For those who love the feeling of rustic life, accentuated by the freshness of the countryside, bread pudding is the ultimate homemade dessert for you. It has a very poetic beauty, giving new life to something considered stale and old. Yes, old bread can be tough and boring, but adding custard, sugar, and spices can transform it into a new dessert. No wonder baking icons such as Nigella Lawson, Martha Stewart, Anna Olson, and Mary Berry swears by the warm comfort of this dessert.
Bread pudding was once a plebeian food during the Early Middle Ages from the 11th to the 12th centuries. It was popular among the lower class; frugal cooks would collect leftover bread mix it with some bread and leftover custard or milk, then transfer it to a glass tray for baking.
Portia Little, author of Bread Pudding Bliss, presents the humble Bread Pudding as the ultimate comfort food. She famously used leftover Italian bread, golden raisins soaked in Scotch Whiskey, and added warm custard to her decadent Bread Pudding recipe.
Bread Pudding Trivia
- Bread Pudding is one of the staples and signature foods of New Orleans, brought by the upper-class French and Spanish immigrants during the 1700s.
- Brazil’s version of the Bread Pudding is called “Pudim de pão.” It’s made from day-old leftover bread. This dessert is the epitome of fusion cuisine as it is a mix between French toast and bread pudding.
- The late Princess Diana’s favorite dessert was a Bread and Butter Pudding made from slices of white bread with crusts removed, unsalted butter, cinnamon, vanilla paste, heavy cream, golden raisins, toasted almonds, and amaretto. Princess Diana remarked that Chef Darren McGrady from Buckingham Palace makes the best Bread and Butter Pudding in the world.
Bread Pudding Buying Guide
Bread pudding is best made at home or purchased at a local bakery. It’s one of those bread products that should never be commercially produced or bought.
What type of bread do you want for your bread pudding? Whole wheat bread, sourdough, multi-grain bread, brioche, or even crusty French bread. You can get day-old bread from any bakery in Texas as most of them donate the bread to charity. So, how about acquire some day-old bread and make some bread pudding for your local charity? The beauty of baking bread pudding is that you don’t have to be very good at it, you just need to know the basics and use quality ingredients.
Bread Pudding Production & Farming in Texas
Poultry and dairy farms in Texas ensure that eggs, milk, butter, and cream are humanely gathered from the stress-free chickens and cows. Everything from their environment, food, and nutrition is monitored. You can also choose products from pastured chickens and cows if you want to.
Other ingredients such as dried fruits, nuts, wine, rum, or brandy can be selected in local fruit growers and micro-distillers.
Preservatives and Chemicals
Bread Pudding is already a by-product of stale bread and whatever cake or pastry ingredients are left in the fridge.
Commercially processed bread uses bleached flour to have a whiter appearance. Natural flour has a brownish appearance, but it is bleached with Benzoyl peroxide to improve color and maturation. Furthermore, bread improvers and stabilizers ensure that the bread dough will not be separated, maintaining the bread’s ideal mixture, texture, and mouthfeel. Sweet and sticky bread pudding can also contain a couple of artificial sweeteners including sucralose, saccharin, aspartame, neotame, and acesulfame. In the long run, excessive consumption of these sugary chemicals can lead to diabetes, cardiovascular problems, mood swings and irritability, nausea, and migraines.
Bread pudding is usually packaged in plastic, clam-shell containers, but it was traditionally served in a glass, baking dish.
Enjoying Bread Pudding
You can eat bread pudding for breakfast, brunch, snacks, or even dinner. It is best served warm with a custard sauce to add creaminess and moisture. You can add some sausages, peppers, and cheese to your savory bread pudding and add some gravy sauce for the perfect mouthful. Meanwhile, the classic dessert pudding is mixed with a creamy, custard sauce and can be eaten with jams, jellies, preserves, and even more cream
Bread pudding and its sauce can be made in advance so that you will simply serve it on the day your guests arrive. Store bread pudding in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Freezing the bread pudding will keep it fresh for up to 3 months.
SIMPLE AND CLASSIC BREAD PUDDING
Impress your family and friends with this delightful old-world dessert.
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, more for greasing pan
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
⅓ cup sugar
½ loaf sweet egg bread like challah or brioche, cut into 2-inch cubes (about 5 to 6 cups)
2 eggs, beaten
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan over low heat, warm milk, butter, vanilla, sugar and salt. Continue cooking just until butter melts; cool. Meanwhile, butter a 4-to-6-cup baking dish and fill it with cubed bread.
- Add eggs to cooled milk mixture and whisk; pour mixture over bread. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until custard is set but still a little wobbly and edges of bread have browned. Serve warm or at room temperature.