You want to know what to do with old, stale white bread? In olden French days, the wealthy would have cut off the crusts from the white bread (which was usually expensive), dip it in an egg-milk combination and heat on the stove. The poor would have never cut off the crusts-that would have been wasteful. It is called “lost bread” because you need to find something to do with the old bread-something to revive it back to life (Source: Chef Talk).
Now, amp it up and get creative-add some Grand Marnier and Strawberries, dust with powdered sugar to get a wonderful dessert or have it for Saturday/Sunday Brunch. That is exactly how we did it-dessert-brunch. I used 2 day-old Brioche which added to the overall French experience. You can use pretty much any old bread-I say old, cause have you ever tried using new white bread-it can get soggy very quickly, so look for a harder bread or let your new white bread get old to make this (geez, say that 5 times fast).
Here we go-(My Photos at end of Recipe)
1/2 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
2 tablespoons sugar, divided
3 tablespoons Grand Marnier, divided
6 extra-large eggs
11/2 cups milk or half-and-half
2 tablespoons honey
11/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 large brioche loaf or challah
1/2 cup (1-1/2 ounces) sliced blanched almonds, toasted
Confectioners’ sugar, to serve
Combine the sliced strawberries, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, and 1 tablespoon of the Grand Marnier in a small bowl and set aside. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, honey, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 2 tablespoons of Grand Marnier, the vanilla, orange zest, and salt. Slice the bread in 3/4-inch slices. Pour the egg mixture into a large shallow plate and soak a few slices of bread for 4 minutes, turning once.
Heat 1 tablespoon each of butter and oil in a very large sauté pan over medium heat. Take each slice of bread from the egg mixture, dip one side in the toasted almonds, and place in the sauté pan, almond side down. (While you’re cooking each batch, add more bread to the egg mixture to soak.) Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until nicely browned. Place the cooked bread on a baking sheet and keep it warm in the oven. Wipe out the pan with a dry paper towel, add more butter and oil, and continue to fry the remaining soaked bread until they’re all cooked. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and serve hot with the strawberries.