Tuesdays with Dorie: Raisin Swirl Bread + Sugar Crusted French Toast

square cinnamon bread 1

Everyone needs a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Knowing I have bread dough mixed and ready to bake works for me. The yeasty smell of bread coming from the oven is enough to wake up any lingering sleepyheads.

I hesitate to admit how I made this.  Will it make Dorie cringe?  If so, I’m sorry.  But I made this recipe in my bread machine and it turned out…well…the way it was supposed to, I think. The dough was smooth and elastic with a buttery sheen just as Dorie predicted.  The loaf was well-risen (maybe too much as it separated a bit in the swirls) and the taste ensured it will be a repeat, again and again. If you’ve read me long, you know I’m a gadget nut and see no reason to ride a horse when you can get there faster, easier and more predictably in a car–without breaking a sweat. Not that riding a horse doesn’t have its own pleasures. It’s just not the way I want to spend my time at this point in life.

Reading the sidebar in Dorie’s book, Baking, enticed me to try her Sugar-Crusted French Toast. Slices of raisin bread are soaked in sweetened, vanilla-flavored whole milk, eggs and egg yolks, then sauteed in butter with more sugar sprinkled on the toast during the cooking process.

french toast square

I made the first pieces too thick and couldn’t get them cooked in the middle without the toast getting overly brown.  Perhaps I was impatient and had the heat too high.  A second attempt with slices closer to 3/4 inch yielded perfectly browned and crispy toast with a smooth, custard-like interior. Fresh fruit and maple syrup are all that’s needed to transform this decadent recipe into dessert or a very special breakfast.

Visit the lovely Susan at Food.Baby to get the recipe for the bread. The recipe for the Sugar-Crusted French Toast has  been published in the Parade here.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Cherine June 22, 2010 at 11:30 am

Gorgeous bread!!


Monica June 19, 2010 at 6:12 pm

I also have swirl envy! It looks soo good and love the french toast… unfortunately, mine did not last long to “save” for the french toast…


Mimi June 16, 2010 at 11:02 pm

Your bread looks great. I had wanted to make the french toast, but the bread disappeared before I could make it.


natalia June 16, 2010 at 2:44 am

Ciao ! I absolutely love your french toast !! The bread is magnificent !


Cakelaw June 15, 2010 at 10:29 pm

Looks delicious – and I love the French toast.


Susan June 15, 2010 at 8:28 pm

Your bread (and your photo) looks gorgeous! I really liked this. Nice to know it can be done in my bread machine. 🙂


Valerie June 15, 2010 at 8:21 pm

Your bread looks just the way it should look, perfect! I wish I had thought of using my bread machine. I don’t have a stand mixer (the horror, I know.) My wrist felt like it was detached from my arm by the time I was finished. But this bread was so, so worth it. 😀


Katrina June 15, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Your bread looks great, and that French toast looks fabulous. Perfect coloring! I made cinnamon rolls, so the guys would eat it, but am definitely going to make this bread someday!


Leslie June 15, 2010 at 2:34 pm

I thought your bread looked great.

Then I saw your French toast. It looks amazing.

I think this I’m going to have to make this one again so we can have breakfast/dessert for dinner.


Heather Davis June 15, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Ok I am definitely going to have to try that french toast! It looks & sounds amazing.


Jessica of My Baking Heart June 15, 2010 at 11:34 am

Whoa. That Sugar-Crusted French Toast looks amazing – your loaf is absolutely perfect, Romaine!! 🙂


Kimberly June 15, 2010 at 11:14 am

Your bread looks beautiful and your photography is stunning!


Judy June 15, 2010 at 11:12 am

I can really see the texture of your bread in the photo. Looks divine. While I used my super KA mixer for this one, I think I’ll try my bread machine for the next one and compare results. Good suggestion.


Beth June 15, 2010 at 10:59 am

Gorgeous! I love the idea of the french toast. Can I come over for breakfast?


tia @ buttercreambarbie June 15, 2010 at 10:44 am

your pictures look like they are straight out of magazine! I’m blown away, esp. the first one. Great job!


flourchild June 15, 2010 at 6:03 am

Your bread looks so good! I really enjoyed this recipe!


nickki June 15, 2010 at 5:10 am

Your bread looks so delicious! I also tried the sugar crusted french toast. It was a delicious breakfast!


mike June 15, 2010 at 2:41 am

Um… now I have serious swirl envy. I think I rolled mine (way) too tight. This looks amazing…. your swirl that is. I’ll probably just go on about this swirl thing (since I know the bread tastes wonderful) – but I’m definitely going to make another loaf and try a different rolling technique (more swirl talk). BTW: I’m all for innovation (bread machine=convenience)!


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