French toast

French toast (often known as eggy bread in most of the UK - the exception being Scotland and Northern Ireland, "pain perdu" in French, "pain doré" in French-speaking parts of Canada) is a popular breakfast food in North America and Europe.French toast is made with bread and eggs. Milk is commonly added. According to what is popular in local cuisine, many of the spices that are added to bread or egg dishes are included in cooking. This versatile dish is often topped with butter, fruit, syrup, or other items.


Slices of bread are dipped in a beaten egg mixture. The slices of egg-coated bread are then placed on a frying pan or griddle prepared with a coat of butter, and cooked until both sides are browned and the egg has cooked through. [ [ BBC - Food - Recipes - Eggy bread ] ]

The cooked slices are usually served with jam, butter, peanut butter, Marmite, vegemite, or maple syrup, though they can also be served with fruit syrup, molasses, apple sauce, whipped cream, chocolate, sugar] , yoghurt, powdered sugar, or various nuts such as pecans.


Stuffed French toast is two pieces of French toast that are stuffed with bananas, strawberries, or other fruit. It is usually topped with butter, maple syrup, and powdered sugar. [ [,1977,FOOD_9936_31542,00.html Recipes : Stuffed French Toast : Food Network ] ]

In the United Kingdom it is often savory and known as either "eggy bread" or "Gypsy toast" or just "bread dipped in egg" in South East Wales. Another name is "French fried bread" but this not to be confused with fried bread", which is white bread fried in butter or fat left over from frying bacon or sausages. One variation has marmite spread on the bread before dipping and another version is served with baked beans on top. Another variation that has a 19th century origin is to add a teaspoon of red chili powder (instead of pepper), or a mixture of cumin and garlic known as "mexicana", and salt to the eggs before dipping bread in it.

Eggy bread does not use fruity ingredients, instead it is just fried after being dipped into a mixture of eggs and milk. It is often served with sauces.

"French toast" has other common meanings in the United Kingdom including baked bread slices and bread which was buttered before toasting.

'Fried bread' In Italy a variation is served known as "mozzarella in carrozza" (literally "mozzarella in carriage"). In this version a slice of fresh mozzarella is sandwiched between two slices of bread and the whole dipped in egg and fried. It can be seasoned with salt, but is not sweet like French toast and is not eaten for breakfast.

In Portugal, it is called "fatias douradas" or "rabanadas" and is typically made during Christmas, out of slices of bread leftovers (when it's too hard to be eaten normally) soaked in milk to soften it, dipped in beaten egg, deep-fried in olive oil and then dipped in sugar and cinnamon or a syrup made with water, sugar, cinnamon sticks and lemon skin. It's usually eaten cold as a dessert or a snack.

In Spain, it is called "torrijas" and is typically made during Lent, out of thick slices of bread soaked in milk or wine, dipped in egg, fried and then drenched in spiced honey.

In the Western and Southwestern United States, some restaurants will prepare it with Sourdough bread.

In Australia and New Zealand, French toast is a breakfast or brunch dish, made using pan frying individual sliced bread or baguette slices dipped in the egg mixture identical to American preparations. It is served with banana and fried bacon, and topped with maple syrup. Another popular variation in New Zealand uses a mixture of eggs yolks (left over from Pavlova cooking), milk and grated cheese to make a savory breakfast food.

In Hong Kong, French toast, called 西多士 (Cantonese IPA2|sɐ́i tɔ́ sǐ; Jyutping: sai1 do1 si2; Mandarin Pinyin: xīduōshì; literally "western toast", but actually an abbreviation of "法蘭西多士", "French toast"), is available all day round but is particularly popular for breakfast and afternoon tea in Hong Kong-style western restaurants and "cha chaan tengs". It is made by deep frying stacked sliced bread dipped in beaten egg or soy, and served with a slab of butter and topped with golden syrup, or sometimes honey. Two slices are normally used and a sweet filling is usually added, either peanut butter, kaya, or more rarely jam. In other non-Cantonese speaking parts of Greater China, it is usually called 吐司 (Pinyin: tǔsī; literally "toast").

In Brazil it is called "rabanadas" and follows the Portuguese recipe. It is quite often used to celebrate a birth, as well as at Christmas and New Year celebrations. French Toast can also be served at pre-Carnivale parties in tradition with Brazilian folklore.

In Germany, the "Arme Ritter" (literally "poor knights") are made from bread leftovers as a fast and simple meal. There are several local alternatives in serving: with a mix of sugar and cinnamon, filled with plum-jam or with vanilla sauce. Sometimes it is made with wine instead of milk, and therefore called "Betrunkene Jungfrau", drunken virgin.

In India, the version is salted rather than sweet. The egg is beaten with milk, salt, green chili and chopped onion. Bread is dunked into this mixture and is deep fried in butter or cooking oil. Its served with ketchup.

Pain perdu

In France, Belgium, New Orleans, Acadiana, and the Congo a similar but distinctive food is called pain perdu, or "lost bread", since it is a way to reclaim stale, "lost", bread: hard bread is softened by dipping in a mixture of milk and eggs, then fried. The bread is sliced on a bias and dipped into a mixture of egg, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. The slices are pan-fried in butter and traditionally served dusted with powdered sugar and with jam on the side. Alternatively it may be served with syrup.

New Orleans pain perdu is a local variation of French toast made from left over New Orleans-style French bread, which resembles a French baguette, but has a crunchier exterior and a lighter interior.

History and geographical spread

French toast originated as a way to use day-old or stale bread (some breads, French bread especially, become stale after one day). [.] ["Dictionaire Général pour la maîtrise de la langue française la culrute classique et contemporaine", p. 1138, Larousse (1993).] Whereas a stale, crunchy bread might seem unappetizing, soaking the bread in eggs and frying it solved that problem. The precise origins of the recipe are unknown, although a version appears in the 4th century CE Roman cookbook, often attributed to Apicius ("Aliter dulcia: siligineos rasos frangis, et buccellas maiores facies. in lacte infundis, frigis [et] in oleo, mel superfundis et inferes." - "Another sweet: Break grated Sigilines (a kind of wheat bread), and make larger bites. Soak in milk, fry in oil, douse in honey and serve."). This was also known as Pan Dulcis. Similar dishes have existed in many countries and under many names, known in Medieval Europe as:

*Austria: "Pavese" (a medieval type of shield whose shape resembles a slice of bread)
*England: "suppe dorate" (Italian for "gilded sippets")
*France: "pain perdu" (literally, "lost bread")
*Germany: "armer Ritter" (literally, "poor knight"; the name is sometimes meant to originate from poor knights in Medieval times, having not enough gold to pay for meat, and thus eating old bread slices, coated with egg and fried [ [ German article about the origins of the name Arme Ritter (and a few other German dishes with strange names)] ] )
*Hungary: "bundás kenyér" (literally, "coated bread" or "bread with fur")
*Portugal: "rabanadas" or "fatias douradas" (literally, "golden slices of bread")
*Yugoslavia and some successor republics: "прженице" - "prženice"
*Croatia: "pohani kruh"
*Lebanon: "pain perdu"
*Catalonia: "torrades o croquetes de Santa Teresa" (literally, "toasts or croquettes of Saint Theresa")

Modern versions occur in many countries under other names:

*Australia: "french toast"
*Belgium: "verloren brood", "wentelteefjes", "gewonnen brood", or "gebakken boterhammen" (literally "lost bread", "won bread", or "baked sandwiches" as it was traditionally made from stale bread) in Flanders, "pain perdu" (literally, "lost bread") in Wallonia
*Brazil: "rabanada" or "fatia parida"(in the northeast region of Brazil)
*Bulgaria: "пържени филии" - "părzheni filii" ("fried slices [of bread] ")
*Canada (in francophone regions): "pain doré" (literally, "golden bread")
*Denmark and Norway: "arme riddere" (literally, "poor knights")
*England: "Eggy Bread"
*Greece: αβγόφετα ("avgófeta", literally "egg-slice")
*Finland "köyhät ritarit" ("poor knights") when eaten plain or with butter, "rikkaat ritarit" ("rich knights") when rolled in powdered sugar, sprinkled with it until fully covered or alternatively covered with whipped cream to provide the white base, and an eye of red colored jam added in the center.
*Estonia: "piilud" ("ducklings")
*South India and Sri Lanka: "Bombay toast"
*Israel: "פרנץ' טוסט"
*Malaysia: "Roti telur"
*Mexico: "pan francés", "torreja" (north of Mexico)
*Netherlands: "wentelteefjes" (etymology unclear, "wentelen" = "to turn over", "teefje" = "female dog"). Used in some parts of Flanders, Belgium as well.
*Norway: "arme riddere"
*Pakistan: " meetha toas"
*Romania: "frigãnele"
*Russia: "гренки" - "grěnki"
*Spain: "torrija"
*Sweden: "fattiga riddare" (literally, "poor knights")
*Switzerland: "Fotzelschnitten" ("rascals' slices")
*Turkey: "yumurtalı ekmek" (literally, "bread with eggs"), or "ekmek balığı" (literally, "breadfish" / "fish of bread")
*United Kingdom: 'poor knights of Windsor', 'Gypsy Toast' and in parts of Cumbria, 'Pandora'.
*US: Overwhelmingly "French toast", though it may on rare occasion be called "German toast", "Spanish toast", "nun's toast", "egg toast", or "French fried pudding". [cite book
last = Hearn
first = Lafcadio
authorlink = Lafcadio Hearn
edition = Second Edition
title = La Cuisine Creole
url =
accessdate = 2007-04-20
date = c1885
publisher = F.F. Hansell & Bro.
location = New Orleans
pages = 205
chapter = Page 205
chapterurl =
quote = Beat four eggs to a quart of milk, sweeten and flavor to taste, cut slices of baker's bread and steep them until thoroughly saturated, then fry in hot butter and serve.


"French toast" can be found in print in the U.S. as early as 1871. The "Oxford English Dictionary" cites usages of "French toast" in English as early as 1660 (toasted bread with wine, orange juice, and sugar), and cites an egg-based recipe of the same name from 1882.

Also notably, French toast in France and Belgium (and the DRC) is called "pain perdu" (“lost bread”) since it is a way to reclaim stale, “lost,” bread: hard bread is softened by dipping in a mixture of milk and eggs, then fried.

According to research provided by the International House of Pancakes, French toast is not necessarily French in origin; it is likely that the recipe dates back to medieval times and may have been a logical “invention” by different peoples, akin to battering and frying any food. A similar dish, "suppe dorate", was popular in England during the Middle Ages, although the English might have learned it from the French Normans, who had a dish called "tostees dorees". However, according to IHOP, the first written mention of the dish comes from the court of Henry V of England (1413–1422).


* Odilie Redon "et al.", "The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy" (Univ. Chicago Press, Chicago, 1998).
* John F. Mariani, "The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink" (Lebhar-Friedman, New York, 1999).
* Craig Claiborne, "Craig Claiborne's The New York Times Food Encyclopedia" (Times Books, New York, 1985).
* Fannie Farmer, "The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book" (Little, Brown and Co., Boston, 1918) []

External links

* [ From Lost Bread to French Toast]
* [ French Toast Recipes]
* [ Pain perdu - New Orleans-style French toast]

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • French toast — French′ toast′ n. coo bread dipped in a batter of egg and milk and sautéed until brown • Etymology: 1880–85 …   From formal English to slang

  • French toast — ► NOUN 1) bread coated in egg and milk and fried. 2) Brit. bread buttered on one side and toasted on the other …   English terms dictionary

  • French toast — ☆ French toast n. sliced bread dipped in a batter of egg and milk and then fried …   English World dictionary

  • French toast — noun bread slice dipped in egg and milk and fried; topped with sugar or fruit or syrup • Hypernyms: ↑dish * * * noun Usage: usually capitalized F : bread dipped in a mixture of egg and milk and then sautéed * * * bread dipped in a batter of egg… …   Useful english dictionary

  • French Toast — Armer Ritter Arme Ritter, Rostige Ritter, Fotzelschnitten, Semmelschnitten, Kartäuserklöße, Weckschnitten, Gebackener Weck, Pofesen, Blinder Fisch oder French Toast sind eine einfache Süßspeise aus altbackenen Brötchen oder Weißbrotscheiben.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • French toast — n. to make French toast * * * to make French toast …   Combinatory dictionary

  • French toast — noun Food prepared by dipping bread into egg batter and frying. Id like syrup on my French toast …   Wiktionary

  • French toast — /frɛntʃ ˈtoʊst/ (say french tohst) noun sliced bread soaked in a milk and egg batter and lightly fried …   Australian English dictionary

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