Pain Perdu…ooh la la!

pain perdu

Pain perdu with warm maple syrup. Perfect for after Round 1 of shoveling.

 OK, some kids out there have been making a lot of snow ghost pies, because this winter thing is not slowing down! As we head into snow day #2 of the week, I feel it necessary to post one more cozy breakfast food, just because. Yes, this has been a very carb-heavy spell on Bring It, and I promise, the green is coming. But for now we still need some comfort food to get us over the snowbank and into spring.

So, voila! Here is another episode of overnight breakfast brilliance (with a fancy French name at no extra charge.) This came from Gourmet circa 2003. Imagine yourself at a friend’s house for a weekend. Big dinner Saturday night. As you are cleaning up afterwards, finishing a glass of wine, take one of the dishes you have just washed and instead of putting it away, butter it (with the nice soft butter that’s lying around), lay the uneaten baguette slices in it, and whip up the super easy custard to pour over it. Then stash the whole thing in the fridge. Nobody even noticed what you were doing and the next morning, Ta da! Pain perdu. AKA baked French toast for those of us on this side of the pond.

If you are not at a friend’s house having a big dinner party you can still whip this up and be a hero in your own home. Use whatever bread you have (you know, love the one you’re with), and don’t be afraid to use the rest of that Maple Oat Breakfast Bread for a double shot of maple.

Pain Perdu


1 – 13 to 14 inch long loaf of soft-crust supermarket Italian bread (without seeds)
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) softened unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1 2/3 cups whole milk
1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp sugar
Handful of chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)


Cut 12 1-inch thick diagonal slices from bread (don’t use ends).

Butter 1 side of each slice and arrange slices, buttered sides up, in 1 layer in a buttered 13 by 9 inch glass baking dish, squeezing them in slightly to fit.

Whisk together eggs, milk and 1/4 tsp. salt until combined well, then pour evenly over bread.

Chill, covered until bread has absorbed all of custard – at least one hour and up to 1 day, depending on bread.

In the morning:  Take pan out of the refrigerator to bring  to room temperature and preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Sprinkle bread with 3 tablespoons of sugar. Sprinkle on chopped nuts, if using.

Bake, uncovered in middle of oven until bread is puffed, and top is golden – about 20 to 25 minutes. Serve immediately with topping and syrup of choice (as long as it involves real maple).

Pain Perdu

A breakfast puzzle? Main non! C’est pain perdu. This batch was made with maple oat breakfast bread.


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