Saturday, November 13, 2010

A la recherche du pain perdu

A long, long time ago, my friend Fanny made me pain perdu, or French toast as we Americans call it, in her Parisian kitchen. I had eaten plenty of French toast, but this was different. I asked her recently how she made it, and she said it was pretty improvised, like any good French toast! Knowing how to make something without a recipe is like having a trick up your sleeve. In the fog of morning, before coffee is even made, a few standard ingredients get mixed together and utter deliciousness comes out. The right bread, thickly sliced, beautiful organic eggs and milk, and that's it? Sitting down to a plate of this makes morning special, and with the holidays at our doorstep, I think we all need a little bit of just that.

Now that I'm living in Italy, in the absence of brioche, I've become fond of Panettone, Italian holiday bread. It's delicious and eggy like a challah or a brioche, but apparently very difficult and time consuming to make. I happily bought one at the fair-trade store, with no preservatives and only good things inside. My personal preference is panettone with raisins. The most traditional type is made with candied fruit, which I am not fond of. Raisins are the perfect addition.

Panettone French Toast
feeds 3-4
Cut 6 thick slices of panettone
Beat 4 eggs and mix with about 3/4 cup of whole milk
Soak the panettone in the liquid for 10 minutes per side.
Fry in butter until golden brown on both sides.
In a preheated oven (350 f or 180 c), bake for about 5-7 minutes just to make sure the egg cooks through. Don't leave it in for too long, since you don't want to dry out the toast.
Serve with real maple syrup.


  1. so yum!! one of my most favorite breakfasts...
    got to enjoy my petit pain yesterday.....still good after its long journey. Enjoyed pics of Roman and you at the park as well...missing you all!

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  3. MMM we call it "pane francese" (french toast) :)

  4. oh ! avec du Panetone... quelle idée ! j'ai envie d'y goûter maintenant. J'aime bien me dire que malgré tout ce temps qui nous a séparé, tu n'as jamais oublié le goût de mes pains perdus.


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