Saturday, January 20, 2007

Bread Pudding

bread puddingThere are so many variations of this recipe out there. I just winged it, and usually do with this recipe. I've made this before and it comes out a little different every time. It always tastes good though, and that's the point. Something about the nutmeg and the milk, comfort food for sure. Very yummy.

This is the recipe I used the last time I made it, and the only thing I would do differently, is add more soy milk. In the bread pudding pictured, I used about 2 cups. The next time I'll use about 2 1/2 to 3 cups.


8-10 slices white bread, cut in to cubes
2 1/2 - 3 cups soy milk (I used vanilla flavored, you can use regular milk of course)
1/2 - 3/4 cup sugar, plus 2 TBS to sprinkle over the top
Dash salt
4 eggs beaten
1 Tsp vanilla extract
Cinnamon & nutmeg (about 1 Tsp. or to taste, plus a couple of dashes on top)
Non-fat cooking spray

Preheat your oven to 325ºF -- preheat to 350ºF if using metal baking dishes. I used corningware in aluminum, so I cooked this longer, at a lower temperature.

Spray a baking dish with non-fat cooking spray and set aside. Set aside a larger baking pan. The smaller one will sit in the larger one, along with some water.

Place your cut up bread in the smaller baking dish. In a bowl with a whisk, beat the eggs well. Add the soy milk and whisk together. Add the 3/4 cup sugar, the nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and salt, and mix well.

Slowly pour the mixture over the cubed bread. Make sure you do not fill your baking dish to the very top. The mixture will rise when cooked and might overflow if the container is too full. Gently press the bread so all of it soaks up the egg mixture.

Sprinkle the remaining 2 TBS. sugar over the top. Sprinkle a little cinnamon and nutmeg over the top as well. Lightly cover with foil (make a little tent so the foil isn't touching the top of the bread pudding), and poke a few holes in the foil so the steam can vent while cooking.

Place the empty, larger baking dish on a center rack in your oven. Carefully place the smaller, foil covered baking dish inside the larger one. Carefully pour hot tap water in the larger baking dish until the water level is just less than 1/2 up the side of the smaller baking dish.

bread pudding, water bath(This is called a "water bath" and is to ensure even, gentle heating of your custard)

Depending on your cooking vessel and oven, cook for 30-40 minutes and remove the foil cover. Cook for another 20-40 minutes, checking at the 20 minute mark. When the bread pudding is done, it will rise a little in the baking dish, be golden brown on top, and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.

This is my version which is much thicker. In a milkier version, (the kind I'll make next time!) the bread pudding custard will be a little runny, and will feel slightly firm, and even jiggle a little when the baking dish is gently shaken. The toothpick should still come out clean though.

This is best served warm, and can be gently reheated. Very much a tasty comfort food.