Pumpkin French toast is a seasonal twist to a much loved breakfast made using slightly stale bread, adding to the nutritive value of this humble dish.
French toast doesn’t have the Gallic roots its name suggests. This preparation using stale bread, eggs, milk and sugar dates back to 4th century Rome. It finds mention by the name of Pan Dulcis in the earliest cookbook, Apicius de re Coquinaria, published in 4 A.D.
This dish from medieval times was a practical way to stretch stale bread for another day or two. The addition of eggs and milk made it softer and more palatable. The French toast later makes an appearance in a recipe in The Accomplisht Cook, a cookbook from 1660. In this recipe, toasted bread is soaked in wine, sugar and orange juice.
Called Pain Perdu in French, it also goes by other names such as eggy bread, German toast, freedom toast and Bombay toast. In it’s simplest version, French toast employs a handful of pantry ingredients. It can be elevated to a fancy brunch dish or even dessert with the addition of decadent ingredients, such as whipped cream, salted caramel sauce, mascarpone cheese and seasonal fruits.