“Eat well, laugh often, love abundantly”

Melissa’s story

“I think secretly everyone in the world wants to be French. Don’t believe me? Well then why are so many things labelled as “French”. French fries, French kisses, French dressing, French stick, French door fridges.

The idea of French people inventing the amorous kissing style was ok, but what the hell is a French door fridge? Obviously, in France we don’t describe things as being French: a French kiss is just a kiss, French stick is a baguette, French fries (which, by the way, have been invented in Belgium!) are just “frites” which translates as “fried” or “fried potatoes”. As for French dressing, I’m guessing it refers to our “vinaigrette”.

Anyway, back to the recipe I am about to share.  What people around the world call “French toast” has a very different name in France. We call it “pain perdu” which literally translates to “lost bread”, but basically means stale bread. The recipe was invented back in the days where wasting food in general and a piece of bread in particular was not conceivable. People would soak their stale bread in milk and egg mixture then fry it to make it enjoyable. The earliest reference of this recipe dates from the 4th century in Rome! Another myth about French stuff that collapses!

But for the sake of this post, lets pretend that French toasts are really French and that I’m about to give you a very traditional recipe from my dear country that I got from my mum!”

Ingredients: 5          Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2
  • 1/2 baguette of stale bread
  • Two cups of milk
  • Two large eggs
  • butter and oil for frying
  • raw sugar for dusting
Pour the milk in a bowl or shallow plate and whisk the eggs in another one. Cut your baguette in half and then open it length wise, making 4 pieces altogether.Soak the bread in the milk first, making sure it’s getting soft and soggy. Press the bread to remove the extra milk. Now soak the milky bread in the egg mixture, and make sure the bread is well covered.

Warm a pan on medium heat with butter and oil (the oil will prevent the butter to burn too quickly) and place the pieces of bread on the crust side. Cook it for 2-3 minutes or until golden then flip them on the other side for 1-2 minutes or until golden.

If worried about calories, you can strain the bread on paper towel and then place on a plate with raw sugar on top (but if you’re worried about calories, you shouldn’t eat French stuff in the first place! Finally, its not traditional at all and you won’t be judged if you top your bread with maple syrup and pieces of crispy bacon!

Bon appétit!