|Serving temperature||Hot, with toppings|
|Main ingredients||Bread, eggs, often milk or cream|
|Cookbook: French toast Media: French toast|
French toast, also known as eggy bread, German toast, gypsy toast, or Spanish toast, is a dish made of bread soaked in beaten eggs, often mixed with milk or cream, and then fried on both sides in a griddle or frying pan with oil or butter. French toast is often served with toppings such as fresh fruit or maple syrup.
History and names
The earliest known reference to French toast is in the Apicius, a collection of Latin recipes dating to the 4th or 5th century; the recipe mentions soaking in milk, but not egg, and gives it no special name, just aliter dulcia "another sweet dish".
Under the names suppe dorate, soupys yn dorye, tostées dorées, and payn purdyeu, the dish was widely known in medieval Europe. For example, Martino da Como offers a recipe. French toast was often served with game birds and meats. The word "soup" in these names refers to bread soaked in a liquid, a sop.
A fourteenth-century German recipe attributes the name Arme Ritter ("poor knights"), a name also used in the Scandinavian languages. Also in the fourteenth century, Taillevent presented a recipe for "tostées dorées".
Preparation and serving
Slices of bread are soaked or dipped in a mixture of beaten eggs, often with milk or cream. The slices of egg-coated bread are then fried on both sides until they are browned and cooked through. Day-old bread is often recommended by chefs because the stale bread will soak up more egg mixture without falling apart.
In French speaking regions, French toast is referred to as pain perdu, meaning "lost bread", so called because it is a way to reclaim stale or otherwise "lost" bread. The hard bread is softened by dipping in a mixture of milk and eggs, and then fried. The bread is sliced on a bias and dipped into a mixture of egg, milk, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. The slices are pan-fried in butter and traditionally dusted with powdered sugar and served with jam or syrup on the side. Pain perdu may be eaten as a dessert, a breakfast, or an afternoon tea snack ("goûter").
Hong Kong–style French toast is listed at number 38 on the World's 50 most delicious foods compiled by CNN Go in 2011. It is made by deep-frying stacked sliced bread dipped in beaten egg or soy, served with a slab of butter and topped with golden syrup, or sometimes honey. Two slices are normally used and a sweet filling is usually added.
- Beckett, Fiona (18 September 2010). "Student cookbook: French toast (aka eggy bread)". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
- Farmer, Fannie Merritt (1918). The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book. Boston: Little, Brown; republished at Bartleby.com, 2000. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
- Koerner, Brendan. "Is French Toast Really French?". Slate.com. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
- Mille (24 February 2002). "Gypsy Toast". food.com. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
- Joseph Dommers Vehling, trans., Apicius: Cookery and Dining in Imperial Rome, Book VII, chapter 13, recipe 296 full text at Gutenberg
- Odile Redon, et al., The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy, 2000, p. 207f
- Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm. Deutsches Wörterbuch, quoting from the Buch von guter Spyse.
- Pichon, Jérôme; Vicaire, Georges (1892). Le Viandier de Guillaume Tirel dit Taillevent. p. 262.
- Austin, T. Two 15th-century Cookery-books, 1888, quoting a 1450 recipe, quoted in the Oxford English Dictionary
- Davidson, Alan; Jaine, Tom (2006). The Oxford Companion to Food. Oxford University Press. p. 102. ISBN 0-19-280681-5.
- Alton, Brown. "French Toast-Food Network".
- "French Toast Toppings – Unique French Toast Recipes". Good Housekeeping. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
- (French) Wikipedia article about the pain perdu
- CNN Go World's 50 most delicious foods 21 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-11
- "40 Hong Kong foods we can't live without", CNN Go, 13 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-09
- Claiborne, Craig (1985). Craig Claiborne's The New York Times Food Encyclopedia. New York: Times Books. ISBN 0-8129-1271-3.
- Farmer, Fannie (1918). The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book. Boston: Little, Brown and Co.
- Mariani, John F. (1999). The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink. New York: Lebhar-Friedman. ISBN 0-86730-784-6.
- Redon, Odilie (1998). The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy. Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-70684-2.
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