Alice’s pain perdu: authentic French toast recipe

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Close up of authentic French toast with cream, almonds and fruit

An authentic French Toast recipe, by Bellbird’s French co-owner Alice, made with authentic French bread… It doesn’t get any more authentic than that!

Why French toast?

Not only does French Toast make a delicious weekend breakfast, it’s also an excellent way to use up any bread that’s going a bit stale. In fact, this French Toast recipe works best with bread that is a few days past its best state. This is because dry bread will better absorb the custard mixture, meaning your French Toast will be sensationally moist and flavoured all the way through. If you only have fresh bread on hand, you could slice it and leave the slices out overnight (if you’re really prepared), or simply pop the slices in the oven on low for a short time.

Who needs another recipe for French toast?

The secret to Alice’s authentic French Toast is the addition of delicious flavourings to the custard mixture. Cinnamon is typically used in many recipes, however we suggest trying out adding vanilla, orange blossom water, lemon or orange zest, Cointreau or even Triple sec. Inspiring additions are a great way to keep a classic dish exciting. If you have any other suggestions, we’d love to hear from you!

Now without further adieu (see what we did there 😉), here is the recipe we’ve all been waiting for!

Alice’s Pain Perdu (Authentic French Toast) 

For 3-4 people:

  • 4-6 thick slices of white bread (our batard or baguette would work well here) or brioche, preferably a bit stale so it soaks the egg mix better.
  • 1 cup of milk (250ml)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2-3 Tbsp sugar
  • Optional: I personally like to add some flavouring such as vanilla, orange blossom water, orange zest, Cointreau or Triple sec, cinnamon… You can be creative here!
  1. Whisk together eggs, milk, sugar and flavouring.
  2. Place the slices of bread in a wide plate and pour egg mixture over them. Allow to soak completely (if using sourdough bread, it will need to soak for longer. You could even leave it soaking overnight in the fridge – just be careful because it will be very fragile in the morning).
  3. Heat up some butter in a wide pan over medium heat. Fry the slices for a few minutes each side until golden brown. Serve immediately or keep warm in the oven until you’ve cooked them all.

I like to have my French toast with vanilla whipped cream, loads of maple syrup, caramelised banana, fresh or poached fruit, toasted sliced almonds, crispy bacon…

Give this recipe a try this weekend and be sure to tag us on socials in any photos of your culinary masterpiece. We’re on Instagram and Facebook: @bellbirdbakery

Love this recipe? Check out our hot cross bun pudding.

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