|Serving temperature||Hot, with toppings|
|Main ingredients||Bread, eggs, milk or cream|
|Cookbook: French toast Media: French toast|
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.
The usual French name is pain perdu "lost bread", as it is a way to reclaim stale or otherwise "lost" bread. It may also be called pain doré "gilded bread". The term pain perdu was formerly used metaphorically to mean sunk costs.
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".
Preparation and serving
Slices of bread are soaked or dipped in a mixture of beaten eggs, often with milk or cream. Sometimes sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla are added to the mixture. 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.
The bread may be dipped in milk only, with the egg mixture added afterwards.
Formerly, the dish was eaten more as a soup than dry.
In France, pain perdu may be eaten as a dessert, a breakfast, or an afternoon tea snack ("goûter").
Hong Kong–style French toast is made by deep-frying sliced bread dipped in beaten egg or soy, served with butter, and topped with golden syrup or sometimes honey. It is typically made as a sandwich, with a sweet filling. It is a typical offering in Hong Kong teahouses (cha chaan teng).
Torrija is a similar recipe traditionally prepared in Spain for Lent and Holy Week. Torrijas or torrejas were first mentioned by the Spanish composer, poet and playwright Juan del Encina (1468-1533) in his Cancionero, published in 1496. In "Anda acá pastor" one reads: “En cantares nuevos / gocen sus orejas, / miel e muchos huevos / para hacer torrejas, / aunque sin dolor / parió al Redemptor”.
- Egg in the basket
- List of bread dishes
- List of breakfast foods
- List of brunch foods
- List of egg dishes
- Monte Cristo sandwich
- 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.
- 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
- Odile Redon, et al., The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy, 2000, p. 207f
- Trésor de la Langue Française Informatisé s.v. 'pain'
- Gabriel Meurier, Christoffel Plantijn, Vocabulaire francois-flameng, 1562 p. 83
- 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.
- Ulrich Ammon, Variantenwörterbuch des Deutschen: die Standardsprache in Österreich, der Schweiz und Deutschland sowie in Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Ostbelgien und Südtirol, 2004, ISBN 3110165759, p. 552
- Alton, Brown. "French Toast-Food Network".
- "French Toast Toppings – Unique French Toast Recipes". Good Housekeeping. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
- Compleat Cook (1659) as quoted in the OED
- John Ayto, The Diner's Dictionary: Word Origins of Food and Drink, ISBN 0199640246, p. 142
- Adam Islip, A Dictionarie [sic] of the French and English Tongues, 1611, full text
- (French) Wikipedia article about the pain perdu
- "40 Hong Kong foods we can't live without", CNN Go, 13 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-09
- CNN Go World's 50 most delicious foods 21 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-11
- Cervantes, Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de. "La teatralidad en los villancicos pastoriles de Juan del Encina / Marta Haro Cortés | Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes". www.cervantesvirtual.com. Retrieved 2016-03-23.
- 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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