French Toast or Pain Perdu

French toast has never really been my thing. I’ve always associated it with the pre-made stuff you find in the freezer section and that people drench in (most often fake) maple syrup in the U.S. But after my husband was complaining of eating too many egg dishes for breakfast, I decided to switch things up a bit and try my hand at it. In Croatia, we have our own version of french toast (which will be the subject of a future post), but it’s not the same. The classic french toast, or pain perdu (literally, lost bread), that I wanted to try was a tad on the sweet side, but not what I would say tasted like “diabetes” (i.e. too sweet). Some recipes call for using specific breads (like brioche), however you can use just about anything, as long as it is on the stale side. In fact, the first time I played around with this recipe, I used a brown bread and it came out wonderfully. For a healthier version, you can substitute the heavy cream with your choice of milk, but the creamier the better. Why not try almond milk for some nice flavor and then substitute almond extract for the vanilla?

  • 1 cup of heavy cream (or your choice of substitute like cow’s or almond milk)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Slices of stale or heavier bread (the amount will depend on the size and shape of the bread)
  • butter (for the pan)

In a flatter bowl or pie pan, whisk together the first six ingredients. Place the first slice of bread into the egg mixture and let soak for a minute or two. Flip.

Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the first slice and cook for about two minutes or so, or until it turns golden brown. Flip and cook the other side for another two minutes. While this slice is cooking, soak the next slice in the mixture.

Serve immediately (and warm). You can add various fruit toppings, yogurt, etc., but I think it tastes perfect as is. 🙂

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