Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is an easy dessert to make. It can be prepared in advance and enjoyed at any meal. I love making it for breakfast when my kids come home for the holidays. It can soak overnight in the fridge and all I have to do is bake it first thing in the morning. Its great served warm for breakfast and it lets me spend more time with them and less time in the kitchen.

Bread pudding is also extremely versatile. You can alter the flavors reflecting the holiday or time of year you’re going to serve it. This year I added my homemade drunken fig preserves and a few toasted walnuts to the formula for our Christmas breakfast.

I always bake a few loaves of buttermilk white bread ahead of time and freeze them until I’m ready to use them. However there’s no reason why you couldn’t use your own favorite enriched bread recipe or, to really make things easy, just pick up a loaf from local bakery.

The pudding can be served warm or cold with your desired toppings or sides. Other additions you might consider are fresh fruit, a fruit coulis (sauce), chocolate syrup, whipped cream, confectioner’s sugar, or all of the above.

For a softer consistency bake the pudding in a water bath.

Place the baking ban into a larger ban filled with 1 inch of water.

For a richer pudding toss the bread cubes in 4 ounces of melted butter before adding it to the pan. You can also use cream for half of the milk or half and half for all the milk in the formula.

Additions to the custard filling can include fruits (fresh or dried), nuts, chocolate, jam, spices or other flavorings and liquors. The possibilities are endless. This morning I decided to add a touch of Myers Rum and some raisins to the mix.

I use a glass Pyrex dish with a cover and bake for the first 40 minutes with the cover on. Then I’ll remove the cover and continue to bake it until it develops a nice crunchy browned crust.

Be creative. Let your imagination run wild. Think about what fruits are in season, your favorite taste combinations, or Holiday inspired flavors. It will be much appreciated.

Formula

Mixing Time: just until mixed

Quantity: One 10 x 12 inch baking pan. Approximately 12 servings.

Oven Temperature and Time: 350ºF for approximately 1 hour or until set

Equipment

Scale or measuring cups and spoons

Timer

Whisk or blender

Spatula or wooden spoon

Mixing bowl with a dough hook

Plastic wrap

1-10 x 12 inch lightly buttered baking pan

Aluminum foil to cover the top if it begins to brown before it sets.

Ingredients

1 Loaf of Enriched Bread

4 Eggs

1 cup Sugar

½ tsp. Salt

1 ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract

1 qt. Milk

2 tbsp. Cinnamon

Procedure:

  1. Slice and cut bread into 1-inch cubes. Let cubes sit out overnight or place in a warm oven to dry them out a little. Add the bread cubes to a lightly buttered 10 x 12 inch baking pan.

  2. In a bowl or blender combine the remaining ingredients and mix until well blended.

  3. Pour the mixture over the bread and let soak for at least 1 hour or overnight in the refrigerator. Make sure the bread absorbs the custard by pressing the bread down with a spatula or spoon a few of times to insure that it absorbs the custard evenly.

  4. Preheat the oven 350ºF. Sprinkle with more cinnamon and bake for approximately 1 hour or until set.

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