Breakfast

Cinnamon Raisin Baked French Toast

I started working at a great bakery here in Pawtucket at the beginning of last week. Despite what people might think, it’s been a pleasant change to be on the bottom of the ladder. Seven Stars Bakery has superb standards that they expect to be maintained with their staff, service, and most importantly their food. More to come about them later, but I had to give a small introduction to explain why I found it necessary to go shopping in the middle of the night to make baked french toast out of their raising walnut bread. All of Seven Stars’ breads are baked every morning and are hand crafted little balls of perfection. The raisin and walnut bread is dense, filled to the brim with toppings, and has a whole grain quality to it that further enhances the texture. With my take-home loaf as inspiration, it was time to make baked french toast. 

Compared to Paula Deen’s famous French Toast recipe, this is a breakfast lovers’ delightfully healthy alternative. Natural almond milk makes for a creamy substitute for half-and-half. If you have a nut allergy, rice milk or skim milk is a fine option as well. The chocolate milk and cocoa powder don’t end up making the dish chocolatey, but instead add a great taste to the dish that balances out the dense bread. This dish makes a great brunch entree or can even be divided into small ramekins and be used for breakfast throughout the week! Or make a bunch and make new friends, which is exactly what I did when I sent it to the Pawsox Clubhouse yesterday morning 🙂

   

Makes: 12 servings
Idle Time: 8 hours Baking Time: 60 minutes Total Time: 9 hours, 20 minutes

1 large loaf of raisin bread (I used one small raisin walnut, 1 small whole wheat)
10 eggs, or 1 cup egg substitute and 5 eggs
1 1/2 cups almond milk (original flavor)
1 cup chocolate flavored almond milk
1 tbs cocoa powder
1 tbs vanilla extract
1 tbs cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped (optional)

Whisk together the eggs, almond milk, cocoa powder, vanilla, and cinnamon.
Set aside and cut the bread into 1 inch cubes.
Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray and lay the bread and additional raisins in the dish in a uniform layer.
Whisk the egg batter again and pour over the bread. Mix with your hands so that everything has absorbed liquid. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 8 hours.
Remove from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Sprinkle the brown sugar and walnuts on top of the bread just as a light topping. It won’t cover it all so spread it evenly as best you can.
Bake uncovered for 60 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
Cut into slices and serve with maple syrup and additional french toast toppings if desired.

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