Introduction: Brunch for One

Sometimes we're alone. Sometimes that's a great thing. Sometimes it's not. Spouse is on a business trip, the kids are at camp, significant other is being a jerk, etc. Whether it's a good alone or bad alone here is the way to make it splendid.

Cinnamon & Raisin Bread Pudding

First off, you shouldn't confuse the cinnamon and raisin part with cinnamon-raisin bread. That's perfectly doable, but it's not what's happening here . . . though I do recall that the best bread pudding I ever made was from a leftover loaf of cinnamon-raisin brioche that I made. That will now be a holiday regular and perhaps an instructable for another day.

This really more of a basic skeleton for a single bread pudding. You by no means need to make it cinnamon and raisin. Whatever turns you on is what should be in this dish.

And it's not really necessary to make this for just one person. This can easily be doubled.

Step 1: The Haves

  • Old bread - here I believe is a leftover Italian loaf
  • Cinnamon sugar - equal portions by measurement
  • 1 egg
  • Raisins
  • Milk - in this case I used half milk and half cream
  • A whisk
  • A ceramic, oven safe ramekin
  • Mixing bowl

The Could Haves
  •  Dried Cranberries or cherries instead of raisins
  • Toasted nuts, whatever kind you prefer; just give them a little time in a hot skillet to toast until fragrant
  • Savory ingredients instead of sweet - bacon, mushrooms, leeks, cheese, whatever you can imagine

Step 2: Doing It

Custards, which is what a bread pudding basically is, are terribly simple to make. As Michael Ruhlman tells us in his book (that I find incredibly essential for anyone who cooks) Ratio, a custard is 1 part egg and 2 parts dairy. That's by weight not measurement. If you don't have a scale get thee one this instant. Even a cheapo model under $10 bucks is an improvement over volume measurement.

I haven't included a lot of info on amounts in this recipe for a reason. It's mostly to taste. If you like super sweet add a lot of sugar, if you don't, don't. Also things will depend on the size of your cooking vessel.

Though there seems to be a lot of steps, the longest part of this will be cooking it. The other steps are done in minutes.

Start with the bread.

  • Decrustify the bread and slice it into 3/8" to 1/2" slices
  • Cut the bread to fit into the container
  • Sprinkle with raisins and cinnamon sugar
  • Repeat this process to make layers of cinnamon sugar and raisins until you reach the top of the container
  • Put the egg (this one weighed 2 oz) into a mixing bowl and give it hell with a whisk
  • Add the milk/cream mix (4oz here) and whisk together
  • Sweeten it up with cinnamon sugar to your liking - I think I used about 1Tb
  • Add a pinch of salt to accentuate flavors
  • Pour this mess onto the bread in the ramekin until it is well absorbed by the bread - in the end I was left with about 1 Tb of the custard mix
  • Top with cinnamon sugar

Step 3: Heating Things Up

Take your cinnamon sugared pudding and toss it into an oven at 350F.

Here I have to say that I don't think preheating the oven is essential, but you can if you wish.

I baked this at 350F for about 25 minutes. The internal temperature was 190F. In retrospect I probably should have put a dish on the rack beneath it, but such is life.

Step 4: Just Eat It

How does one serve bread pudding? It's a subjective thing. Some like it hot, some room temp, some cold. I vary. This time I went with hot.

In lieu of making a sauce I dusted powdered sugar on the plate and had a drizzle of maple syrup. If you wanted to be fancy you could make any number of sauces. Fruit based, caramel, cream cheese frosting, whipped cream, etc.

I think whipped cream with maple syrup and bourbon would be a good way to start the day.


Le Creuset Brunch Challenge

Participated in the
Le Creuset Brunch Challenge