Bread pudding is something every baker should see as an easy way to put aging bread to use. The approach here is to combine a few types of bread that are saved in the freezer.
Bread pudding is one of my favorite desserts and is perfect with a scoop of ice cream. This recipe is a modified version of one from Chef Paul Prudhomme (Louisiana Kitchen '84 + Family Cookbook '87) . My first time having bread pudding was in New Orleans and that set me on a quest for the best in town.
---Dillard cafeteria... this HBCU also has the best gumbo in new orleans
non-baker tip... regularly dine out? Save bread in your freezer from a few meals out. After 3-5 dinners you have delicious bread perfect for bread pudding.
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Step 1: Old Bread
Want to get started with a loaf of your own? Here's an instructable I put together that will have you baking as soon as you get some yeast... Breadmaking Instructable
Here are the steps my bread goes through before it becomes bread pudding:
- Fresh Bread - nothing beats salted butter or oil + soy sauce (skip balsamic)
- Loaf Bread or Pizza - dough gets used most often for these staples
- Freezer - another good option to extend the life of your loaves
- Panzanella - an italian salad where bread goes straight in with the dressing. adds a little life to old bread.
- Croutons - typically this step gets skipped and dried out bread goes to the girls (our chickens' instagram)! but it's a good use for old bread
- Bread Pudding - way at the bottom... but only because it takes about a loaf to make. Typically a few loaves are pulled from the freezer and combined.
What bread is best? The more flavorful.. and generally sweeter, the better! As long as you're not using cheap sandwich bread you're on the right track!
Step 2: The 'Recipe'
All of my directions are to help remove hurdles and give a clear path to get started. Here's how to work through bread pudding:
- Bread - cut/cubbed to fill a baking pan
- Milk Mixture - the mixture is more art than science. see below
- Combine - mix and soak for 45min in greased pan
- Bake - see next step
Milk Mixture - here's my approach
- Eggs - use 3 eggs. Beat eggs at high speed until frothy... you don't have to, but you should
- Spices - add about 1 tsp of any assortment of vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon
- Butter - not 100% necessary but it makes it richer to add up to 1/4 cup of unsalted butter
- Sugar - add up to 1-1/4 cups... I go with 3/4 cup + molasses (impressive 5 gal pail for $.04/oz)
- Milk - add 2 cups
- Extras - add up to 1 cup of any assortment of chopped nuts, raisins, chocolate/peanut butter chips
Step 3: Read, Set, Bake
The bake for this recipe is a little more elaborate but worth following:
- Preheat to 350F (175C) - allow 40min for bread to soak in the mixture
- Drop to 300F (150C) - when the pan goes in the oven
- Finish at 425 (220C) - after baking for about 40min kick up the temp and finish till brown and puffy (15-20min)
Step 4: Enjoy!
Thanks for reading! Easy to finish with a scoop of ice cream. I put together this four frame photo.. think it nicely shares the entire dish.
Recipes. This is a family recipe shared from my gf's best college friend. Classic Mediterranean. These three cookbooks are our standard reference material.
Our Dream. One day we'd like to have a cafe. Here's our new instagram @cafeoneday!
Does my approach make it easier to get started?
Follow and try these other simple baking instructables...
- Perfect Pie - simplified approach to managing water content in crust, filling, topping
- Breadmaking - lengthy instructable but completely focused on getting you started on a first loaf
- 1,2,3... Crackers - Don't want to fuss with yeast? This will have you making crackers today
Thank you for reading! Jeff
For me, Chef Paul ranks as top chef!
(my first reference to Paul Prudhomme was in Stocking Schmaltz)