This recipe originally appeared in Food52.
It's late, you just got home, and you're hungry. You have some stale bread, some eggs, and some dairy. Or: It's Sunday morning, and your kids are shrieking, and you want to cook something quick and easy that will get them all starry-eyed, quiet, and happy. Or: You're tired of salads and roasted vegetables and even meat and fish and you want something soothing, something easy, and something decidedly un-seasonal for dinner. Good thing you know how to make French toast.
The French call it pain perdu, meaning "lost bread," but "found bread" might be more accurate. As in, you don't know what to eat, so you look around. Your humble pantry holds just a few basics: milk, eggs, and, forgotten in a cupboard, a hunk of stale bread. It's an excellent find, because with a little alchemy, you'll soon have culinary gold.
Step 1: Find Bread
Can you use any bread for French toast? Yes. Old hamburger buns? Waste not, want not. White bread is perfectly fine. If you want to be fancy, use brioche or challah, but any bread will do. Croissants, rye bread, and chocolate babka are all strong contenders. Are some breads better than others? Probably, but you'll never know until you try.