Pain perdu with aromatic herb custard

Also known as French toast or eggy bread, pain perdu is the perfect accompaniment to Oliver Rowes herb-infused custard.
By Oliver Rowe
Pain perdu with aromatic herb custard
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2-3
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes plus 10 minutes soaking
  • Effort: medium


  • 1-2 slices white bread, crusts removed
  • 2 eggs
  • 425 ml milk
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • 125 ml single cream
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2 knobs butter
  • currants, for sprinkling


1. Cut the bread into 6 rectangular batons, each about 2cm wide and 6cm long. Set aside. Mix the eggs with 125ml of the milk and 100g of the sugar, add the bread and leave to soak in the mixture for 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, pour the remaining 300ml of milk into a saucepan with the cream. Drop in the bay leaf and the sprigs of thyme and rosemary and allow to infuse for 5 minutes over a low heat.

3. Make a custard by whisking the egg yolks with the remaining 125g of sugar until the mixture in pale and fluffy and the sugar is dissolved. Remove the infused milk from the heat and strain into a jug. Allow to cool slightly. Stir the milk slowly and gradually into the egg mixture. When all the milk is combined, pour the mixture back into the saucepan and put back on a very low heat. Stir constantly until the custard thickens slightly. If there are any lumps in the custard, strain it through a sieve.

4. Melt the butter in a frying pan then add the batons of bread. Fry on each side (including the ends) until they are evenly golden brown all over.

5. Lay the eggy bread in a serving bowl. Pour enough custard over the top to cover and sprinkle with a few currants. Serve any extra custard separately.

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