Pain perdu (real French toast)

Pain Perdu

I first came across this dish at Landmarc in Tribeca. It’s somewhere between “French” toast and bread pudding and with a caramelized buttery exterior and a custardy interior it makes for a sinful Sunday morning brunch.

I used some good sandwich bread this morning (pictured), but this really works best with a crusty baguette. If custard dipped, butter fried bread isn’t quite rich enough for you, try putting some crisp bacon on top and drizzle maple syrup over that during its last few minutes in the oven.

2 pieces of baguette or other firm bread about 4″ x 3″ x 2″ each

3/4 C whole milk
1/4 C cream
1/4 C sugar
1 extra large egg
1 tsp vanilla

2 Tbs butter

The night before you want to eat this, whisk the milk, cream, sugar, egg and vanilla together until smooth. Put the bread in a large ziplock bag and pour in the custard mixture. Make sure the bread is well coated then squeeze out as much of the air from the bag as you can (without squashing the bread) and seal the bag. Put it in the fridge and turn it over once after a few hours.

The next morning, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Then heat an oven proof pan large enough to accommodate both pieces of bread over medium heat. Drop the butter in and let it melt.

Take the bread out of the bag and place it in the pan. Once it’s brown on that side, turn it to another side. Depending on how many sides your bread has, repeat until all flat surfaces of your bread is browned.

Pop it in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the middle of the bread reads 170 degrees. You can also tell if it’s done or not by cutting a little slit into the middle of the bread and squeezing, if liquid custard mixture comes out it’s not done.

Give it an ample dusting of powdered sugar and serve with a wedge of lemon or some maple syrup.

  • http://asweetfantasy.blogspot.com/ Tarah

    Hm, interesting. Seems just like a bread pudding. Looks delicious, and anything thats like a bread pudding I’m all for it. :]

  • http://asweetfantasy.blogspot.com/ Tarah

    Hm, interesting. Seems just like a bread pudding. Looks delicious, and anything thats like a bread pudding I’m all for it. :]

  • http://www.fairycakeheaven.blogspot.com/ Rachel@fairycakeheaven

    oooooooooooooo french toast but better!!! i can hear Sunday morning calling!

  • http://www.fairycakeheaven.blogspot.com Rachel@fairycakeheaven

    oooooooooooooo french toast but better!!! i can hear Sunday morning calling!

  • http://pondrings.com/ Evan

    one thing i’ll always miss about new york is the pain perdu at landmarc in tribeca — maybe i’ll try it myself now!

  • http://pondrings.com Evan

    one thing i’ll always miss about new york is the pain perdu at landmarc in tribeca — maybe i’ll try it myself now!

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  • http://wanderluck.wordpress.com/ Kate

    Marc,

    never been to landmarc, but I tried this recipe and was delighted! There’s a post on my blog about it.

    Thanks for sharing it!

    Kate

  • http://wanderluck.wordpress.com/ Kate

    Marc,

    never been to landmarc, but I tried this recipe and was delighted! There’s a post on my blog about it.

    Thanks for sharing it!

    Kate

  • http://janetching.wordpress.com/ Janet

    Looks yummy, want to try it one day. This also reminds me when I was in UK, they have something called Eggy Bread, just by soaking in whisked egg and fry in a pan, then sprinkle some sugar and serve. Boarding school stuff therefore not so sophisticated.

  • http://janetching.wordpress.com Janet

    Looks yummy, want to try it one day. This also reminds me when I was in UK, they have something called Eggy Bread, just by soaking in whisked egg and fry in a pan, then sprinkle some sugar and serve. Boarding school stuff therefore not so sophisticated.

  • Anthony

    I thought it would need some rum or brandy to replicate Landmarc.

  • Anthony

    I thought it would need some rum or brandy to replicate Landmarc.

  • noFoofarawPlease

    When I saw this post the first time, I jumped for joy! You see, in Hong Kong they sell these in some of the french-ish bakeries, but they call it “Wood Bread.” A friend of mine and I would take special trips on the mini-buses just to go get a glorious wood bread, and the heavy thunk of it dropping onto my tray was always so satisfying. It was what all french breads before it had aspired to be, but never imagined possible! When I tried to google it, all you come across are travel journals of others foreigners talking about how when you go to Hong Kong, get the wood bread, because it's the only time they've ever seen it. So Thank You,

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  • Andrew

    When you leave it overnight, it just turns into a gross mush by morning. Or at least mine did. Is this what’s supposed to happen? How do I stop this from happening in the future?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Sorry to hear it didn’t work out for you. What kind of bread did you use? This won’t work with regular sandwich bread. You need to use a baguette or other firm bread with a crust that can hold up to an overnight soak.

  • Elleanor Eng

    I picked up a fresh baguette and I only let it sit an hour or so, since I was pressed for time. It was delicious, fluffy, and creamy in a mild but completely satiating way. I needed a higher heat than I expected to brown the outsides with a cast iron skillet. :) I continually love your website.

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