Bread Pudding

Bread Pudding can be sweet or savory. This is a recipe for a sweet bread pudding, but for savory just omit the sugar and spices.
For savory you can add such items as sun dried tomatoes, fresh herbs such as parsley, basil, tarragon, etc. Sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions, truffles or truffle oil, etc.. Use your imagination, just think about moisture content of the items you are adding. (see note below under fresh fruit)
The most important thing to keep in mind is that this is simply bread soaked in a custard mix and then baked.
You can make any flavor of custard: RULE OF THUMB: per quart of dairy (cream, milk, etc) you will need 8 eggs to bake and set properly…from there you can flavor and add any ingredients you like.

6 cups day old bread, cut in 1 1/2″ cubes
1 quart milk, cream, or half and half
8 eggs, beaten
1 T. ground cinnamon
1 t. ground nutmeg
2T. vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1-2 oz. liquor of choice – here I used Jack Daniels, but you can use brandy, rum, amaretto, Grand Marnier, etc (for savory you could use marsala, madeira, etc)

garnish ingredients:
chocolate chips
toasted nut of choice – walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, etc.
dried fruit – cherries, raisins, apricots, cranberries, etc
fresh fruit – I do not advise a lot of “fresh” fruit as they will leach out liquid which can prevent the custard from setting. Use dried fruits. I DO add fresh bananas, however.

In this recipe I used raisins, dried cherries, dark chocolate chips, toasted walnuts, and fresh sliced bananas.

Prep a 10″ cake pan (see slideshow)
Preheat oven to 325F
For service warm bread pudding, and serve with Bourbon sauce.

Serve with Bourbon Sauce:
4 oz. butter
1 c. sugar
1 egg, beaten
2t. vanilla extract
1-2 oz. liquor (bourbon, brandy, etc.)
Melt butter in a small saucepan. Stir in sugar, egg, and vanilla, and heat slowly over low heat, stirring constantly,until sugar is completely dissolved. Add liquor. Can be served hot or room temperature.

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