The French call french toast ‘pain perdu’ – or lost bread – which is clearly a superior name for the breakfast favorite. I tend to buy fresh bread fairly infrequently since I’m not a sandwich person and my Hello Kitty toaster is more decorative then functional. I hate to use a few slices and then see it go to waste. Once in a while though, I can’t walk by the three bakeries lined up in a row in Chelsea Market without stopping for a loaf.
The other day I caved and bought a loaf of fresh white bread to make grilled cheese and asparagus soup for dinner. I was then left with half a loaf of ‘lost bread.’ I don’t have the patience to make homemade bread crumbs or croutons. And bread pudding seemed too wintery. Saturday was around the corner however so I wrapped it in paper, balanced it precariously on top of a flower vase to keep it safe from the mice and made sure I had eggs, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla on hand. (By the way, don’t refrigerate fresh bread as it grows mold more quickly and takes on the smells of the fridge…nobody wants Pain Perdu à la teriyaki tofu.)
Saturday morning finally rolled around and the lost bread was rescued from its flower vase and reinvented as buttery, crispy and decadent Pain Perdu.