If you’re celebrating National French Toast Day, here’s everything you need to know…
The Ultimate Guide to French Toast
US National French Toast Day is upon us and to mark the occasion, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to French Toast. From where it originates to how to make it and how the recipe has evolved around the world – read on for our unmissable guide.
What is French Toast?
Essentially, French Toast is dish made with thick bread slices that have been soaked in eggs and then fried off in a pan. You can trace this dish to as far back as the 4th or 5th century. Today, there are many variations of this popular breakfast treat – not only in its recipe, but also within its name – gypsy toast, Poor Knights of Windsor, Bombay Toast and Nun’s Toast.
Where Does French Toast Come From?
One of the first references to French Toast can be traced back to France in the 15th century. Pain perdu, or ‘lost bread’ gave a new life to stale bread. From here, the name soon evolved to French Toast (sweet style), however the name pain perdu is frequently used in countries such as France, Belgium, the Congo and in the US – particularly New Orleans.
French Toast Around the World
As well as a variety of names, French Toast also enjoys a variety of recipes. Here are a few of our favourites…
History has it, Torrijas originated in Andalusian convents in the 15th century. Today, Torrijas is traditionally eaten during the weeks of lent, using a French baguette as its base. You can also find a popular version of Torrijas, where the bread is soaked in red wine or a variety of flavoured honey.
Hong Kong, China Chinese-style French Toast is often soaked in butter. To make it specifically Hong Kong style, coat your bread in whisked eggs then fry off the bread in an abundance of butter. Once the bread is golden brown, top with more butter, then drizzle with condensed milk or golden syrup for added sweetness.
Irish Toast, Ireland A different kettle of fish altogether, Irish Toast isn’t actually eaten. In fact, to make Irish Toast, simply soak pieces of plain bread in a bowl full of whiskey, then dispose of the bread into the rubbish bin. The whiskey should then be drunk directly from the bowl – an event that is often saved for special occasions.
How to Serve French Toast
Depending what you use as a topping, French Toast can be either a sweet or savoury dish. Traditionally, the eggy bread is fried with milk, sugar, vanilla or cinnamon and topped with a variety of toppings to include icing sugar, syrup, butter, honey, jams or fruit. For a savoury option, top with salt, cheese, bacon or any other meat of your choice.
Makes: one serving
2 slices of thick white or brioche bread
1 large egg
40 ml whole milk ½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp vanilla extract
- To make your mix, combine your egg, 10ml of milk, your cinnamon and vanilla extract in a bowl
- Heat your pan with your choice of cooking oil or butter, on a medium heat
- Coat both sides of your bread in the mix
- Fry on both sides until brown
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