Pain Perdu

Pain Perdu

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4
The age-old technique of reviving stale bread slices by dipping them into a milk-egg mixture and frying to a crisp golden brown is known in France as pain perdu (lost bread). The basic recipe has remained relatively unchanged since the ancient Romans served it as a dessert called aliter dulcia (another sweet dish). We know it simply as French toast, a name that the Oxford English Dictionary cites in usage as early as 1660.


  • Melted butter for brushing
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 Tbs. Grand Marnier (optional)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 5 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 8 slices brioche or other egg
      bread, each 1 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup caramel sauce, warmed
  • 6 Tbs. crème fraîche


Preheat a Breville grill by setting the dial halfway between "sandwich" and "sear." Brush the bottom griddle plate with melted butter.

In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, milk, Grand Marnier, salt, orange zest, sugar and vanilla. Working in batches, soak the bread in the egg mixture for 30 seconds per side.

Place the bread on the griddle plate, close the lid and cook until golden and crispy, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and cut each slice in half diagonally. Divide the slices among individual plates. Top each with 2 Tbs. caramel sauce and 1 1/2 Tbs. crème fraîche. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.