Pain Perdu Recipe

Learn how to make my Pain Perdu Recipe the "Original" French Toast. An easy breakfast recipe for a delicious treat that will put any stale bread to good use! And the best part is you probably have all the ingredients you need already on hand! 

Looking for more breakfast recipes? Try my Foolproof Crepe Recipe, Blueberry Crumb Cake, or easy Egg Bake Souffle.

Two Baguette Slices on a white plate with syrup

Dealing with Left Over Bread in France

When you spend time in French homes you start to realize there's always a lot of French bread lying around. Typically a few pieces are leftover from lunch, dinner, and even breakfast.

Because the French love their fresh bread, it's typically bought daily and goes stale pretty quickly, and when it does it's hard as a rock! So what to do with it you might ask? Pain perdu is your move. Because really how many containers of bread crumbs do you really need?

Sliced Baguette Bread in a bread basket with Pink cloth

What is the origin of French toast?

Pain Perdu is really the origin of our American "French Toast" recipes, but I find it's even better with a thicker, heartier bread like a baguette.

a vertical shot of 3 pain perdu slices on a white plate

What are the ingredients of Le Pain Perdu?

The ingredients are simple and chances are you have all of them already on hand. You'll need eggs, milk, sugar, salt, vanilla extract and I like to add a little orange zest, although it won't make it or break, just a good add-on if you have it!

Ingredients on board laid out and labeled

Use a Shallow Bowl

Whisk up the batter in a shallow bowl. This will make it easier to place several pieces of bread to soak at one time.

shallow bowl with eggs, milk, vanilla and sugar with whisk in foreground

Allow Time To Soak

  • When soaking the bread be sure to give it time to soak up the liquid.
  • Stale baguettes can be dense and you want to make sure the liquid has a chance to travel up through the bread to make it softer once cooked.
  • Otherwise your pain perdue can turn out a bit dry. So don't rush this process.

Baguette soaking in pain perdue batter

Cooking the Pain Perdu

  • Allow the bread to cook on both sides in a non-stick skillet with sizzling butter until the egg is cooked through.
  • Be sure you give it enough time to cook off the raw egg.  About 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Once you've achieved a nice golden brown color, you can turn down the heat to avoid over-browning.  

Baguette slices flipped in skillet toasted and golden brown

Don't Forget The Sides

It's also important to cook on all sides so that if any raw egg spilled out the tops and bottoms it will be cooked off too. This will cook off any bacteria from the raw egg. 

bread slices on sides in skillet being cooked on opposite side

Serving Tips

  • Extra time in the skillet will also create some nice color on the top of the bread and give it a nice crunch was it's done.
  • You can serve it with butter and jam, or more orange zest and a drizzle of warm maple syrup.
  • Or a dusting of powdered sugar on top is also nice.

Toasty tops og baguette slices in pan

So next time you're entertaining and don't get through a whole baguette, pop those slices in the freezer until you can make pain perdu, it's a fantastic little breakfast treat!

Baguette being placed in a ziplock bag

More Breakfast Recipes:

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Pain Perdu Recipe

Pain Perdu Recipe

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Learn how to make my Pain Perdu Recipe the “Original” French Toast. An easy recipe for a delicious breakfast treat that will put any stale bread to good use!


  • 1 day old baguette cut into 8 slices (2in thick)
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup (120 ml) milk
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) salt
  • 2 teaspoon (10 ml) vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) orange zest
  • 2 tablespoon (30 ml) syrup
  • 2 tablespoon (30 ml) butter
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) orange zest
  • A sprinkle of orange zest for garnish


  1. Slice baguette into 2" thick slices set aside.
  2. In a shallow bowl add the eggs, milk, sugar, salt, whisk that together and then add the vanilla and orange zest, whisk to combine.
  3. Then place bread in the bowl to soak for at least a total of 6 mins (3 mins on each side)
  4. While bread in soaking you can heat the syrup. In a sauce pan heat 2 tablespoon (30 ml) of syrup, 2 tablespoon (30 ml) butter and 1 tablespoon (15 ml) orange zest until warm. Keep on a very low flame just to keep warm.
  5. Then heat 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of butter in a large non-stick skillet. Place soaked bread in pan, be careful not to crowd them so they can brown. Once browned on 1 side, flip them on the other side and cook for another 1-2 mins until golden brown. Then turn them on their sides to brown a bit, making sure the raw egg is being cooked on all sides.
  6. Then remove from a pan and place on a serving platter. Drizzle the orange syrup over the bread and top with some freshly grated orange zest to garnish. Enjoy!
  7. Entertaining with Beth is a weekly food series hosted by Beth Le Manach sharing easy recipes for elegant entertaining, that are also simple enough for a weeknight meal! Beth's motto is "Minimum effort for maximum impact!" Food tastes better when shared. So go ahead and have friends over!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 275Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 140mgSodium: 541mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 13g



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