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Cinnamon Raisin French Toast

Pouring maple syrup on Cinnamon Raisin French Toast Slice

Cinnamon Raisin French Toast is a delicious variation on a classic breakfast food.  Start by making Cinnamon Raisin Bread from scratch (or buy a loaf from the grocery store), avoid eating the whole loaf immediately, leave uneaten bread on the counter for a couple days, and then follow the recipe below. The sweetness from the cinnamon, sugar, and raisin filling combines perfectly with the rich custard to make a truly delicious breakfast you won’t ever forget! 

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Ingredients For Cinnamon Raisin French Toast

Equipment

Why is French Toast Typically Made with Stale Bread?

French toast was traditionally made with stale or day-old bread to prevent waste in times when food was scarce (for example in the 17 century when supermarkets didn’t exist).  European cooks would “revive” slices of old bread by dipping them in milk and eggs before frying them.  This would not only add moisture to the bread, but also a small amount of protein. 

What if I don’t have stale bread for French Toast?

While you can make French Toast with fresh bread, it is better with stale bread because the bread is more able to absorb the custard. 

If you don’t have naturally old bread (i.e., bread that has been sitting on the counter for a couple days), you can help dry out bread slices by lightly heating them in the toaster or oven.  Avoid toasting or browning the bread.  You just need the moisture to be reduced.

You could also cut bread slices the night before and let them sit out overnight so they will be ready for making French Toast in the morning.

Cinnamon Raisin French Toast and Berries

Why do you need to use oil AND butter to fry French Toast?

Butter has a relatively low smoke point and the milk solids brown fairly quickly.  The oil helps to slow down the rate of browning, so your French Toast doesn’t burn while it’s cooking.  Make sure to use a flavorless oil (e.g., vegetable or canola oil) so it doesn’t change the flavor of the dish.  

Preparation Steps

Oil and butter in a frying pan

Begin by preheating the oven to 250°F/120°C.  Line a baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper or a silicone mat.  Set the baking sheet aside.  

Place the butter and oil in the skillet and set it over medium heat. 

Making the Custard

While the skillet is heating up, in a bowl (or you can use your liquid measuring cup if it’s large enough), whisk together the eggs, cream, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, rum, and vanilla.  Stir until smooth, but not foamy. 

Pour the custard into the casserole dish and place 1-2 slices of bread into the custard.  Allow the slices to soak for about 15 seconds, turn them over, and soak for another 15 seconds on the other side before taking them out.  This whole process should take around 30 seconds to complete.  The goal is for the bread to absorb some of the custard, but not to be completely saturated.  If it absorbs too much liquid, it will start to fall apart.  If it doesn’t absorb enough custard, it will be dry inside after it’s cooked.  Test your first slice to see what the interior is like.  Change your timing based on the test slice.

Cooking the Cinnamon Raisin French Toast

Place the bread into the skillet and fry it for 3 minutes before using a spatula to flip it.  It should be golden brown.  If it’s not the correct color, adjust your temperature.  Not enough color, then turn up the heat.  Too dark, then turn the heat down.

Frying Cinnamon Raisin French Toast

Fry the bread on the second side for approximately 2 minutes (or until golden brown). 

Transfer the Cinnamon Raisin French Toast to the parchment-lined baking sheet and place it in the preheated oven.  Keep the French toast in the oven while you cook the remaining slices. 

Serving the Cinnamon Raisin French Toast

Cinnamon Raisin French Toast with Powdered Sugar, Maple Syrup, and Berries

Serve Cinnamon Raisin French Toast with maple syrup and a sprinkle of powdered sugar. 

Storing Leftover Cinnamon Raisin French Toast

French toast is best the day it’s made but you can store uneaten French Toast in an airtight container in the fridge (for 1-2 days) or in the freezer (for up to 2 months).  Reheat the French Toast in the toaster or in a 350°F/180°C oven until hot.  Avoid heating French Toast in the microwave because it will be soggy and flimsy. 

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Cinnamon Raisin French Toast

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Breakfast

Equipment

  • Digital scale (or liquid measuring cups and measuring spoons)
  • Bowl
  • Whisk
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper or silicone mat
  • Heavy bottomed skillet
  • Shallow casserole dish (fitting 1-6 slices or however many slices you can fit in the skillet at one time)
  • Spatula

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp (14g) unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp (14g) vegetable oil
  • 3 large (155g) eggs
  • ¾ cup (207g) heavy cream
  • ¼ tsp (1.5g) salt
  • tsp (0.3g) ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp (0.5g) ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp (12g) spiced rum (optional)
  • 1 tsp (5.8g) vanilla extract
  • 6 slices of Cinnamon Raisin Bread (slices approximately ¾”/2 cm thick and preferably slightly stale)

Instructions

Preparation Steps

  • Begin by preheating the oven to 250°F/120°C. Line a baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper or a silicone mat. Set the baking sheet aside.
  • Place the butter and oil in the skillet and set it over medium heat.

Making the Custard

  • While the skillet is heating up, in a bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, rum, and vanilla. Stir until smooth, but not foamy.
  • Pour the custard into the casserole dish and place 1-2 slices of bread into the custard. Allow the slices to soak for about 15 seconds, turn them over, and soak for another 15 seconds on the other side before taking them out. This whole process should take around 30 seconds to complete. The goal is for the bread to absorb some of the custard, but not to be completely saturated. If it absorbs too much liquid, it will start to fall apart. If it doesn’t absorb enough custard, it will be dry inside after it’s cooked. Test your first slice to see what the interior is like. Change your timing based on the test slice.

Cooking the French Toast

  • Place the bread into the skillet and fry it for 3 minutes before using a spatula to flip it. It should be golden brown. If it’s not the correct color, adjust your temperature. Not enough color, then turn up the heat. Too dark, then turn the heat down.
  • Fry the bread on the second side for approximately 2 minutes (or until golden brown).
  • Transfer the Cinnamon Raisin French Toast to the parchment-lined baking sheet and place it in the preheated oven. Keep the French toast in the oven while you cook the remaining slices.

Serving the French Toast

  • Serve Cinnamon Raisin French Toast with maple syrup and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

Storing Leftover Cinnamon Raisin French Toast

  • French toast is best the day it’s made but you can store uneaten French Toast in an airtight container in the fridge (for 1-2 days) or in the freezer (for up to 2 months). Reheat the French Toast in the toaster or in a 350°F/180°C oven until hot. Avoid heating French Toast in the microwave because it will be soggy and flimsy.

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