Thursday, March 7, 2013

Bread Pudding

Bread pudding. It was created to use leftover and stale bread.

Now, if I have leftover stale supermarket bread, without hesitation, I feed it to the ducks or put it in the compost pile.

I can't do that with good homemade bread. Sorry, ducks. Sorry, worms and microorganisms.

If you Google "bread pudding," you will see countless variations.

My recipe is simple. You could vary it endlessly. But if you are looking for a good place to start, here it is.

Bread Pudding

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Beat 6 eggs until smooth.

Mix in:
2/3 C granulated sugar
2/3 C brown sugar
5 C milk, scalded
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
dash of salt
1 C raisins (optional)

Stir in 8-10 slices stale bread, cubed (about 8 ounces).

I used Oatmeal Bread today.
Pour the mixture into a 9x13 inch pan or 12 custard cups. Place the pan or custard cups into another pan. After setting it all into the oven, pour hot water into the outer pan.

Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until set.

I bake a lot of bread and so I always have plenty of bread on hand. While whole-grain freshly-made bread is healthful, it's only part of a healthy diet. So I try not to eat too much of it.

So, while I have plenty of bread to use for bread pudding, I only make it when there are others around to eat it, too. Otherwise, I eat too much of it.

Today I had others here to eat bread pudding! Here is one of my granddaughters:


If you want to lighten it up, you can--
  • substitute 3 whole eggs and 6 egg whites for the eggs.
  • use 1/3 C less brown sugar. You can also substitute Splenda for the granulated sugar--it doesn't affect the texture or flavor--but I'm trying to stay away from artificial sweeteners, so I can't endorse that.
  • use fat free milk. I use reconstituted dry milk because I don't keep fresh milk on hand since I never use it. If you are used to making custards with whole milk or cream, I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how well fat free milk works.
Speaking of milk, there is a controversy about whether or not you need to scald the milk for a custard-based recipe such as this or whether it just speeds up the baking time. If, perchance, you are using raw milk, scald it for sure! If you use reconstituted dry milk like I do, there is no need. Otherwise, go here and here to make a more informed decision.

I think I'm going to start adding a little nutmeg.

I love bread pudding with raisins. I didn't put them in today because I wasn't sure if my grandchildren would like the pudding with them.

The bread: Whole wheat bread works great. I'd love to try it with whole-wheat maple oatmeal bread, but I never have any leftover. Any bread or rolls that you could make into cinnamon toast would work. (So, just like I wouldn't use pumpernickel bread to make cinnamon toast, I wouldn't use it in bread pudding either.) Cut up some day-old cinnamon rolls? Oh, that would be good bread pudding!

Another bread note: I personally prefer bread that has some substance and some character and, most of all, good flavor. That's the kind of bread I like in my bread pudding, too. So, if you use some other bread and your bread pudding doesn't turn out so well, I am not responsible.

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