Spiced French Bread Pudding
- Ready In:
- 1hr 30mins
- 7 ounces stale French bread
- 3 large eggs
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 3⁄4 cups sugar
- 4 1⁄2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1⁄2 cup raisins
- 1 pinch salt
- cut bread into 1 inch cubes, place in ungreased 13x9-inch pan and either dry in warm oven for a couple of hours, toast lightly in 350°F oven (preferred), or toast in 350°F oven till light brown and dry.
- Chop or puree raisins.
- Sift or sieve sugar, spices and salt into a plastic bag and shake to mix.
- Heat milk, butter, eggs, yolks, raisins and sugar mixture in a sauce pan on low heat stirring constantly until butter's melted and sugar is dissolved, remove from heat if steam starts to appear.
- (You don't want to cook the eggs just yet!)
- Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and immediately pour custard over dried bread.
- If desired strain mixture with a fine strainer to remove raisins and any egg chalazae.
- Mix and press down on bread to be sure it's all covered.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Allow custard to soak into bread cubes until cooled (about an hour).
- Occasionally stirring to evenly distribute mixture.
- Can be refrigerated for up-to 12 hours at this point.
- Bake in 350°F oven for 50-60 minutes (top will be browned and pudding should start to rise out of the pan).
- Add a cup of toasted and chopped pecans or walnuts to custard.
- Replace 1/2 tbsp of the vanilla with another extract or liquor.
- Add some white, cinnamon or chocolate chips to custard.
- Replace 1/2 of the milk with heavy cream or 1/2 and 1/2 (makes it rich!).
- Use skim milk, delete butter, use whole wheat bread, reduce sugar to 1 cup, replace eggs/yolks with egg substitute for a "healthy version".
- Add some dried apple or banana to custard.
- Use 1 cup of sugar and add 1/2 cup of maple syrup.
- Replace up-to half the sugar with brown sugar.
- Serve with bourbon sauce, whip cream, ice cream.
Questions & Replies
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This was the perfect recipe for a not-so-perfect day! It snowed, and it never snows! We were all trapped in the house, the kids were driving me nuts, the dog was confused by all the white stuff and the cat was simply disgusted with our behavior. In situations like these I become Betty Crocker, cooking and baking just to make myself feel better. And boy, did this bread pudding make me feel better! I didn't have any French bread, but had some of Yogi's Tasty Buns (see recipe here at Zaar). They were perfect for this, just sopping up the custard beautifully. Steve, you gave excellent directions for cooking the custard and straining out the chalazae (I hate those). I adapted Steve's advice about mixing in chocolate chips, and mixed the torn bread with a package of Skor English Toffee Bits (thank you Miller), and then poured the custard on top. Waiting the one hour for it to soak in before I put it in the oven was agony. It was actually reading in about 45 minutes instead of 60, but I had my oven on the convection "turbo" setting. The snow was falling outside, inside was nice and warm, and this bread pudding feels so good inside your belly on a cold winter's day!
Very nice taste, my DH loved it. The directions weren't very clear, I had a lot of the egg mixture left over and wasn't sure what to do with it or if I was only suppose to scoop out the soaked bread pieces and was I suppose to pour the entire egg mixture over it (I had about 2-3 cups left over). I ended up just using the soaked bread pieces and baking that in a pan, it turned out just a little dry but over all pretty good. Thanks!
This made a very nice and spicy treat, both warm out of the oven and cold the next day. I halved the recipe and made it in an 8 inch square pan. I used all the ingredients in the recipe's proportions, but did reduce the vanilla a great deal - to 1 teaspoon for a half recipe. I did confirm the recipe's amount with Steve G, but am just too timid to use so much. While this is very good, and I am sure many, perhaps most, people would prefer it, I realize now I prefer my bread pudding to be somewhat plainer.
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