Ever get a craving for something, you can’t get out of your mind, and finally, find yourself having to make it?

I’ve been that way for some time with bread pudding, after hubby treated me and my mother in law, for dessert one night, and for the first time in my life (it does happen), I had bread pudding and fell head over heels in love with this custard like dessert.

Usually consisting of stale french bread, I’ve been researching recipes, to try and find something that would be more consistent with what I had that night.

The pudding sauce, I was looking for, was creamy and not water thin, and the bread wasn’t completely soaked, but I also needed a recipe that I could make that didn’t require a water pan or in some cases, heavy cream, that I normally don’t keep on hand, unless I’m really making something special for the evening meal.

I finally stumbled upon a bread pudding recipe at squidoo, that I believe, is a rehash of the “Moms who Think” recipe and I was more than happy with the results, last night, of the bread pudding.

As I shared with my husband, I really feel that the recipe is exactly like the bread pudding I had that one night, and with care taken with the recipe (believe me, its easy to make a mistake with recipes, by going wrong, on even one part of the recipe), the bread pudding came out perfectly.

So along with photos of my own attempts at making the bread pudding, is last night’s bread pudding.

Like any recipe, the ingredients you would need for the bread pudding is as follows:

  • 2 cups whole milk (or 2 cups half & half)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar (white or brown, depending on taste preference)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups bread, torn into small pieces (french bread works best)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Note about using french bread:

Staler the bread, the better. I keep the bread, carefully wrapped, for about a week, before using it and if you find the bread to be stale to the point that you think that you can use it as a baseball bat, that’s okay.

For me, I usually use the inside of the bread, due to it still being ‘softer’ despite how stale the bread it is and though I use the crust as well, I try to make sure I don’t use all of the outside bread.

This is just mostly out of personal preferences and I find that using a lot of the crust, can take away from the bread pudding’s sponginess.

The Steps:

1.      Naturally the first thing to do, is break up the bread into 3 cups of small pieces. You pretty much need to eye how small you break the bread up, and I really don’t think there is a right way or wrong way to do so, though I’m sure there are those who might disagree with this.

Get a lightly greased 1 1/2 casserole dish and go ahead and place the shredded bread there.

 

2.     In the recipe, it calls for the milk and butter, that will be stirred into the batter, to be made first, but I would personally recommend, mixing the ingredients for the batter instead.

The reason is that, unless you are super organized and have everything laid out to be made into the dry batter, that by the time, you do get the dry batter together, get interrupted by phone calls, kids, knocks on the door, whatever the case, the milk and butter will be ready before you are and you really don’t want to “burn the milk”.

So you want to mix the following together, using a mixer for exactly one minute:

  • 2/3 cup sugar (white or brown, depending on taste preference)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Set aside for now and now, onto the milk and butter.

3. Mix the following

  • 2 cups whole milk (or 2 cups half & half)
  • 1/4 cup butter

Per the instructions, you want to start with heating the milk on medium heat, in a medium sauce pan. Gently stir the milk (i.e. don’t do the rapid mix, use a wooden spoon or a ladle, skip the whisk) and check on the milk till you just
see a film forms over top. NOW, combine the butter , gently stirring until
butter is melted.

You don’t want to boil the milk or butter and just getting it warm enough that the butter melts to be stirred in.

Remove from the stove and set the medium saucepan to the side and let it cool to lukewarm.

Cooling it to lukewarm also keeps the dry batter from being “cooked”, as the milk/butter mixture is poured into the dry batter.

4. When the milk/butter mixture has cooled to lukewarm, slowly pour the mixture into your dry batter mix and mix well. You will probrably get a frothy mixture, but that’s okay. The biggest thing is to make sure everything is mixed, don’t use a mixer or whisk, but just a spoon, ladle, anything but a mixer or a whisk and gently make sure everything is mixed.

Note about Raisins

Personally, I’m not a big fan of raisins, except eating them alone,so usually when I’m baking, I don’t add raisins, even if the raisins are called for. However, if you do like raisins and want to use them, particularly due to more traditional bread pudding recipes, you can now sprinkle raisins all over the bread, to your heart’s delight, before you add the liquid batter.

For me, I usually end up making two dishes, one with raisins and one without, even if that means more leftover for me.

5. Pour the batter all over the shredded bread until it’s soaked. Don’t worry if its looking like cake batter, the bread will absorb the, now liquid batter, while its cooking.

6. For those who are living in higher altitudes, you want to adjust the temperature and time, and I have an electric stove, so those with gas stoves, may have varying temperatures and time to bake the bread pudding in, so make sure you adjust for those, when making this recipe.

This is the final result BEFORE the sauce is poured on it. Its best to pour sauce on the individual slices and not soak the bread pudding itself, unless you are serving it to a large party.

At 350 degrees F for 45 to 50 minutes, is the time it takes to bake the bread pudding or until set (basically when you check the bread pudding, and it ‘bounces’ at the touch and is spongy.

And the final result:

 

Serve warm with or without the bread pudding sauce (recipe below).

Regarding Bread Pudding Sauce
I wait until the bread pudding is made, before I make the sauce and even then, I discovered, its not something that keeps for long and when done correctly, will thicken to a more pudding like texture. This maybe prefer to some, but if you prefer a thinner sauce, maybe add water to thin out the sauce, but really, the recipe as is, creates a very rich, creamy texture, that combine with the spongy texture of the bread pudding, makes the taste absolute divine.

This is a great dessert to serve on cold wintery nights, as comfort food when the need strikes, and goes well with hot chocolate or coffee.

Now for the Bread Pudding recipe:

1 cup whole milk
2 Tbsp. butter
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. flour
dash of salt

Instructions for making the Bread Pudding Sauce:

This is a super easy sauce to make.

1.Basically, you want to everything together , then cook over medium heat.

2.Bring the mixture to  a boil for 3 – 4 minutes, constantly stirring, but once again, I wouldn’t use a whisk, personally.

3.After 3-4 minutes, you can tell the sauce is starting to thicken, so set aside for 5 minutes, this just helps the sauce get a little thicker and you want a creamy texture, unless you prefer a thinner sauce, now,then pour on warm bread pudding.

The recipe that I used came from this source: http://www.squidoo.com/bread-pudding-recipe and from what I understand, it is similar to the one here:

http://www.momswhothink.com/easy-recipes/bread-pudding-recipe.html

There are different variations of bread pudding out there and it really comes down to personal preferences.

Note: Some bread pudding recipes do call for rum or brandy, so if you have a religious prohibition against using liquor in any form, or an allergy issue (some people are allergic to alcohol), read the recipe careful and usually, you should be able to substitute, a non-alcohol ingredient instead.

Some of the bread pudding recipes that are out there are:

  1. The Best Bread Pudding by Paula Deen: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/the-best-bread-pudding-recipe/index.html
  2. Emeril Lagrasse Bread Puddinghttp://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/new-orleans-style-bread-pudding-with-whiskey-sauce-recipe/index.html
  3. Bread Pudding via AllRecipes (uses no alcohol): http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/bread-pudding-ii/detail.aspx
  4. Joy of Baking (with video): http://www.joyofbaking.com/BreadPudding.html (Note: This calls for a water bath, so if you are unfamiliar with this technique or don’t want to use this technique, just a little forewarning)
  5. Feeding the Family for Less (this is a great recipe to look into; She uses a soy free, dairy free ingredients): http://www.feedingthefamilyforless.com/2011/09/bread-pudding.html
  6. From The Goossen Kitchen: Easy Bread Pudding w/ Rum Sauce: http://goossenkitchen.blogspot.com/2008/05/easy-bread-pudding-w-rum-sauce.html

Questions for the Reader

Do you enjoy eating Bread Pudding?

What are your favorite memories about Bread Pudding?

When did you first have bread pudding?

Do you have a bread pudding recipe, you’ll like to share?

I want to hear from you, so please, leave a comment, let me know if you tried this recipe and how did it come out, or just share your own thoughts and tips about making bread pudding, particularly with the holiday season, just around the corner.

AND, if you have a blog post, sharing your own bread pudding recipe, please share it with the rest of us, I have a linky up for you to leave your blog link on.



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