Basic Bread Pudding

bread pudding with rum sauce

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

(adapted from here; rum sauce adapted from here)

Ingredients:

  • 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

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a pie dish.
  2. Tear up bread and place in pie dish.
  3. Mix together milk, eggs, salt, and vanilla essence.
  4. Sprinkle chopped nuts, fruit, crystallized ginger on top of bread, if using.
  5. 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.
  6. Sprinkle sugar on top and dot with cubed butter.
  7. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  8. 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.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
  10. Serve bread pudding with rum sauce drizzled on top (if using).
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