Monday, October 12, 2009

Bread Pudding

Bread Pudding is a simple, old fashioned dessert.  It tastes kind of like french toast on steroids.  It is the kind of dessert you might crave in the fall or the heart of winter.  When I was a little kid my father would make bread pudding out of bread that was going stale, like hot dog buns.  He never used a recipe so it tasted different each time depending on the bread he used and the number of eggs we had in the house.  He always used raisens in the pudding.  I really like to make it out of croissants after Christmas or Thanksgiving.  I never add raisens, but if I did I might use golden raisens.  This recipe is a little more up scale.  I really like the crispy, sugary buttered croutons on top.  I was at a restaurant the other day and we ordered a bread pudding for dessert and split it between three people.  This is really filling and soul satisfying!

5 large eggs
1C sugar- divided use
2 1/2 C 2% milk
2 1/2 C evaporated milk
1 T vanilla
3/4 t nutmeg
1 t cinnamon- divided use
1/4 t salt
2 T Melted butter
12 oz bread cut into 1 1/2 inch peices(5 or 6 large croissants or 8 slices of high quality sandwich bread)

Heat oven to 325 degrees.  Lightly coat a 9X13 inch baking dish with Pam.

Whisk the eggs and 3/4 cups of sugar in a bowl. Whisk in the milks and the vanilla, nutmeg, 1/2 t cinnamon, and the salt.  Add 6 Cups of the cubed bread and toss together until the bread is soaked.  Pour the mixture in the baking dish, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. 

Toss the remaining 2 cups of bread with the melted butter and the remaining sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the top of the bread pudding , pushing down to partially submege.

Bake until the pudding is a golden brown, puffs around the edges, and jigglesslightly in the center, about 40 to 50 minutes.  Let cool for about 30 minutes before serving.  Serve wth Carmel sauce.

Carmel Sauce

1/2 C water
1 C sugar
1 C evaporated milk
1/8 t salt
1/2 t vanilla

Pour the water in a large sauce pan.  Add the sugar to the center of the pan taking care not to let the granules adhere to the sides of the pan.  Cover and bring to boil over high heat. 

Once boiling, uncover and continue to boil until the syrup is straw colored and registers 300 degrees on a candy thermometer( about 7 minutes).  Reduce to medium heat and continue to cook until the syrup is a deep amber color and registers 350 on the candy thermometer( about 1 or 2 minutes.) This last step goes really fast. Watch it, or you may find yourself throwing it away beacause it is burned. 

Mean while, bring the milk and salt to a simmer in a small saucepan.

Remove the syrup from the heat.  Pour about 1/4 of the milk into the syrup and let the bubbling subside.  Add the remaining milk and the vanilla.  Allow to cool a little.  Serve over the bread pudding. If you have leftover sauce it is great for dipping crisp fall apples.

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