"Anyone that doesn't agree with leggings as pants can physically fight me.
And I'm going to win because I have a full range of motion due to the fact that I am wearing leggings as pants."

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Best Bread Pudding. Ever.

This is our friend Peter.


He used to be a chef.

In fact, we worked together at a restaurant almost 20 years ago. He was good friends with my mom and we've since adopted him into our family.

This is Peter's bread pudding.


It is very delicious. And super easy. Peter agreed to make up a batch and share the recipe with you all.

One Word of Warning- Do not make the full batch unless you have many people to share it with. This stuff is impossible to say no to. And I'm pretty sure that, though it has the same ingredients as french toast, it doesn't have the same number of calories (a fact which has not stopped me from eating it for breakfast).

So, there's that.

-1 loaf white bread (the cheaper the better. really, it's ok, go for that 79 cent loaf sitting there)
-2 & 1/2 T. vanilla extract
-1/2 t. cinnamon (you can double this if you really want it to taste cinnamon-y)
-6 large eggs
-1 & 1/2 cups sugar (though when I made my batch of this, I went with just 1 cup and it was still very good- don't tell Peter, but I actually prefer it a bit less sweet. You make the call.)
-1 & 1/2 cups half and half
-1 & 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

How To Put It All Together
-Tear up the bread into pieces. These don't need to be either uniform nor perfect. Lay them on a cookie sheet with sides (I believe this is technically called a jelly-roll pan, but I have never called it that). Put in a 225 degree oven for 5 or 10 minutes, stirring it around occasionally, so the bread gets dried out somewhat. You're not going for crisp-dry here, just day old stale.


-After it has dried, pull it out, let it cool (possibly using this cute yardstick trivet) and pile it in a buttered baking dish (about 9 by 13 inches should be good).

Like so.


-Turn the oven up to 325 degrees.

-In a largish bowl, mix the vanilla and cinnamon with a whisk.


-Add eggs, sugar, half and half and cream.


-Whisk until the sugar is dissolved (when you can no longer hear or feel the scritch scritch noise of the sugar crystals against the side of the bowl).


-Pour this mixture evenly over the bread.


You may or may not use all of it. But apparently it's good enough to drink. If you have no fear of raw eggs, that is.


I think my Uncle Doug found it a bit too sweet.

106NCD80_DSC_1482 106NCD80_DSC_1485

-You don't need to completely submerge the bread, just up about three fourths of the way.
-Let it soak for about a minute and then push the bread down into the mixture (your hands are clean, right?)


-You don't want any of the bread to still be dry, but not an excessive amount of pooled custard either.

(pretty much like this, though it could have a teensy bit more liquid, in my opinion)

-Now comes the only slightly difficult part. Put that dish inside another, larger one (no duh, huh? like you're going to put it in a smaller one) and add water to the bigger one. This water bath helps to moderate the temperature so you don't get scrambled eggs.


-Cover loosely with tinfoil and carefully put it in the oven.


-Let it cook for about an hour (maybe longer), till it's no longer jiggly. Then pull off the tin foil and cook another 5 minutes or so.

-Be really, really, really careful when you pull this out of the oven. That water likes to splash. But if everything goes well, you will be rewarded for your efforts with this.


-You can drizzle with caramel sauce (either homemade or store-bought), but honestly, I don't think it needs it.


You can also make these individually in ramekins. The only difference is that they don't need to cook as long.



Note- special thanks to Jenny and Brad for volunteering their house for the bread pudding party and to Jenny for taking all the pictures.

Update- I made another batch of this last night (for a New Year's Eve party) and after eating one bite a friend said, "That's the best thing I've ever eaten."


Dot said...

Awesome! I linked to this on Foodwhirl today.



Wendy said...

Thanks, Dot!

FinnyKnits said...

Hmmm...I suspect this is something I should avoid lest it get added to my, "Things I'm now obsessed with even though I never liked it until I tried it that one time on someone else's suggestion" list.

You know what I'm saying.

Riimus Fungus said...

The photos looked so good, I decided to read the instructions. And I KNOW this part was not supposed to be that funny, maybe it was because I was not expecting it (was concentrating on the instructions), not sure how it happend but the "(no duh, huh? like you're going to put it in a smaller one)" made me laugh SO HARD!! Thanks for the laugh, AND for all the instructions!! =o).