Forget French Toast, Jacques Pepin Makes Savory Pancakes With Stale Bread

Cooking up a batch of French toast is an excellent (and delicious) way to reduce waste by using up stale bread. It's a genius invention (first recorded in A.D. 300 in Rome) that works so well because stale bread soaks up the liquid in the recipe better than fresh bread. French toast isn't the only thing to do with stale bread, though. French chef Jacques Pepin recently took to TikTok to share his technique for making savory pancakes out of stale bread.


His recipe uses the same methodology as stale bread for French toast. In the video, Pepin explains that he never throws out leftover bread. Instead, he repurposes it to make savory pancakes. If you want to try the same technique, you can use any type of old bread, and you don't need much. Just a slice or two will provide enough substance to make some delicious pancakes. Here's how you can make savory pancakes just like Pepin.

Jacques Pepin's Savory Pancake Recipe

First, cut about one cup of stale bread into small cubes. Then, add the bread to a bowl filled with ¼ cup of milk. While the bread is soaking in the milk, dice up 2 to 3 tablespoons of onion and fresh parsley. Jacques Pepin notes that you don't have to use parsley; you can use a different herb. Try using chervil for a more mild flavor or chives if you really want to complement the onion in the dish. When you have these ingredients diced, add them along with a dash of salt and pepper to the bowl. Then, mix all of the ingredients together; Pepin crushes them by hand and notes that you might need to add a little more milk depending on how dry the bread is. Finally, add an egg to the bowl and mix. If you continue to mix by hand in this step like Pepin, be sure to wash your hands after handling the raw egg.


Next, add some olive oil or peanut oil to a pan. Pepin doesn't give a specific heat setting to use; try medium or medium-high heat. Scoop the mixture into the pan and press it down a bit to form pancakes. Pepin was able to make three pancakes out of one slice of bread. Then, cook for a couple of minutes on each side. When they're done, they should look nice and golden brown.

Other Ways To Make Bread Pancakes

If you're looking to make more of a traditional sweet pancake, you can still follow Jacques Pepin's general recipe but make a few swaps to alter the flavor. He suggests leaving out the onion and parsley for a more traditional pancake. In the place of those ingredients, add 2 tablespoons of sugar or honey and half of a piece of fruit. Try peach, pear, apple, or banana. You'll chop it up coarsely and add it to the bread and milk mixture then fry it the same as the savory recipe. When it's done, you can serve it with maple syrup.


Another option to try offers more of a French toast-inspired flavor. Instead of adding onion and parsley, consider adding a teaspoon of cinnamon and vanilla. This could also be served with some maple syrup and even a dash of powdered sugar, just like regular French toast. If you choose to go with the savory option, you can serve it with a dollop of sour cream. Pepin also suggests having the savory pancakes for dinner with a piece of meat.