Raisin Bread French Toast with Orange-Butter Sauce



  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 (1 pound) loaf raisin bread, sliced
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon


  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest, plus 1/4 cup orange juice


  1. Make the French toast: Butter the bottom and sides of a 2 1/2-quart baking dish. Layer bread slices in baking dish.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, 1/3 cup sugar, salt, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Pour egg mixture evenly over bread slices. Place a piece of parchment on top of baking dish and press down on parchment with hands until egg mixture soaks through top of bread. Cover baking dish with foil and refrigerate at least 8 hours and up to overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 with rack in center position.
  4. Remove baking dish from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature, 30 minutes. Remove foil and parchment from baking dish. In a small bowl, combine remaining tablespoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over bread. Bake 45 minutes until raisin bread French toast is puffed and golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack and let stand 15 minutes.
  5. Make the orange-butter sauce: In a medium saucepan, melt butter with 1/3 cup water and bring to a simmer. In another medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks and sugar. Slowly pour butter mixture into egg mixture, whisking constantly. Return butter sauce to saucepan and whisk in orange zest and juice. Return to stovetop and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened slightly, about 2 minutes.
  6. Spoon warm orange butter sauce over bread toast and serve immediately.
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