This week's Tuesdays with Dorie (TWD) recipe was chosen by Susan of Food.Baby: Raisin Swirl Bread. I love cinnamon raisin bread! In fact, my go-to recipe is this brown sugar raisin bread recipe. So, I was excited to try this recipe out and see how it compared.
I'm no stranger to yeast breads (though I used to be terrified of them!) so this recipe was fairly straightforward for me. I did split the recipe into two days, just to simplify my life a little. It's hard to find a huge stretch of time to bake these days (even though a lot of this recipe is waiting for the dough to rise) when my little monkey wants all my attention! :)
Unfortunately I let my dough warm up too much after taking it out of the refrigerator so I had a terribly hard time rolling up my dough. Thankfully this did not affect the taste, but it did make for a not-so-pretty swirl. If you want to see a perfectly swirled loaf, you'll have to visit Susan's blog (the host for this week).
The only optional spice that I added was the cocoa, at the recommendation of another baker. I was truly surprised that I could not taste the cocoa at all, it simply enhanced the cinnamon flavor. Despite this, I think this recipe was lacking in the cinnamon department. If you're going to make a raisin bread, it's got to have a nice strong cinnamon flavor to it! Even though I could probably double (or triple) the amount of cinnamon in this recipe next time, I think my go-to recipe is still going to be the brown sugar raisin bread I've made in the past. That bread is so good!
I do have to say, however, that I made the sugar-crusted french toast recipe that Dorie includes with this, and it was fantastic! It will probably be my go-to french toast recipe from now on :) Just make sure you let your french toast brown long enough on each side in order to allow the sugar to caramelize properly. I'd recommend maybe 4-5 minutes on each side instead of 3 minutes like Dorie suggests.
Thanks Susan, for hosting this week. I've included Dorie's french toast recipe below, but if you would like the recipe for the raisin swirl bread, you can find it here. Make sure you check out the TWD Blogroll, to see how everyone else enjoyed this sweet, cinnamon-y treat!
* Recipes notes:
- I would recommend doubling or even tripling the amount of cinnamon in this recipe.
- This bread is definitely much better the next day, and even better as french toast!
- Wrapped airtight, this loaf will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.
- For tips from other TWD bakers, click here.
Sugar-Crusted French Toast
from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
6 slices of raisin swirl bread (each 3/4 to 1-inch thick)
6 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
3-1/2 cups whole milk
2/3 cup sugar, plus 8 tbsp more for sprinkling
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter
Mix the eggs, egg yolks, whole milk, 2/3 cup sugar, vanilla extract and salt in a large bowl. Soak the slices of bread in this mixture for 3 minutes. (Make sure you don't leave them in too long or else your bread will get too soft and difficult to handle!)
When the bread is ready, put two large nonstick skillets over medium heat, add 3 tablespoons butter to each one and melt the butter. Sprinkle each skillet with 2 tablespoons of sugar and put 3 slices of soaked bread in each one.
Cook until the bread is golden brown on the bottom, about 3 minutes (I'd recommend leaving them for 4-5 minutes). Sprinkle the tops of the bread with sugar--again, using 2 tablespoons sugar for each skillet--and carefully flip the slices over.
Add more butter to the pans if needed, and cook for another 3 minutes, or until the undersides are also golden brown.
Serve the toast immediately with fruit, syrup, creme fraiche or jam, or with all of them.
Yield: 3-6 servings