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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Bread Pudding

We pondered what to do with the leftover loaf of Italian Pugliese bread after we made the fondue the other night.  My wife thought that bread pudding sounded good, so I sent her off to find a suitable bread pudding recipe.  She ended up finding one on that we modified based on some of the posted comments.

We were surprised that many of the bread pudding recipes don’t give a volume measurement for the bread.  For instance: use 6 cups of bread, but instead they have semi ambiguous measurements: use six slices of bread.  So, I looked in The Deen Family Cookbook and Paula Deen’s recipe uses a full loaf of French bread – 16 to 20 inches long cut into one-inch cubes.  We decided to use the full loaf of pugliese cut into one-inch cubes.

My first tasks, was to get out our 8x8 inch glass Pyrex baking pan, cut the bread into cubes, and fill the baking pan.  The recipe calls for an optional 1 /2 cup of raisins and I used up a small amount of regular raisins and then the end of a box of golden raisins that equated to a handful (talk about ambiguous measurements).  I lightly shuffled the bread cubes to distribute the raisins so they would not all fall to the bottom of the pan.

Then in a medium bowl, I mixed the four eggs, 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of whipping cream, 1/3-cup of white sugar, 1/3-cup of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.  I used our hand mixing wand to whip the custard mixture until it just started to get frothy (I didn’t want to make whipped cream).

I melted two tablespoons of butter in the microwave and sprinkled it over the bread cubes then poured the custard mixture over the bread.  I used a spatula and pressed all the bread cubes down into the custard mixture so that all the bread was saturated. 

Now I turned on the oven to 350 degrees.  While the oven warmed, the bread had time to sit and fully absorb all the custard each little cube could hold.  When the oven was hot, we put the pan in the center of the oven and set the timer for forty minutes.  The recipe calls for baking for forty-five minutes, but I didn’t want it to over bake.

After the forth minutes were up, I checked and the center was still very soupy, so I put the pan of pudding back into the oven for another five minutes.  I checked again and this time my wife agreed that the center was not quite cooked, so we placed it back in the oven for another five minutes.

After fifty minutes, the bread pudding was completely cooked without burning.  A few of the raisins on top were a little dark, but the bread was just fine.  We let it cool to set for about ten minutes, then served ourselves a piece and added a little vanilla ice cream.

The bread pudding was very light and moist, it had a slight cinnamon flavor, but I would have liked it to have a little move vanilla flavor.  I said to my wife that we could just finish the pan, but she has better restraint than I do, so we will have it tomorrow.

Find the orginal recipe here:

Adventures In Food: Author: Kerry Howell

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