January 09, 2004

Bread Pudding

Denita posted her bread pudding recipe, and since I've been looking for a great recipe for this for a long time, I immediately had to try it.

Some bread pudding is delicately flavored, with a consistancy like a steamed dumpling and just a hint of cinnamon. Not this one. Her recipe makes a bold, savory pudding that I have fallen in love with.

I learned a couple of important things from my first crack at it. In her recipe she calls for 1/2 to 2/3 of a loaf of bread. This first time I used probably even more than that - about 3/4 loaf of sourdough - and it was too much bread. Listen to Denita, for she is wise.

I also had to improvise a bit. I didn't have the 'pumpkin pie spice' called for, so I used 2 tsp Allspice and 1 tsp Ginger instead. Close enough. The recipe also calls for dried apples. I pared and diced half of a fresh Granny Smith apple and it worked well. She also mentioned almond extract but didn't list an amount (she's one of those 'that looks about right' cooks that I envy so much), so I used 1 1/2 tsp.

I didn't make her caramel syrup either, because I was pressed for time. *hangs head in shame* I had some ice cream topping in the fridge, so I used that instead. Bad zoot, naughty zoot! Denita, let the ritual spankings begin. :) As partial penance, I'll list a couple of bread pudding toppings I've come across, they're at the end of this.

Variations, variations. Cooking is when it's ok to play with your food. Right off the bat, I think I'll add more apple and nuts to the basic recipe. Personal taste, and I'll do that the third time (second time, I'll just cut back on the bread, because that might make things just right). Rachael and I also talked about using pineapple instead, probably with vanilla extract instead of the almond, and reversing the Allspice/Ginger amounts. Or use ground cloves instead of Allspice because it might go better with the pineapple. One variation I've seen but not tried is to make chocolate bread pudding by adding two squares of melted baking chocolate to the custard mixture.

Denita herself talks about pre-soaking the raisins in rum or kahlua. Yum!

Bottom line, if you look up 'comfort food' in the encyclopedia, there will be a picture of bread pudding there. For breakfast with a cup of coffee or tea, or as dessert after a bowl of chicken noodle soup, this is a wonderful version of a classic.

All right, those toppings I promised...

Whiskey Sauce

1/2 stick butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup bourbon

Cream the butter and sugar together, then slowly beat in the bourbon. Drizzle over warm bread pudding.

Brown Sugar Sauce

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 stick butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

Melt together over low heat. Do not boil.

Posted by Ted at January 9, 2004 08:12 PM
Category: Recipes

WOW! Those toppings you listed sound YUMMILICIOUS!

I'm going to have to try those cariations myself. I love pineapple! Fresh Granny Smith apple sounds like an awesome substitute, too. I'm drooling all over my keyboard as I type this...!

Thanks for the linkagery, Ted! :-)


Posted by: Denita TwoDragons at January 9, 2004 09:28 PM

When I make bread pudding I use French bread and pastries. With the pastries you get the fruit filling pockets here and there. Mmmm-mmm.
If I don't have any pastries then I just spoon in some jam here and there throughout. IMO, the fruity goodness makes the bread pudding go from great to greatest.

Posted by: Tuning Spork at January 10, 2004 12:41 AM
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