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    Pain Perdu

    Source of Recipe

    From "Screen Doors and Sweet Tea" by Martha Hall Foose

    Recipe Introduction

    "Alois Binder Bakery in New Orleans is known for the cheerful slogan 'The Happy Baker with the Light Brings You Hot French Bread.' My mother followed the delivery truck back to the bakery on the corner of Frenchman and Rampart Streets the first time she recognized the logo. There was an offshore-oil guy in front of her at the counter picking 600 royal sticks, the short snub-nosed loaves. I guess she was overcome by the heady smell of all that bread, and in a classic case of impulse buying, she came home with 100 loaves herself. She had to pull over and put the bread in the trunk because she kept getting into it. When she got home the entire car was filled with crumbs. Co-owned by seven brothers and sisters, this New Orleans institution bakes the kind of bread that po'boys are built on. This bread has a freshness window of one day. After that it shatters into shards when crunched. When rehydrated with brown sugar custard, and baked until golden and puffed, however, it takes on a whole new perspective. Set the bread to soaking before you go to bed and bake the dish of French toast first thing in the morning. Serve with a side of spicy Cajun smoked sausage."

    List of Ingredients

    ◦ ⅔ cup firmly packed brown sugar
    ◦ cup cane syrup or maple syrup
    ◦ 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    ◦ 10 (1-inch-thick) slices French bread
    ◦ 4 large eggs
    ◦ 1 cups whole milk
    ◦ 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    ◦ teaspoon salt


    Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

    In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, syrup, and butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Pour the syrup evenly over the bottom of the prepared dish. Arrange the bread slices in the dish on top of the syrup mixture. Set aside.

    In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, and salt. Pour the mixture over the bread slices. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

    When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F. Uncover the dish and bake for 30 minutes, or until the French toast is lightly browned and slightly puffed. Serve hot.

    Serves 6 to 8




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