French toast is a simple breakfast. Crusty bread soaked in egg for a bit, laid to crisp in a hot buttery pan, then topped with fresh fruit. It’s French but easy. So what is the medieval recipe for french toast?
Medieval French Toast is a luxurious spin on sourdough french toast with rosewater and saffron. You beat the egg with rosewater, and then drizzle saffron-steeped rosewater over the top of the cooked toast.
The rosewater gives the french toast a floral note, and the saffron an yellow-orange hue. I’ve paired it with sliced oranges and I think all three flavors really meld together.
The saffron is mainly to color the rosewater and only adds a slight flavor dimension. As saffron is one of the world’s most expensive spices, this medieval recipe would have been only for the upper classes.
After drizzling with the saffron-infused rosewater, dust the French toast with a nice coating of powdered sugar. I’ve topped mine with oranges because I think it balances the flowery scent of the rosewater well. And looks pretty with the yellow-hued toast!
With all these exotic ingredients, you can pass on the syrup!
Medieval recipes are rich but taste delicious! I’ve also come across a recipe for cinnamon toast that calls for mixing cinnamon, sugar and wine into a paste and spreading it on bread. As you can see, breakfast is better when it’s a grand affair.
Medieval French Toast
Sourdough French Toast with Saffron and Rosewater
A Medieval recipe for a breakfast favorite.
|Prep Time: 15 min.
|Cook Time: 10 min.
|1. In a small bowl, microwave 2 tbsp. of rosewater for 10-20 seconds or until hot. Crush saffron threads with your fingers and let steep in rosewater for about 10 minutes.
|2. Meanwhile whisk eggs, remaining 1 tbsp. rosewater and sugar in a shallow bowl. Slice oranges for garnish.
|3. Heat a skillet on medium-high. Add a small pat of butter to the pan. Dip each slice of bread, one by one, in egg/rosewater mixture, covering both sides and letting excess drip off. Cook for a few minutes until coating is starting to brown and egg no longer looks wet. Flip and cook for a few minutes more.
|4. Place french toast on plates. Drizzle with saffron-infused rosewater or place the liquid in small bowls for serving at the table. Garnish with powdered sugar (I like to use fine mesh strainers like this 3-pack to sprinkle powdered sugar). Top with sliced oranges and butter if desired.
|Recipe adapted from The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy by Odile Redon.
|You can find rosewater and saffron in some well-stocked grocery stores or Middle Eastern/European markets, as well as in Amazon’s grocery section (Cortas rosewater here and Spanish saffron here).