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Believe it or not, French toast isn’t an American invention, and despite its name, it’s not even a French invention either! The earliest known reference to a dish similar to what we consider French toast was found in a Latin recipe dating back to the 4th or 5th century BCE. The simple formula, bread dipped in a mixture of eggs and milk and fried, has proven itself to be timeless, and universal too -- every country seems to have its unique take on this brunch staple.

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1. French toast, French style

In France, French toast is actually called pain perdu, which translates to “lost bread” because it’s a great way to use up a loaf that is on the verge of going stale in a very tasty way.

  • Completely cover a single layer of thick slices of day-old crusty French bread (such as Bâtard or Pain de Campagne) in a custard of beaten eggs, heavy cream, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, and Armagnac liqueur, and let it soak in the fridge, covered, for at least a day
  • Dust the soaked bread in a mixture of one tablespoon flour and one tablespoon sugar evenly on both sides
  • Fry on both sides in lots of butter until crisp and golden
  • As the French say, bon appetit!

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