St. Anthony and the Lost Bread

I think St. Anthony is probably one of the most popular saints among moms! :)
"Dear Saint Anthony, please come round -
Something is lost and must be found."

A Franciscan, he was known for his great humility as well as his eloquence in defending the faith. His sermons are described as so delightful that even the fish listened to him. Many times he is pictured holding the Christ child because of a vision he had of the Divine Child.

His feast is this Saturday, June 13. In cruising some of my liturgical year books and looking for something simple to do as a way of remembering this great and gentle saint, I came across an idea that absolutely appealed to me - Pain Perdu. Literally translated - Lost Bread, but most are more familiar with the name, "French Toast."

This idea instantly jumped out at me. My mom's family is French (Cajun French) and Pain Perdue was a staple of our diet growing up.
"For his feast day we suggest a dish with a name we are sure would delight his heart, for no doubt a saint who finds lost things for people must be one saint how hates waste of any kind. We refer to Pain Perdu, which is made of stale rolls."Feast Day Cookbook by Katherine Burton

My recipe is slightly different than the one listed in Feast Day Cookbook....

Pain Perdue or Lost Bread

**NOTE** You can expect that for every 2 eggs you put in the mix, you will get about 3 slices of Pain Perdue. I've never counted exactly, but for my family of 6 I usually follow the following proportions:

:: 8 eggs
:: 1/2 cup of pet milk (evaporated milk)
:: 2 tablespoons of sugar
:: 1 loaf of stale bread (french bread is great, but any bread will do...I will say that Pepperidge Farm Hearty White bread fresh off the shelf at the market makes an excellent Pain Perdue and doesn't require the soaking in the batter as a stale bread would...just sayin') :)

Whisk together thoroughly in a shallow baking dish. Distribute the stale bread in the shallow baking dish with the egg/milk mix. Allow them to soak for a few minutes. Let your fork be your guide...after about 5 minutes, fork a slice of bread to determine if it has soaked up enough batter - as it soaks up the batter it will become more fork tender. Flip it to ensure both sides are covered in the mix. The more stale your bread is, the longer this soaking will take. (If you're cheating and using a fresh white or french loaf of bread, simply take one slice at a time and dip it in the mix, flip it to cover both sides and go straight to the hot skillet.)

While your bread is soaking, heat a skillet on medium heat. If you're not using a non-stick skillet, you might consider oiling the pan with some palm oil (I like using my cast iron skillets for this). When the pan is good and hot add slices of bread to the pan and fry to a golden brown, flipping once so that both sides brown nicely.

Serve nice and warm with plenty of butter and a topping of confectioners sugar or fresh jam or preserves.

And don't forget that gentle and humble St. Anthony is a powerful heavenly intercessor for more than your lost keys - unfailing prayer to St. Anthony. Pin It


  1. This is a simple and convenient recipe, if my time is curb then I will make this.
    We have French toast often but usually with basil or dill, I think the kiddies may like your sweet version better.
    Thank you C

  2. Oh Zelie - basil ones would be very appropriate though if you remember the post I wrote earlier on St. Anthony basil pots -

    Lovely idea, Jen. Does the explanation in the cookbook tie this Lost Bread specifically to the St. Anthony bread for the poor story as well?

  3. No, it doesn't tie it with the story of St. Anthony's bread, Mary. It only ties the idea of the literally translated "Lost Bread" with the saint of all things lost. But, it is a frugal way to use up stale bread and really does work, and by virtue of being a bread dish, it could provide a springboard for discussing the Saint's miracle with the little girl, and the mom's gratitude offering of bread for the poor.

    Wouldn't it be neat to have a discussion like that and then make it a point to go to a website like Food for the Poor...

    ...and perhaps make a family offering? A gratitude offering in honor of St. Anthony. They have many options - you can feed a family for a month for $12...

    I hadn't thought of that tie-in until I went back and re-read your post.

  4. This sounds great, I'm loving this site.

  5. Sounds like a decadent alternative to our normal Saturday morning French Toast -- Thanks. (And we use a more intimate call to St. Anthony -- I hope he doesn't mind -- Tony, Tony come around. Something's lost and must be found! He always comes around!)