22 April 2011

Bread and Butter Pudding - Bread Pudding








Bread and Butter Pudding, also called simply "bread pudding," is a dessert that has been a first for many of my dinner guests. Since I grew up with it, I'm always amazed when people tell me they've never had it before. They always like it and think it was something very difficult and time-consuming to make, when actually it is quite the opposite (Isn't that what every hostess aims for!).

If you are a Jane Austen aficionado, you may have read her mother's recipe, written in rhyme. My recipe makes about a fourth the quantity of Mrs. Austen's and uses proportionately less sugar and butter and more eggs. Also, I skip the cloves and rosewater--the cloves because so many people don't like them and the rosewater because I seldom have it on hand.

Sometimes I serve it with custard sauce, sometimes with my Banana-Pecan Rum Sauce (see below), but this time I served it with softly whipped cream sweetened with a drop of real maple syrup.

About the bread: I can never quite bring myself to use my homemade bread for pudding, so I go for the best store-bought bread I can find. Actually, it turns out rather well with the basic Oroweat/Brownberry/Arnold country buttermilk bread--six slices from the 1 1/2-pound loaf. And, unlike Mrs. Austen, I don't cut the crusts off.

Bread and Butter Pudding

(Makes 6 servings)

8 ounces good sliced white bread
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon mace or nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
4 teaspoons rum
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup dried currants, optional

1 Use bread that's a few days old. I usually use 6 slices from the 1 1/2-pound loaf of Oroweat/Brownberry/Arnold country buttermilk bread. Spread one side of each slice with a teaspoon of soft butter. Stir together the sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle the mixture evenly over the buttered bread. Spread it with a knife so that it is embedded in the butter. Stack the bread and cut into cubes, 16 squares per slice.

2 In 2-quart bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, mace, salt, milk, rum and vanilla. Add bread cubes, mixing gently. Pour mixture into buttered 2 1/2-quart round Corning casserole* and let stand for 10 minutes or so while oven preheats to 350 degrees. If you're using the currants, take care to separate them so that the pudding won't have clumps of currants. Then pour the bread mixture into the casserole in three batches, sprinkling a third of the currants over each.

3 Bake at 350 degrees until puffed and golden and knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Transfer dish to rack and cool about 20 minutes to serve warm with either ice cream or sauce. Or refrigerate for at least 3 hours to serve chilled with whipped cream. It's also delicious at room temperature.

Banana-Pecan Rum Sauce
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 medium bananas
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 to 4 tablespoons rum
1/16 teaspoon salt

In small skillet, toast pecans; remove and set aside. Slice bananas into 1/4-inch rounds; set aside. Add butter to pan, and melt over medium heat. Add brown sugar and cook, whisking, for about a minute. Add rum, bananas, and salt; simmer, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Spoon over warm bread pudding.

36 comments:

Jenn said...

Wow, Jean, your bread pudding looks incredible. I've been presented with so many bread puddings that looked all mushy and gross...this one makes me want to change my attitude about it!!! :)

Jean said...

Thanks, Jenn! I know exactly what you mean. Seems they are often either mush or the opposite extreme, a brick. Glad I made a convert!

Southerner said...

Jean, the times I've eaten bread and butter pudding. In my far off short trousered, dirty kneed and snotty youth, I used to think my mother could make nothing else. Bread and butter pudding on sunday,bread and butter pudding on monday, bread and butter pudding on tuesday, bread and butter pudding on wednesday,bread and butter pudding on thursday,bread and butter pudding on......I used to wonder where she got all those raisins from, never mind the the milk and all that butter.I think she called on all the neighbours asking for their scraps of bread. Were we poor??? No!!! I don't think so.....Now come to think of it!

She was always at the corner shop with her wicker shopping basket dangling jauntily from her arm,red lipstick on and a pheasants feather sticking out at a sweeping angle from her green felt cap. Me and my brothers were called ," The Bread and Butter Pudding Kids."

Here's a link about Bread and Butter Pudding you might like.

All the best,
Tony
http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/poshnosh/recipes/breadbutter.shtml

Marc Frederic said...

Bread & Butter Pudding one of my favourites, I must confess I do like my fats, so may have to beef up the dairy in your recipe for my taste. I have to say though, anyone who blogs a B&B pudding recipe gets my attention!!

Jean said...

Thanks, Tony the Bread and Butter Pudding Kid. I'll look forward to checking out that BBC link later today. How fun!

Jean said...

Yes, Marc feel free to fatten it up. I even use reduced fat (2%) milk in it. Maybe you could try it as is first, then decide if you need to beef up the dairy.

Southerner said...

I'm worried now Jean. "The Bread and Butter Kid," thing was me be creative. But I do remember my mum's bread and butter pudding.Parts of it were good,, parts soggy and parts rather too crispy. She learned her cookery skills during the war with the constraints of rationing. My mother, who is still alive, believes to this day that she always had a healthy diet during the war and it was far healthier than the McDonalds diet of some children today. My mother is 90 years old next year and my father is 90 this November coming. They are both fit and well for their age. It just goes to show you.

All the best,
Tony

Prathima Rao said...

The bread pudding looks fabulous & inviting!!!!
Prathima Rao
Prats Corner

Anne R. Allen said...

Bread pudding has always been one of my favorite desserts. ( I wish I'd had a mother like Southerner's!) This one looks fabulous. I especially love the idea of bananas and pecans in the sauce. Yum.

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Ah, finally we meet at a crossroads of cuisine. Yes, I eat this frequently. Make it frequently. Only I leave out the bread. Butter...makes it better. :-)

Jane Austen's mom actually wrote a Spenserian sonnet celebrating my alternative recipe. It was called "The Blue-Bonnet Sonnet." Popular legend has it that the only copy was accidentally eaten by a ravenous literary critic who thought it was a napkin and wrapped a last putting portion in it.

Cranberry Morning said...

What wouldn't taste good with banana pecan rum sauce! :-) I have never had bread pudding, but that sauce sounds like a great reason to try it. YUM

Jean said...

Yes, Tony, your mum was clearly right. A diet of bread and butter pudding is vastly superior to the McDonald's diet! Cheers to your parents!

Jean said...

Thank you, Prathima!

Jean said...

Anne, thank you! Yes, the day I first came up with that banana pecan sauce, I felt I'd really gilded the lily.

Jean said...

Wow, Sully, that's a blast from the past. I haven't heard of Blue Bonnet in decades! Do they still make it? I've never eaten it, but still remember the "Everything's better with Blue Bonnet on it."

Jean said...

Thanks, Judy. I hope you will try it soon and let me know how you liked it!

Monika said...

This has always been one of Jim's favorite desserts. Though I must admit, I've never made it for him. I will keep your recipe and surprise him one day. Thanks Jean!

Jean said...

Monika, thank you! Do make it for Jim soon, and let me know how you both liked it.

Michael Toa said...

I love bread pudding. It's so warmly comforting and of course, delicious. Though saying that, I also like bread pudding cold out of the fridge. Yours looks incredible.
My friend Victoria from Mission Food is hosting a bread pudding club and if you want, you can share your recipe there.
http://www.mission-food.com/2011/04/nutella-bread-pudding.html

Have a nice weekend Jean.

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

I'm on it abt Blue Bonnet. Think they do still make it. And my comment typo "putting" was supposed to be "pudding," of course. Blame it on Dragon. Can you tell I use voice activation software instead of typing?

Jean said...

Thank you, Michael. I seem to have it cold more often, but bread pudding is wonderful at any temperature. I'll check out Victoria's site.

Jean said...

Of course I knew it was Dragon. Unfortunately, I can't find a way to edit comments on Blogger. There might be a way, but I've not found it.

Lisa said...

That bread pudding looks so comforting and delicious. This would be a real treat. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link your pudding up. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/2011/04/sweets-for-saturday-14_22.html

Angie's Recipes said...

Jean, this reminds me of Kirschmichel (a German bread pudding with cherries), which is one favourite dish of my husband and he loves them as a SUPPER (without sauce though). Yours looks super delicious with rum sauce.

Jean said...

Lisa, thanks so much! I never do the "linky party" thing--not that I wouldn't like to, but I'm such a technologically challenged person that linking up turns into an all-day project for me! But thank you!

Jean said...

Thank you, Angie! And thanks for telling me about kirschmichel--I've never heard of it and I love learning about new foods.

Meghan said...

I just found your blog and your recipes look so delish! I have a little blog and would love for you to check it out! cupcakeswithsprinkles.blogspot.com

Jean said...

Meghan, thanks! Glad you found me. I see you like to craft as well as bake. I'm not so crafty these days as I once was!

Caveman Home Companion said...

Jean,
This looks good! The problem for me is there is no way I can even pretend that this is Paleo. I think I'm going to try it anyway. Promise not to tell anyone?
Caveman Kit

Jean said...

Your secret is safe with me, Caveman! Even the most hardcore Paleo guy has to bust out of the cave every once in a while!

kathleen said...

Hello

Good Day, Your idea is really great,I'll come back to see more of your work.

-Kathy
www.healthandwellnessconsultants.com

Jean said...

Kathy, thank you. I hope you will come back and check out more of my healthful recipes.

Abby Rogers said...

Mmmmm, oh, this looks amazing!

Jean said...

Thanks, Abby! Give it a try!

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

Oh well...on my way to the quiche I found your Bread and butter pudding....couldn't pass it up...but have to choose between one or the other for the night....too many carbs...not good for me...but as W. Somerset Maugham said, 'Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit.'

Jean said...

Oh, Sue, it wouldn't be that may carbs! One serving of the pudding is just one slice of bread, so ... I like Maugham's attitude--I'm going to make a note of that quote. Thanks so much!

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