Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding
When was the last time you had bread pudding? I actually make bread pudding fairly often, but I'm wondering if other home cooks do too, or if it's become an out-dated dessert that no one makes anymore. I like to use up those last bits of bread before baking a new loaf, though what we don't use goes to the chickens so it's not completely wasted. Also, my husband is a big fan of bread pudding -and I like to make him happy. I find it quite cheerful to have bread pudding, made the night before, for breakfast. Not that toasted homemade bread for breakfast, like a slice from the loaf of the Golden Squash and Flax Seed Bread in the picture below, isn't good -it's just that a little bread pudding is a more festive version of my usual toast and jam.
Adapted from Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen
2 days before making this, cut up leftover bread into cubes to make 3-4 c. and leave it to get stale. Raisin bread is particularly tasty, as is challah and stollen, but any kind of bread (except maybe a garlicy one) will work. I used a whole wheat yogurt bread to make these puddings.
Butter 6 individual dishes. Place stale bread cubes in buttered dishes. Top with 1/3 c. golden raisins and 1/3 c. chopped nuts, divided evenly between the six dishes.
Using wire whisk attachment, beat 3 eggs for 3 minutes on high speed. Add:
3/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1 t. each nutmeg and cinnamon
Melt 2 T. butter, mix with 1 1/4 c. milk (I used almond milk) and add to egg mix. Pour evenly and carefully over bread cubes in dishes. Leave to sit for 30 minutes to allow cubes to absorb the custard. Use the back of a spoon (or hands) to gently push down the bread every so often.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, then immediately lower to 300 degrees when you put in the puddings. Bake 25 minutes for individual pudding dishes. Increase temperature to 375 degrees for an additional 5 minutes to brown tops. Check to make sure they don't burn and remove when lightly browned on top.
I served these with a covering of the Apricot-Pineapple Jam I made back in August. With a bit of whipped cream on top, this makes a very comforting old-fashioned dessert or breakfast!