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    Bread Pudding

    Monday, August 16, 2010

    Buckle yourself in for a wild and delicious ride, friends. It's here. The dessert of all southern desserts, the part of the meal that goes right past your lips and straight to your hips-and you'll be thankful the entire time.

    That's right, all, it's time for some bread pudding a la Elizabeth.

    You'll have to forgive me as the pictures are few and far between, but there was a time issue. There was also an eating issue-as in there was going to be an issue if I didn't get a heaping spoonful of this warm, delicious concoction the moment it was removed from the oven.

    Trust me, after you catch the scent of your own bread pudding baking~and enjoy your first mouthful~you'll completely understand.

    But enough with the small talk. Let's get down to it, shall we?

    Bread Pudding a la Elizabeth

    -5 cups roughly cubed French bread (half a loaf if it's very large and hearty)
    -1 1/2 cups heavy cream
    -1 cup milk
    -3 eggs
    -2 cups light brown sugar
    -1 1/2 tbsp
    -1 tsp cinnamon
    -1/2 tsp nutmeg
    -1 cup raisins (optional)
    -7 tbsp melted butter*

    *Note about the butter: American sticks come in 8 tbsp increments, I think. They come in 10 tbsp in Tokyo. So I used 7 out of 10 tbsp. You can use 5 or 6 out of your sticks and be fine!


    Directions

    You may think this is out of order, but trust me. Melt your butter and put it aside. Let your butter cool, and while it is, move onto the actual bread potion of the recipe.

    Start with a good French baguette. Obviously this one was very hearty. It should be right on the verge of being stale, but not rock hard and impossible to slice through. This particular loaf gave me enough cubed pieces to make two bread puddings that would fit into 8x8 baking dishes.


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    Cut your bread roughly into 1/3 inch thick slices. It can be a little more or less. Just don't slice too thin. Your pudding needs thick bread cubes to absorb all that liquid yumminess.

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    Cut those slices lengthwise, then into cubes. Make it a rough chop and have fun with it!

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    Fill your measuring cup to the brim-if not a little past-then empty into a small bowl. Repeat four more times.

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    Once your bread is aside, begin with your liquid ingredients.

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    Put two cups of light brown sugar and 3 eggs into a large mixing bowl. Blend them until the mixture is fluffy and well-mixed. This should take about 3 minutes.

    Add your heavy cream, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. If you want, feel free to adjust the amount of cinnamon and nutmeg. I know some people aren't fond of either spices, so please, cut back if it suits you.

    Blend together, then add your butter. Blend on high for a good two minutes, and do not, I repeat, do not become distressed if your liquid looks dotty with cinnamon and nutmeg.


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    It's just fine!

    Once you've reached this point, if you really dig them, add your raisins and be sure to stir them in. Do not use a mixer.

    Trust me.

    With your raisins (or no raisins) added, prepare to combine dry and wet ingredients. Pour the cubed bread into your liquid mixture.


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    Use your hands to gently push the bread down into the liquid. Some people tell you to squeeze the bread to force the liquid into it, but I am advising against it. Just let the bread sit and absorb by itself. This way the bread remains fluffy and retains its original shape.

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    Let the mixture sit for about 10-15 minutes, then pour into a well-greased baking pan.

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    And by greased I mean buttered.

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    I did mention this was a "right past your lips and straight to your hips" recipe right? I did? Excellent!

    Take another quick look at your bread pudding mixture.


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    It already looks scrumptious,doesn't it? It also may look like there is too much liquid, and once again I'll remind you it's allright. This is a "pudding" recipe after all. By the time it comes out of the oven and you let it set, the liquid will have turned the bottom part of your bread into a wonderful custard-like pudding.

    It's kind of like manna from Heaven.

    Now place your bread pudding into a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 45 -50 minutes.

    Take this time to flip through a magazine or catch up with a loved one over the phone. Or if you're like me, just be happy that your children are loving on one another, then join in the fun and frivolity. You have some time.


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    You'll love the way your home begins to smell like cinnamon and sugar, things that make you think of fall and winter. Did you know this is a great dessert to serve during football parties, too? Another thing that will have you yearning for fall to get here!

    Soon enough your oven will ding, buzz, or make some other charming noise to jar you from your respite.

    Grab your oven mitts because it is one hot dish! Will you look at this beauty?


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    As it will remain hot for quite a while, let it sit. Let the bread pudding finish cooking itself and enjoy how much better it smells now that it's out of the oven.

    Side note: if it weren't for the fact that it might very well melt my mouth from the inside out, I'd be digging in immediately and be very unapologetic about it. No remorse whatsoever!

    Instead, go ahead and get your dishes and spoons. Fill glasses with ice, cold milk for your children, and if you're not a coffee drinker, some for yourself as well.

    After 10 minutes, feel free to dig in and enjoy! Start at the corners and work towards the middle. It's still cooking and becoming more custard-y. The top will be chewy and a gorgeous golden brown, the bottom moist, rich, and decadent. All together it's divine.


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    Feel free to add a bourbon or caramel sauce. They're delicious, but you don't even need them. My Husband said so, and if he says nothing needs to be added, then nothing needs to be added.

    That said, they're always good to have around!! Ice cream sundaes are great on hot summer days (and nights) and it's good to give them a little something extra.


    So are you ready to tackle this dessert? It has a few steps, but it's very simple, and did you not see the above pictures? It's scrumptious!

    You'll be glad you gave this dish a whirl! Be sure to tell me if you do.

    Toodles all!

    3 Responses to “
    Bread Pudding

    Maria said...

    Thank you so much for this recipe elizabeth, you have no idea how much this means to me. When my dad was really sick and my sister and I were taking care of him an angel of a neighbor would bring us her famous bread pudding and it was literally the thing that carried us but I never got the recipe and now I have yours@!! its funny how powerful food can be!

    Ruth said...

    Can you send some my way? It looks great.

    Lori Ellen said...

    Definitely having to add this to the "to make" list. We've got house guests coming in two weeks. That may be just the occasion!