"Mama, what are we having for dinner?" my son asked me one night as I was slicing into a loaf of stale artisan bread. "Pain perdu" I replied in the best French accent I could muster. "Huh?" was what I heard in return. "Okay, basically I'm making french toast."
The French of course don't call it french toast, they call it pain perdu which means "lost bread". Not wanting to waste a bit of the rustic french bread I made myself, from a mixed starter, and formed by my very own hands - I thought that making it into a delicious eggy bread served with maple syrup was just the thing to do.
Typically a french toast is made with a sliced sour dough bread, fluffy in nature and square in shape. Not mine. It has a thick crust, dense crumb, and an organic shape. In fact, it must be soaked for a good 10 minutes to soften the bread and allow the egg mixture to soak in. And when it is cooked and served hot with butter and syrup ... whoa baby!
3/4 cup milk
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
3/4 to 1 inch slices (not fresh) rustic french or sour dough bread
Whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, salt and cinnamon and place in a shallow baking dish. Place bread slices into egg mixture and let soak for about 10 minutes. Melt butter in skillet set to medium and cook up the bread. Serve with a favorite syrup and sprinkling of powdered sugar.