Don’t let your bread get lost! Pain Perdu, literally means “lost bread,” but with this little jewel, day old bread is not forgotten, but instead elevated into a wonderful breakfast or in my family, a dinner treat.
This recipe is part memory of my family’s pop-up surprise of breakfast for dinner + my genetic love for California citrus + a revere for New Orleans cuisine. Add all three together to = Pain Perdu a l’Orange–a loved recipe from the little jewel collection.
I am, in a very quiet way, a collector of little jewels–they include culinary items such as recipes and cookbooks, little lovely gems that feed the soul. A part of my collection includes some of the Time Life Foods of the World Collections–this recipe is inspired from the American Cooking: Creole and Acadian Volume. The Time Life volume reads, “Everyone at the table digs in. Because stale bread has been used, there is no heaviness to this pain perdu; it is light, and it has a sweet richness that makes it as good without syrup as with.”
Yes, we are using stale bread, that would have otherwise gone “lost”–and creating what we generally call “French Toast.” Utilizing day old bread may seem like a thing of the past, but being economical and using all our resources is coming back into play more than ever. Pain perdu is perfect for that leftover baguette or any leftover bread that is too stale to go forward with sandwiches and such.
A simple overnight soak in a sweet eggy bath, along with a little fortification via Grand Mariner liqueur and zip from the orange zest, will liven up a few simple slices of day old bread.
Pain Perdu a l’Orange of course for morning or embrace the pop-up surprise of breakfast for dinner; either way, add some crisp rashers of bacon and savory potatoes–a little gem, found–not lost.