The Origin of Authentic Baked French Toast – ‘Le Pain Perdu’ in French
In French we call French toast ‘ pain perdu’ literately meaning ‘the lost bread’. It makes sense when you know the authentic french baked toast recipe. French toast is not a fancy recipe that french people eat at the restaurant for breakfast. It is more a simple recipe that we do when we have too much leftover of old bread – too dry and hard to eat as toast. That is where the french toast recipe is coming from ! And that is the reason why we dip the bread into a egg batter before frying or baking it. It is simply to make it softer.
So first thing to know if you would like to make an authentic baked french toast recipe: use old bread! I mean by old bread a bread that has been left at room temperature for at least 4 days. The harder the bread will be the better the baked french toast will be too! As a kid it was my grandma Maria who was preparing baked french toast for me. It was one of the classic afternoon tea she was making for me. She always made baked french toast loaf. It is not usual to see french toast loaf but it actually taste way better! Especially when you stick to the authentic recipe and use old hard bread. The bread soak longer into the batter and gets softer and chewier.
Here I used Bakeworks sustain grain bread to make my baked french toast loaf. It is the same bread I used last month to make my 9 vegan toast recipes. It is a very fulfilling and allergy friendly bread. It is gluten free, dairy free and soy free bread loaded with nourishing grains. I did the recipe two times. One time using fresh bread and one time using 4 days old bread. I dry the slices on a rack for 4 days – it is important to lay down the slices one-by-one to avoid them to mold. Wait until it gets harder. Both recipe are delicious and I obviously prefer the authentic one which remind me my childhood in France.
You can eat this baked french toast loaf straight away after baking. Simply slice thick french toast slices and serve with a drizzle of honey and fresh fruits. It will be warm, crispy on top with a moist chewy center. If the loaf is too big, simply store the leftover in at room temperature covered with foil to keep the moisture. The next day, cut thick slices of loaf and fry each slices into warm coconut oil. Fry each slices for 2 minutes on both sides until crispy. Even better, my grandma was always adding a drizzle of honey of maple syrup into the hot frying pan to caramelised the slices! It makes each slices super crispy and sweet! I highly recommend everyone who loves bread and simple recipes to makes this baked french toast loaf recipe. It is the best sweet breakfast you will ever had! Enjoy ! Carine.
Check out the full recipe video and make this easy french toast loaf today!
Cinnamon baked french toast loaf
- Preheat oven to 180c.
- Grease a loaf pan of 26 cm with coconut oil. Set aside.
- Using a sharp knife, remove the bread slices borders. Discard them or store in a airtight container and use to make soup croutons for later.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with cinnamon, vanilla, milk and coconut sugar until it forms an omelette like mixture.
- Dip each bread slice into the egg batte. Make sure you cover both sides with egg batter.
- Place each egg coated bread slice onto the loaf pan and repeat this process until you fully fill in the loaf pan. If needed, cut the bread slices to fit the size of the loaf pan.
- If you use the same bread as in this recipe, you will have empty spaces on the side of your pan, that is ok, it is what you want.
- When all the slices are arranged into the loaf pan, pour over the leftover of egg batter to fill in the empty space of the loaf pan. Set aside while you prepare the topping.
- In a medium mixing bowl combine the soft coconut oil and coconut butter until creamy and easy to spread.
- Spread the coconut mixture on top of the loaf. It should form a thick 0.5 cm creamy coconut layer. Sprinkle coconut sugar on top.
- Bake 45 minutes or until the egg batter is fully set and the loaf is golden brown.
- The bread may float a little bit onto the egg batter and that is not a problem.
- I did check the loaf each 15 minutes and press slightly the top using silicon spatula to make sure it forms a beautiful compact and flat bread loaf.
- It is optional but it makes the loaf looks lovely with a flat top surface and more compact to serve and slice.
- Serve hot in thick slices with some fresh berries or extra maple syrup if you like.
- If leftoever, store at room temperature covered with foil to keep the loaf moist.
- The next day, cut thick slices and fry into coconut oil for 2 minutes on both sides. You can also add some maple syrup into the pan after it is crispy and warm to caramelised the slices!