Prep 25 mins
Cook 16 mins
From this month's Cook's Illustrated Magazine (January 2009). Drying the bread first in the oven produces a French Toast that is crisp on the outside and soft (but not soggy) on the inside. If you purchase an unsliced loaf, cut the bread into 1/2-inch-thick slices. The French toast can be cooked all at once on an electric griddle, but may take an extra 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set the griddle temperature to 350 degrees and use the entire amount of butter for cooking.
- 1⁄2 cup pecans
- 4 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 3⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 8 large slice cinnamon-raisin bread
- 1 1⁄2 cups whole milk, warmed (warm the milk in a microwave or small saucepan until warm to the touch, about 80 degrees)
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 2 tablespoons for cooking
- 1⁄4 teaspoon table salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons dark rum
- maple syrup
- Process 1/2 cup pecans, 1 tablespoon light brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in food processor until coarsely ground, 12 to 15 one-second pulses (you should have about 1/2 cup crumbs).
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Place bread on wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. Bake bread until almost dry throughout (center should remain slightly moist), about 16 minutes, flipping slices halfway through cooking. Remove bread from rack and let cool 5 minutes. Return baking sheet with wire rack to oven and reduce temperature to 200 degrees.
- Whisk milk, yolks, sugar, cinnamon, 2 tablespoons melted butter, salt, vanilla, and rum in large bowl until well blended. Transfer mixture to 13- by 9-inch baking pan.
- Soak bread in milk mixture until saturated but not falling apart, 20 seconds per side. Using firm slotted spatula, pick up bread slice and allow excess milk mixture to drip off; repeat with remaining slices. Place soaked bread on another baking sheet or platter. Sprinkle each slice of soaked bread with 1 tablespoon nut mixture.
- Heat ½ tablespoon butter in 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat. When foaming subsides, use slotted spatula to transfer 2 slices soaked bread to skillet—nut mixture side down—and cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until second side is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes longer. (If toast is cooking too quickly, reduce temperature slightly.) Transfer to baking sheet in oven. Wipe out skillet with paper towels. Repeat cooking with remaining bread, 2 pieces at a time, adding ½ tablespoon of butter for each batch. Serve warm, passing maple syrup separately.
Thanks for entering this recipe! We finally made this and it was so gourmet. I made the raisin bread the day before in the bread machine. This really isn't that much more work than regular french toast, especially if your bread is a little stale. The butter and the egg yolks make this very rich. This would be fantastic with a side of tropical fruit salad, like mango and papaya. Thanks for posting!