Bread Pudding

Bread pudding dates back to 13th century England, where people would soak scraps of stale bread in custard to create something worth eating. That is exactly what I am going to teach you to do. Bread pudding is great with fresh bread but it is exponentially better when using old, dry bread. The dry bread will increase the amount of custard that can be absorbed. It’s not rocket science that more custard absorption equals a tastier end product. The balance of a soft creamy interior and a crunch exterior is what makes this dessert one of my favorites.To me, bread pudding is essentially a baked dessert french toast. I mean, the only major difference between the two is that a french toast is a slice of bread soaked in custard and pan fried and a bread pudding is that but baked. I have seen so many flavors of bread pudding, but in my opinion it is best to keep the flavors simple and serve it with a complex sauce. I have seen bread pudding served with both a creme anglaise(loose custard sauce) and caramel. I chose to make a vanilla bourbon creme anglaise because I believe that the complexity of bourbon pairs perfectly with the bread pudding. As for the bread pudding, you literally can use any bread. Sourdough, challah, brioche, milk buns and normal white bread all work perfectly. Like I mentioned earlier, the main thing to worry about is that the bread is old and dry. I chose to keep my flavors simple: A lightly spiced pudding with hints cinnamon and nutmeg served with a vanilla bourbon creme anglaise.

Serves 9

Ingredients:

  • For the bread pudding:
    • 350-400 grams of any old bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
    • ½ cup raisins(golden or regular)
    • 1 ¾ cups whole milk
    • 3 tbs sweetened condensed milk
    • 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
    • 2 tb melted unsalted butter
    • ½ tbs vanilla extract
    • ½ cup granulated sugar
    • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
    • Grating of nutmeg
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 2-3 tbs turbinado sugar
  • For the bourbon custard
    • 2-3 tbs bourbon
    • ½ tb vanilla extract
    • 1 tbs cornstarch
    • 2 egg yolk
    • 1 ½ cup whole milk
    • 1/2 cup sugar

Procedure:

  • For the bread pudding:
    • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
    • Brush a 9×9 inch baking dish with butter and add the bread
    • In a separate bowl, whisk the rest of the ingredients and add the mixture to the bread
    • Refrigerate and allow the bread to soak in the custard for 1-2 hours before baking
    • Sprinkle the top with the turbinado sugar
    • Bake for 30-40 minutes
  • For the sauce:
    • In a saucepan, whisk the sugar, egg yolk, cornstarch, bourbon, vanilla and milk until combined
    • Place the saucepan on medium low heat and keep whisking until the mixture slightly thickens
    • When slightly thickened, add the butter, cinnamon and nutmeg and continue whisking until combined
    • Serve hot with the bread pudding

Chef’s notes:

  • When making the custard, do not stop whisking. Because of the combination of the egg yolks and cornstarch, the custard will immediately turn from liquid to custard like in mere seconds. 
  • Sprinkling the top with turbinado sugar is optional, but it helps the to get crispy and this is a perfect contrast to the soft interior

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