French Toast Recipe (Pain Perdu)

French Toast Recipe (Pain Perdu) Recipe

I had some gata bread that had been going stale on the kitchen counter this weekend. In case you don’t know, gata bread is a soft, chewy, Armenian sweet bread that pairs wonderfully with coffee. Given my aversion to waste, I immediately thought it would make the perfect breakfast if I soaked it in a little egg-sugar-milk mixture. It's called pain perdu, which literally translates to "lost bread” ("French toast" in English).

To accompany the French toast, I made a compote de figues, simply "fig sauce". I placed the bread on a bed of crème anglaise and topped it with freshly whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa powder.

You’ll like this so much you’ll find yourself purposely letting bread get a little dry. And it’s not just great at breakfast; French toast also makes a tasty after-school snack for children (goûter in French).


Yields: 6 servings

1 (16-ounce) Gata bread (or any stale bread)
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 cups milk
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon (optional), freshly ground
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, as needed
16 ounces fresh figs, (the quantity varies with the size of the fruit)
2 teaspoons corn syrup
1 teaspoon brandy extract
juice of half a lemon
½ cup crème anglaise
1 cup whipped cream (optional)
2 teaspoons cocoa powder (optional)


Making fig sauce:

Quarter the figs. In a small saucepan, melt ¼ cup sugar without any water over high heat. It's important to watch the sugar carefully; as soon as the edges of the pan start caramelizing, immediately lower the heat to medium-low.

 Gently jiggle the saucepan in circles. Do not use a spoon! Lower the heat to the lowest setting when there are only a few remaining non-caramelized pieces. Don't let the sugar get dark brown or you'll get an unpleasant burnt taste. When all the sugar is an amber color, remove from the heat, pause for about a minute, then add the figs. Stir frequently with a wooden spoon. Return to the stove using the lowest setting and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the corn syrup, 1/8 teaspoon salt and lemon juice.

Making French toast:

Cut the bread into 12 slices.

For the custard, beat the egg yolks in a mixing bowl with 3/4 cup granulated sugar until you get a pale yellow foam; the texture of the egg yolks will be thicker. Add milk, salt and ground cinnamon.

Soak each slice of bread in the French toast batter.

Place a non-stick pan over medium heat. Grease it with a little butter (count about 2 tablespoons per 4 slices of bread). Melt it and wait until it's nutty and fragrant. Place 3 to 4 slices of soaked bread and cook for about 2 minutes. Flip them and cook for another minute.

Serve on a bed of crème anglaise and top with figs sauce, whipped cream and a dust of cocoa powder (if used).

Serve with a cup of Vietnamese coffee.


French Toast Recipe with Picture


You could also flavor the French toast batter with 2 teaspoons of orange blossom water instead of cinnamon, so it tastes less eggy.

You can pair French toast with powdered sugar, vanilla sugar, butter, fresh fruit, chocolate shavings or syrup.

You can find Gata bread in most Middle Eastern markets.

I use McCormick brandy extract. If you don't have any, you can use the real thing or eliminate it entirely.

With the remaining fig sauce, I added freshly cracked pepper and served it with roasted chicken breasts.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on October 3, 2011.


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