Elizabeth David, one of the great food writers of the 20th century, wrote recipes so concise that they’ve become cherished aphorisms of an oft-forgotten French cuisine, little surprises for the adventurous home cook. Without the glossy color photographs typical of today’s cookbooks, David’s readers never know exactly what to expect when working with her spare instructions. Such is the case with her seemingly dull recipe for oeufs au plat Bressane from the 1955 classic, Summer Cooking. David instructs readers:
And yet! This four-ingredient recipe, when executed with a bit of seasoning and some finesse, results in a surprisingly lavish meal.
David’s baked, cream-soaked toast and eggs is named for the Alpine region of Bresse, best known to the culinary world for its exceptional chickens. It’s deceptively simple country cooking at its finest: as the dish bakes, the cream soaks into the bread and thickens to a rich, béchamel-like sauce right on the platter, resulting in a savory French toast complete with its own dipping sauce.
If you need a bit more guidance, take a look at our test kitchen’s detailed recipe. Your guests will have no idea how simple it was, and we find it makes a lovely breakfast or quick supper any time of the year, especially if you start with this fluffy homemade milk bread.