8 Mar 2013

The Baker's Dozen & Pain Perdu

Pain Perdu literally translates from the French into ‘lost bread’! But this post is about how I’ve recently found some authentic, artisanal bread, right here in Mumbai. And about time too... So without further ado, here’s The Baker’s Dozen; because all you “knead is love” (OK, sorry about the Beatles pun, but you should really blame The Big Bhookad  and his #BhookadPuns for that). Also, a recipe for Pain Perdu or French Toast follows.

The Baker’s Dozen is the brainchild of Aditi Handa, her husband Sneh Jain and her brother Siddharth. It’s an artisanal bakery that’s opened up in Mumbai fairly recently. I got an opportunity to visit their kitchen and see how they handcraft small batches of a variety of breads – made to order. The kitchen is sparkly clean; large and well-lit, and exudes the delicious aroma of freshly baked bread. A great amount of care (and love) has gone into this venture and it shows in the quality of breads produced.

Currently you can place an order by calling or emailing them (details here) but come Sunday (March 10th), The Baker’s Dozen opens its (first) store at Prabhadevi. Here is the cute invite that came with my order this week. So, do drop by and get your daily bread. You can thank me later, mon ami!
The menu has several European breads (French, Italian and German) as well as some Indian variants. Download the complete menu here

The first-ever bread I ordered was the Pain Aux Cereal – a whole wheat bread that’s crusty on the outside and light as air on the inside; packed with sesame seeds and flaxseeds to up the health quotient.
Image courtesy The Baker's Dozen
Another bread that I tried was the tres francais Pain Au Levain with blueberries and cranberries. Pricey but scrumptious – good to eat as it is or spread with some butter or marmalade.

And now for the deliciously buttery Brioche

It’s sitting pretty in my new Bread Box that came as a gift. I guess our friends knew that we now have access to real bread in Mumbai, not just the mass-produced, ubiquitous sliced bread.

Couple of days old Brioche lends itself perfectly to Pain Perdu or French Toast – sweet or savoury. I went for sweet, since the bread itself has a bit of sugar added to it. This recipe serves 2.

You’ll need:
  • 4 thick slices of Brioche, preferably at least a day old
  • 2 Eggs
  • 100ml Milk
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • Cinnamon and Nutmeg to taste
  • A bit of Butter
  • Honey and sliced fruits to serve
How to:
  • Beat the eggs with the milk, sugar and spices.
  • In a pan or skillet, melt some butter. You don’t want too much; just enough to grease the pan.
  • Dip each slice of bread in the egg mixture. Coat it well on both sides and allow it to sit in the mixture for 30 seconds.
  • Transfer this slice to the greased pan and cook well on both sides. It should turn a gorgeous golden brown on each side.
  • Once you’re done with all the slices, arrange them on serving plates. Drizzle some honey on them and serve with seasonal fruits.
  • Instead of honey, you can try dusting some powdered sugar on the toast – either plain sugar or flavoured with vanilla or cinnamon.
  • Bon Appétit!


  1. Love french toast! I don't mind to come for a coffee and your pain perdu! =P

    1. Thanks, Helene! Please do when you come to Mumbai :D