Pain Perdu

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

pain perdu (literally, ‘lost bread’) a French method for using leftover bread or brioche. The sliced bread is coated in beaten egg and then fried in clarified butter and sprinkled with sugar. Pain perdu has also been known in England since medieval times, and there are traces of something not very different in the recipes of apicius (1st century AD with later additions). Indeed it occurs in various forms and under different names in many countries, although it is convenient to treat the French version as the archetype (cf. N. American usage—a name current there is ‘French toast’).