Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What to do with Old Bread--Make Bread Pudding

 Happy Spring!  Traveling and  moving have kept me away ...Thanks for being patient. 

When you're the only one in the kitchen, it's hard to have bread. Divide; freeze.  Buy rolls.  Or buy baguette, eat some, and then make...

    Bread Pudding with Apples, Raisins, Brandy and Ice Cream--Oh Yeah  4 servings, but who's counting?

    1/2 day-old baguette, sliced into pieces 1" thick (about 12 slices)
    1/4 c softened butter, plus 1T for greasing the baking dish
    1/2 large tart apple, sliced (leave peel on) Note: Spring berries could be used as well.
    1/2 t cinnamon (I like Chinese or Vietnamese cinnamon--go to Penzey's if you can for spices.)
    Pint of milk
    1/4 c sugar
    4 eggs, well beaten
    4T brandy, optional
    4 small scoops vanilla ice cream, optional

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
    2. Butter (grease) a 2qt casserole or oven-safe bowl.
    3. Butter lightly each piece of bread and place one layer of bread at bottom of baking dish.  Top with a few raisins and pieces of apple.  Sprinkle with cinnamon. 
    4. Beat together milk, sugar and eggs.   Add a pinch of cinnamon. Pour 1/3 of mixture over bread layer.
    5. Add another layer of bread, apples, raisins, cinnamon, and top with milk mixture.  Repeat.  If there is any of the milk mixture (custard) remaining, pour it into the dish.
    6. Place baking dish in a larger baking dish (4qt rectangular works well if you've used a 2 qt rectangular Pyrex-type baking dish-or use a roasting pan) and pour hot water (bain marie -water bath--this ensures even and slow cooking) into the larger dish until the water is about halfway up the dish of pudding.  Cover pudding with two layers of aluminum foil and pinch around the edges for a snug fit.
    7. Carefully place the pans in oven.  (Alternately, place waterless pans in oven and pour hot water from large pitcher into bigger pan to avoid spilling.)
    8. Let bake 45 minutes.  Remove aluminum foil and let bake another 15 minutes or so until custard is set and bread is golden.
    9. Remove pudding from water bath and place it a on cooling rack. Let sit 15 minutes.  Serve warm with a splash of brandy and  a small scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired.

    Oddly enough, it is not real cooks who insist that the finest ingredients are necessary to produce a delicious something...Real cooks take stale bread and aging onions and make you happy.

    --Susan Wiegand, COOKING AS A COURTSHIP
    P.S.   There are savory bread puddings that snuggle right up to a pork chop making right smart  love to it--say with rosemary and onions.  Other bread puddings become brunch dishes, studded with chunks of sausage or fattened up with a cup of cheese.  Whatever you think you might want to do with bread, milk, and eggs--there's surely room for it in someone's tummy.

     Have fun cooking and taking care of yourself,


    1. Would rum work instead of brandy?

    2. Porque no? I think it would be fine. I just like it better than the usual whiskey sauce.


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