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Pain Perdu has a crisp caramelized exterior with a rixh custardy interior that's redolent of butter and vanilla.

Pain Perdu (French Toast)

Pain Perdu (pronounced pan pare-due) literally means "lost bread", referring to this dishes' magical ability to rescue stale bread that would otherwise be lost. It's the original French Toast, and with a crisp buttery exterior and a soft custardy interior Pain Perdu makes for a sinful Sunday morning brunch.
Course Brunch
Cuisine Best, French
Level Beginner
Main Ingredient Bread, Dairy, Egg
Diet Pescatarian, Vegetarian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 day 20 minutes
Servings 2 slices
Calories 728 kcal


for custard

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Armagnac
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

for Pain Perdu

  • 2 slices batard (sliced 2-inches thick)
  • 2 tablespoons cultured unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour


  1. Make the custard for the Pain Perdu but whisk together the milk, heavy cream, eggs, sugar, Armagnac, and vanilla extract until the mixture is completely homogenous.
    The custard for Pain Perdu includes cream, eggs, armagnac and vanilla.
  2. Place the bread in in a deep dish or tray that is just large enough to hold the bread in a single layer and cover with the custard. If your dish is too large the custard won't soak into the bread completely. If you don't have a suitable dish, you can use a sealable plastic bag and press out the excess air. Cover and refrigerate for a day, turning the bread over a few times in between.
    Soak thick slices of french bread in custard overnight to make the best Pain Perdu.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 C). Remove the soaked Pain Perdu from the refrigerator and flip one more time.
  4. Mix 1 tablespoon of sugar with 1 tablespoon of flour and sprinkle half the mixture onto the tops of the bread using a small sieve(such as a tea strainer) to ensure the flour gets sprinkled evenly.
    Dusting the Pain Perdu with flour and sugar before frying in butter ensures that's crisp.
  5. Add the butter to a cast-iron skillet and heat over medium heat.
  6. When the butter has melted and the foaming subsides, add the bread with flour-sprinkled side down.
    Pan fry the Pain Perdu in butter first before putting the pan in the oven.
  7. Dust the Pain Perdu with the remaining flour/sugar mixture and fry until it's well browned on one side (about 5 minutes). If your heat is up too high it will burn, so if it looks like it's browning too quickly, turn the heat down.
  8. Flip the bread over and put the pan in the oven.
    Golden crust on thick cut Pain Perdu (French Toast).
  9. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Keep a close eye on it as the sugar will burn easily. You want the surface of your Pain Perdu to be very dark, but not burnt.
Nutrition Facts
Pain Perdu (French Toast)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 728 Calories from Fat 369
% Daily Value*
Fat 41g63%
Saturated Fat 23g115%
Cholesterol 303mg101%
Sodium 450mg19%
Potassium 276mg8%
Carbohydrates 68g23%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 29g32%
Protein 17g34%
Vitamin A 1595IU32%
Calcium 164mg16%
Iron 3.4mg19%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.