I appreciate a good bread pudding and firmly believe that the best bread puddings are made with buttery croissants or brioche bread. However, a good panetone will also do the trick.
Recently I made a bunch of dinner rolls but they didn’t turn out satisfactory. They were still edible though. As such, I decided to use them and make bread pudding. They had a fair amount of fat in them so I knew they would make a decent pudding. Tip – the more fat (i.e. oil or butter) the bread has, the better the pudding (again, in my opinion).
As I wasn’t planning on making bread pudding, I just cobbled together whatever I had in my fridge to piece this together. It resulted in this recipe – an easy peasy, substitutions galore recipe. Adding the nuts, fruit and crystallized ginger is totally optional but makes for a more flavorful pudding. I also made a rum sauce to go along with the pudding. Feel free to experiment with other spirits – a whiskey or vodka sauce might also go well with your pudding.
Basic Bread Pudding
- About half a loaf of bread or 3 to 4 cups of diced bread (Don’t worry if you don’t have enough, you’ll just have more custard; try and use bread with more butter/oil content for better results)
- 2 cups of milk/cream/half and half or any combination
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs (you can get away with 2)
- 2 tablespoons of butter, cut into cubes
- 1/4 cup of sugar (vanilla sugar is great here)
- 1/4 cup raisins or any other dried fruit (optional)
- 1/4 chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, etc.) (optional)
- 2 tablespoons crystallized ginger, chopped (optional)
For the rum sauce (optional):
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1/4 cup rum
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a pie dish.
- Tear up bread and place in pie dish.
- Mix together milk, eggs, salt, and vanilla essence.
- Sprinkle chopped nuts, fruit, crystallized ginger on top of bread, if using.
- Pour milk mixture over the bread and let it soak for at least 15 minutes. I usually let mine soak for an hour or so.
- Sprinkle sugar on top and dot with cubed butter.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes.
- To make the rum sauce: Heat all ingredients together in saucepan over low heat and stir till mixture reaches a low boil. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
- Serve bread pudding with rum sauce drizzled on top (if using).