Bread pudding is a bread-based dessert popular in many countries’ cuisines. Typically served with a sweet sauce of some sort, such as whiskey sauce, rum sauce, or caramel sauce, and sprinkled with sugar and eaten warm in squares or slices. Sometimes bread pudding is served warm topped with or alongside a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Every country has a different recipe for this pud. Like in Malaysia, bread pudding is eaten with custard sauce. In Canada it is often made with maple syrup. In Hong Kong, bread pudding is usually served with vanilla cream dressing. In Germany, black bread is used to make “black bread pudding” (Schwarzbrotpudding). In Hungary it is called ‘Máglyarakás’ which is baked with whipped egg whites on top of it. In Puerto Rico, bread pudding is soaked overnight in coconut milk and served with a guava rum sauce. Also known in Belgium, especially in Brussels (baked with brown sugar, cinnamon, old bread, and raisins or apple). We do have our own Indian version of this pudding which is known and “Double ka meetha” and is a popular Andhra dessert.
I had never really got a chance to indulge myself in any sort of baked pudding apart from this one. Its only recently that I got introduced to the bread pudding by one of my colleagues, sometime during last Christmas. It was a humble, very basic version and I absolutely loved it. I have had it a couple of times since then, mostly at restaurants. And though I do prepare it at home, but since am a miser when it comes to use butter and sugar so the taste and texture is not exactly the same. So I like to cherish it at restaurants, where I can order just one portion and not gobble up the whole dish.
This is the most basic version of the bread pudding, without the whole traditional soaking time involved. Though if you have time, the pudding benefits from an overnight soak before baking. The longer it sits, the more thoroughly the custard soaks into the bread, giving you great texture and loads of flavor.
The best thing about the bread pudding is that it’s a very versatile dessert. With one basic recipe you can create a comforting treat for your family, or you can jazz it up for a richer dessert suitable for guests. The texture depends on what variety of bread and custard you use. Bread is the heart of this pudding, so choose something you love. If you start with a chewy French bread, your pudding will have a little more bulk and texture than if you use a delicate brioche or croissant, but it’s mostly a matter of personal preference. Regardless of what you choose, it’s important that the bread be a little stale, so that it more readily absorbs the custard base, making your final product much more tender and flavorful.
You may also play around with the choice of topping on the custard. Below are some suggestions for the same:
So choose whatever topping you prefer and go ahead with this super tempting and rich pudding. If you are making it first time, I suggest you try the basic version first and then go ahead with the toppings.
What you need?
- 4 cups (8 slices) cubed bread
- ½ cup raisins
- 2 cups milk
- ¼ cup butter
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
How to make?
- Pre- heat oven to 180°C.
- Combine bread and raisins in large bowl. Don’t crumble the bread, simple tear into medium sized pieces and stack them in a greased casserole or baking dish.
- Combine milk and ¼ cup butter in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until butter is melted (4 to 7 minutes). Stir in all remaining pudding ingredients.
- Pour milk mixture over bread; let stand for 10-15 minutes so the liquid gets absorbed by the bread evenly. fold the bread gently if you need to.
- Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until set in centre.
Prepare the sauce in the meanwhile:
- Combine all sauce ingredients except vanilla in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens and comes to a full boil (5 to 8 minutes). Stir in vanilla.
- To serve, spoon warm pudding into individual dessert dishes; serve with sauce. Store refrigerated.
- I have used whole wheat bread so the texture doesn’t look that appealing, but I assure the taste was as good as it could be. The original recipe calls for White bread, specially the milky one.
- Like I said, this is the very basic recipe hence I haven’t used any other topping but just the custard. You may choose add-ons from the list above
I later learnt that covering the pudding with foil will save the raisins to burn out, but the one in the photos was not prepared with the foil on. So you can see the raisins blackened out. if the same happens to you, cover the pudding with foil while baking and that will prevent it from happening.
- The pudding can be made several days ahead. Cover with aluminium foil and refrigerate. To reheat, bake for 15 minutes in a 180°C oven.
If you like pudding, you may like to try my favorite Apricot pudding. Thats another easy and super tasty treat.
Disclaimer:- Some information in the above post is taken from Wikipedia.