The pickle man

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What to do with bread that FAILS - Bread Pudding

I make a lot of bread.  Usually, it turns out great.  Sometimes, it turns out not so great.
ARGH!  Did someone step on the bread?!

I volunteered to make homemade bread for my sister-in-law's pokeno party.  Instead of my normal French bread, she wanted bread like her mom's.  I've made that lots, too, and usually it is very easy and comes out great.  Not this time.
BTW - I definitely sent the loaf in the back to my sister-in-law.  It's the one in the front that got reincarnated as bread pudding.

My mother-in-law says it has to do with the weather - if it's really humid (aka that yucky frozen rain stuff) that you should add less moisture to the bread.  So now we both know...

But tonight we had bread pudding.  I've heard that you can also do this with stale bread, but no bread has ever lasted in my house long enough to get stale.  However, this is so delicious that I'm tempted to hide a loaf next time I make bread.

1 large loaf French bread - stale, misshapen, or in any other way messed up
4 cups milk (I used skim)
1 cup raisins
1 cup whipping cream (or half-and-half, if it makes you feel better)
4 extra large eggs, or 5 of the normal kind
2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 generous pinch salt
1/4 cup butter, for dotting on the top (optional)
1-2 Tablespoons brown sugar, for sprinkling on the top (optional)

Tear up the bread (Or if you like a neater presentation, chop into 1 inch cubes - but then your 4 year old won't have nearly as much fun helping).  Place the bread in a large bowl. 
Already the bread is looking better

Put the raisins in on top of the bread (they deserve to soak up all the yumminess, too).   
In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, milk, cream, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt.  Pour this over the bread.  Let it soak for 15 minutes (long enough to bathe one 9 month old child).  Also, preheat your oven to 325.

Dump the now soggy bread mixture into a 2 quart casserole dish.  Smoosh it down (also fun for the 4 year old).  Sprinkle the butter and the brown sugar on top (this is completely optional, but I love a crispy sparkly top).  Bake at 325 for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes (start checking at 1 hour 15 minutes).  The middle should be set, but not firm (unfortunately, the toothpick trick doesn't really work on this one) - basically, the edges should be brown and crusty, and the middle should jiggle like Jello, but not slosh around.  

The picture is courtesy of my husband.  I had a meeting :)

This is amazing and delicious...

Oh yeah, and the bourbon sauce (you can also use rum, but why?).  I didn't make this tonight, but I usually do. 

1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cornstarch, mixed with 1/4 cup cold water
2 shots of bourbon

Combine sugar, cream, butter, and cinnamon.  Stirring frequently heat until simmering (bubbles should not be breaking on the surface - if they do, just take it off the heat).  Add cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring, until thick and not cloudy.  Take off the stove and stir in the bourbon (*or, if you are serving to small children, stir in the bourbon and continue cooking until the alcohol has evaporated).



  1. I've never made bread pudding before. I'm going to have to try this! The picture looks amazing!!

  2. Your bread pudding sounds wonderful.