Category Archives: Bread Pudding

Making Bread Pudding

This bread pudding doesn’t just look pretty, those toast points have a function: to make the dish something more than just a mass of wet, sweet bread. This bread pudding is actually crunchy in parts, and that keeps every mouthful interesting. Serve this plain or with a sauce of your choice. Caramel is a classic, but a fruit sauce (like raspberry) works great also.

Bread selection is key. You want a tight-crumbed white bread that’s not fluffy like a mass-market bread. You also want it a little stale.

See? It doesn’t bend, it breaks when I put pressure on it. That’s a good thing.

Trim the crusts and cut the slices in half.

Butter them lightly with soft butter.

Lay the triangles out on a sheet pan.

And toast lightly under the broiler on one side.

Arrange them in a 12 or 13-inch dish. Oval is nice.

Combine the vanilla seeds and milk in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.

Meanwhile, combine your whole eggs, yolks and sugar in a large bowl…

…and whisk until pale in color.

Add the hot milk to the egg mixture in a steady stream, whisking all the while.

Strain the custard into another bowl, then slowly pour it into the baking dish. Use a spatula to keep the toast from floating around too much.

Put the dish into a larger pan (like a roasting pan) and carefully add boiling water. You want enough water to come half way up the side of the dish.

Press the toast down once or twice to help it absorb the custard. Bake in a 425 oven for 30 minutes. Serve it warm with a sauce of your choice. Or, cool it completely and refrigerate it, covered only lightly with foil, until needed. The toast will stay crispy for 24 hours. It’s excellent, maybe even better, cold.

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Bread Pudding Recipe

Because so many bread puddings can get mushy, I like Gaston Lenôtre’s version the best. Not only is it classic Lenôtre — simple and light yet elegant — it delivers a range of textures from crispy to tender to soft. You’ll need:

6-7 ounces sliced sandwich bread, crusts removed and cut into triangles
about two ounces butter (salted or unsalted)
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
2 cups whole milk
seeds of one vanilla bean

Set your oven to broil while you prepare the bread. Once it’s cut, butter it lightly. Lay the triangles out on a sheet pan and place the pan under the broiler until the bread is lightly toasted on one side. When the toast has cooled, arrange the slices in a medium oval or rectangular baking dish. Set the dish aside while you prepare the custard.

Turn the oven on to 425 and set a pot or large tea kettle of water on to boil. Combine the eggs, yolks and the sugar in a large bowl and whip until pale yellow and frothy. Combine the milk and the vanilla seeds in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour the milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking all the while.

Holding the bread down with a large spatula, gently pour the custard into the dish. Place the dish in a larger pan — like a roasting pan — and carefully pour in enough boiling water so it comes half way up the side of the baking dish. Put the whole works in the oven on a middle rack and bake for 30 minutes. Serve warm or cold, it will keep in the refrigerator for several days, though will start to lose its crunch after a day or so.

Filed under:  Bread Pudding, Desserts & Cookies | 1 Comment