If you like the combination of sweet and savoury, you will love this bread. The raisin bread itself is a quick-bread which of course means there is no yeast in it and therefore takes no time at all to make. It is a spongy, cakey bread which makes it perfect to soak up the egg mixture for French toast, before frying it to a delicious, golden brown and of course the addition of raisins, makes it perfect for breakfast.
I love eating French toast with fruit and especially lathering the toast with a fruit compote, which is basically fresh fruit which has been cooked in a flavoured syrup that brings out the ripeness and scent of the fruits.
I must confess, we like this raisin bread so much we have it as regular bread and take my word for it, it is delicious with cheese, honey and yes, Marmite!
To make the raisin bread:
500ml self-raising flour
Preheat your oven to 180℃.
Grease and line a 13cm x 23cm loaf tin with baking paper. The baking paper is not essential if you grease the tin well, but it does make life a whole lot easier when removing the bread from the baking tin.
Add the flour, raisins, sugar and aniseed to a large mixing bowl and stir through.
Add the eggs to another bowl and give them a whisk before adding it to the dry ingredients.
Add 300ml of milk and give the mixture a very good mix by hand. You want a consistency that slides from a spoon. Add some more milk if the mixture needs it.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until a testing needle comes out clean.
Take the bread from the oven and place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes before turning it out.
Allow the raisin bread to cool completely.
To make the compote:
fruit of your choice: I love utilising gooseberries; pear, cut into even sized chunks; mango; pineapple and guavas, but really, it’s up to you
a small bunch of mint leaves, chopped
Add the sugar and water to a small saucepan, put on a medium to low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Now add the fruit and allow the mixture to simmer until the fruit is softened but not mushy.
Take the compote off the heat, allow it to cool for a few minutes, add the mint and stir through.
Your compote is now ready to spoon onto your French toast! Of course, if you are having French toast for brunch, there is nothing stopping you from adding a splash of rum to your compote once you’ve taken it from the heat…
To make the French toast:
2 generous, 1 – 1,3cm thick slices of raisin bread
a dash of milk
a knob of butter
Break the eggs into a flat dish and add a splash of milk.
Season with salt and beat the mixture with a fork.
Put a non-stick frying pan onto medium heat and add a knob of butter to the pan.
Soak the slices of raisin bread in the egg mixture: first the one side and then flipping them to soak the other side.
Transfer the soaked bread to the hot frying pan and fry until golden before flipping and frying the other side.
Remove the warm toast from the pan and serve with spoonfuls of compote!