This week I wanted to try bread pudding, to get rid of the aging bread in my fridge. And since I’ll be making a pudding anyway, why not make it sweet? Here’s a versatile recipe I found from TheKitchn: Sweet Bread Pudding. Why versatile? The recipe has an almost infinite number of variations! Just by varying the pudding elements (raisins? dried fruit? fresh fruit?), the toppings (streusel? brown sugar?), and the milk flavorings (citrus zest? rum?), you can literally have a different pudding every week.
I had to reduce the recipe considerably, because I don’t really have any large baking dishes. This one is calling for a 3-quart container. I measured my bread pan (the one I used for the banana cake) and found that it’s around 4.5 cups or just over 1 quart. Perfect! Here’s the recipe I used, with a few volume modifications because of the reduction, but with no optional ingredients included except for a dusting of brown sugar for topping.
Basic sweet bread pudding (4-cup bread pan)
- 3 slices of old (not moldy!) bread, torn into pieces
- 1.75 to 2 cups of whole milk
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- pinch salt
The original recipe called for buttering the container, but I opted to just use parchment paper instead. I carefully lined my bread pan and folded the excess down the sides. I distributed the torn bread pieces evenly in the pan. I whisked the rest of the ingredients in a separate bowl until they’re well mixed, then carefully poured them over the bread pieces. After chilling in the fridge for over an hour, preheating the oven to 350F (the original called for 325F, but my oven keeps shutting off at that temperature!), and sprinkling brown sugar atop the pudding, I left it to bake for around 45 minutes. It rose almost up to the brim!
After letting it sit for some time, it collapsed back to its original size. Here it is after the collapse, still in the pan.
And here it is, plated.
And a slice.
So how was it? It smelled remarkably like leche flan. It was soft, as expected, and very melty. The milk mixture had soaked through the bread thoroughly. It wasn’t as sweet as I expected, though, so I’ll have to up the sugar to 1/2 cup or maybe 2/3 cup. My husband tried it and suggested that apple slices will make it taste a lot better.