|Serving temperature||Hot, with toppings|
|Main ingredients||Bread, eggs, milk or cream|
French toast is a dish made of sliced bread soaked in eggs and milk, then fried. Alternative names and variants include eggy bread, Bombay toast, German toast, gypsy toast, poor knights (of Windsor), torrija, preggled challah and Arme Riddere.
The earliest known reference to French toast is in the Apicius, a collection of Latin recipes dating to the 4th or 5th century, where it is described as simply aliter dulcia ("another sweet dish"). The recipe says to "slice fine white bread, remove the crust, and break it into large pieces. Soak these pieces in milk and beaten egg, fry in oil, and cover with honey before serving."[better source needed]
A fourteenth-century German recipe uses the name Arme Ritter ("poor knights"), a name also used in English and the Nordic languages. Also in the fourteenth century, Taillevent presented a recipe for "tostées dorées". Italian 15th-century culinary expert Martino da Como offers a recipe.
The usual French name is pain perdu (French: [pɛ̃ pɛʁdy] (listen), "lost bread", reflecting its use of stale or otherwise "lost" bread — which gave birth to the metaphoric term pain perdu for sunk costs. It may also be called pain doré, "golden bread", in Canada. There are fifteenth-century English recipes for pain perdu.
An Austrian and Bavarian term is pafese or pofese, from zuppa pavese, referring to Pavia, Italy. The word "soup" in the dish's name refers to bread soaked in a liquid, a sop. In Hungary, it is commonly called bundáskenyér (lit. "furry bread").
Slices of bread are soaked or dipped in a mixture of beaten eggs, often whisked with milk or cream. Sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla may be variously added to the mixture. The bread is then fried in butter or olive oil until browned and cooked through. Day-old bread is often used, both for its thrift and because it will soak up more egg mixture without falling apart.
Portugal and Brazil
In both Portugal and Brazil, rabanadas are a traditional Christmas dessert. 
In the Netherlands, wentelteefjes are very similar to the French Toast. The additional ingredients are syrup and/or cinnamon.
In Denmark, Arme Riddere (Poor Knights) is a sweet breakfast dish, that can also be eaten as an afternoon treat or evening dessert. The Danish version of this dish uses sugar with cinnamon, instead of plain sugar.  
Torrija is a similar recipe traditionally prepared in Spain for Lent and Holy Week. It is usually made by soaking stale bread in milk or wine with honey and spices. It is dipped in beaten egg and fried with olive oil. This cooking technique breaks down the fibres of the bread and results in a pastry with a crispy outside and smooth inside. It is often sprinkled with cinnamon as a final touch.
Torrijas or torrejas were first mentioned by the Spanish composer, poet and playwright Juan del Encina (1468–1533) in his Cancionero, published in 1496. "Anda acá pastor" has the verse "En cantares nuevos/ gocen sus orejas,/ miel e muchos huevos/ para hacer torrejas,/ aunque sin dolor/ parió al Redemptor".
Hong Kong-style French toast (Chinese: 西多士; Cantonese Yale: sāidōsí; literally: 'western toast') is typically prepared by combining multiple slices of bread with peanut butter or fruit jam filling, then dipping in beaten egg and deep frying. It is served with butter, and topped with golden syrup or honey. It is a typical offering in Hong Kong teahouses (cha chaan teng). Other types of filling that can be found are meat floss, kaya jam, ham, or beef satay.
French toast was popularly served in railroad dining cars of the early and mid-20th century. The Santa Fe was especially known for its French toast, and most of the railroads provided recipes of these and other dining car offerings to the public as a promotional feature.
In New Orleans Louisiana Creole cuisine, French toast is known as pain perdu and is most commonly served as a breakfast dish. The recipe calls for New Orleans-style French bread; the batter is an egg-based custard that may include spirits. Common toppings include cane syrup, strongly flavored honey, or fruit syrups; a dusting of powdered sugar is also traditional.
In the Balkans, a food very similar to French toast called prženica is commonly eaten. Prženicas are, unlike French toast, salty, but the method of preparation is identical mind the replacing of sugar with salt. Sour cream, kajmak and margerine are common toppings.
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- Farmer, Fannie Merritt (1918). The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book. Boston: Little, Brown; republished at Bartleby.com, 2000. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
- Mille (24 February 2002). "Gypsy Toast". food.com. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
- Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd ed., 2006, s.v. 'poor' S3
- Joseph Dommers Vehling, trans., Apicius: Cookery and Dining in Imperial Rome, Book VII, chapter 13, recipe 296 full text at Gutenberg
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- Gabriel Meurier, Christoffel Plantijn, Vocabulaire francois-flameng, 1562 p. 83
- Trésor de la Langue Française Informatisé s.v. pain
- Austin, T. Two 15th-century Cookery-books, 1888, quoting a 1450 recipe, quoted in the Oxford English Dictionary
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- "French toast, az @édes @bundás kenyér".
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- [Compleat Cook (1659) as quoted in the OED Citation incomplete, needs improvement]
- John Ayto, The Diner's Dictionary: Word Origins of Food and Drink, ISBN 0199640246, p. 142
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- Rabanada, um antigo clássico natalino presente em todo o mundo (in Portuguese)
- "Le pain perdu: son histoire et ses origins" [Pain perdu: its history and origins]. lecercledesliberaux.com (in French). 25 May 2017. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
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- Template:Deutsches Wörterbuch
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- CNN Go World's 50 most delicious foods Archived 2011-10-08 at the Wayback Machine 21 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-11
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- "Recipe redux: French Toast a la Santa Fe — and other dining-car memories". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
- "Last call to dinner | Classic Trains Magazine". ClassicTrains.com. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
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- Redon, Odilie (1998). The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy. Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-70684-2.
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