Bread Pudding

If  I added up all the days, in my childhood, that I burned tongue from eating hot puddings and pies it would probably total a year of my life.  Bread Pudding ranked right up there as one of the top offenders to my poor tongue.  My Mother would take the hot pudding from the oven just before dinner was over and serve up steaming bowlfuls to finish off the meal.  There was always cold milk to pour over the pudding to help cool it down but I guess I ate it before the milk did its work.  I would inevitably return to school with a sore and burned tongue.  It's a wonder I still like Bread Pudding, but I do.  I'll eat it any time of the day with great pleasure.

Bread Pudding is not a dessert I make often as I'm the only one who really likes it.  The others will eat it if I plate it up and give it to them but they prefer cookies or cake.  Maybe their tastes will change as they get older. ☺

I had a few slices of homemade white bread left over from making garlic bread on the weekend and decided to make a Bread Pudding with the stale bread as I had a hangering for the dessert.  I don't like it made really sweet so I go light on the sugar.  I usually add only ¼ cup of sugar and find it sufficiently sweet with the raisins.  But if you like a nice sweet pudding use the full amount or even a little more to your taste.  

Bread Pudding
3-4 cups stale bread cubes, about 4 slices homemade-style white bread
2 tablespoons soft butter, optional
2-3 tablespoons raisins or any dried fruit cut in small pieces, optional
3 eggs
1 large can evaporated milk (1½ cups)
⅓ cup white sugar, or to taste
1 teaspoon vanilla
Large pinch nutmeg and cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place a larger baking pan in oven and half fill with hot tap water.  

Slice bread into cubes and place in greased 1½-2 litre (1½-2 quart) casserole dish.  If you wish you may butter the bread slices before cutting into cubes.  I don't usually do this but it will make for a richer pudding. Sprinkle the bread cubes with the raisins.  You may put more raisins in if you wish.  

Beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla and spices together.  Add the evaporated milk and beat until well combined.  Pour the custard mixture over the bread and raisins.  Press the bread into the liquid mixture until the bread is soaked.  Let stand about 10 minutes to make sure the liquid has been thoroughly absorbed by the bread.  You may sprinkle a little more nutmeg or cinnamon over the top before baking. 

Place bread pudding in the larger baking dish that you previously filled with water.  This is a water bath and will prevent the custard from curdling while baking. 

Bake 50-60 minutes or until the middle is baked.  You can test the middle with a cake tester or a tooth pick.  It should come out clean.  Or if you press on the middle of the pudding no raw custard will seep out. 

Serve warm or cold, plain or with pouring cream/milk, whipped cream or ice cream or with a custard or brown sugar sauce.

Makes about 6 servings.

Use a good sturdy white bread like a homemade or French bread.  You may butter the slices before cutting into cubes but that is optional.  Place the cubed bread in the prepared casserole dish and then add the raisins.   Some people like lots of raisins but I like just a few--it's up to you.  (Do you see my new bamboo cutting board.  It was a gift from my friend Lucie and her church.  Thank you so much!)

Beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla and spices together.  Add the evaporated milk and beat until frothy.  Pour the custard mixture over the cubed bread and raisins.

Push the bread into the custard mixture.  Let sit at least 10 minutes for the bread to fully absorb the liquid.  If the bread is really stale let it sit longer.  This is the secret to good Bread Pudding. 

Place the pudding in a pan of hot water.  This ensures the custard will bake without curdling. 

The pudding will take 50-60 minutes to bake to a lovely golden brown.  Make sure to test there is no uncooked custard in the middle before removing from the oven.

Serve the pudding warm or cold.  If you serve it hot you will be responsible for burned tongues.

Bread Pudding served with brown sugar sauce.  The pudding is also delicious with pouring cream/milk (my favourite way) or whipped cream, ice cream or a custard sauce

A spoonful of the soft, sweet bread pudding.

Bread Pudding--Old-fashioned goodness!


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