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 }

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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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!

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flourchild June 15, 2010 at 6:03 am

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

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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!

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Beth June 15, 2010 at 10:59 am

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

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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.

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Kimberly June 15, 2010 at 11:14 am

Your bread looks beautiful and your photography is stunning!

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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!! :)

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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. :D

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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. :)

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Cakelaw June 15, 2010 at 10:29 pm

Looks delicious – and I love the French toast.

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natalia June 16, 2010 at 2:44 am

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

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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.
Mimi

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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…

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Cherine June 22, 2010 at 11:30 am

Gorgeous bread!!

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