I’ve heard a lot of great things about bread pudding but don’t have much experience with it because if I make a loaf of bread, it usually disappears within the first day or two! However, when I saw the gargantuan loaf of bread that came out of my oven the other day, I knew that I’d need some creative ways to eat it. Bread pudding seemed apt, and I’m so glad I gave this recipe a try! I tweaked it according to some other reviewers’ suggestions. I’m also so glad that the recipe made enough to eat some for breakfast the next day because after cooling completely and sitting overnight, the flavors were so much better. In fact, the night before when I had eaten it warm out of the oven, my comment to my hubby was, “Well, I guess this isn’t a blog-worthy recipe,” but when I had it for seconds the next morning I changed my mind completely! Absolutely delicious! And how perfect would this be for a morning brunch when you are not in the mood to get up early and cook something? Bake it the night before, let it sit, and voila! It tastes even better than fresh out of the oven!
I followed some other reviewers’ suggestion of using a water bath. This isn’t required, but does get the dish to cook more evenly.
If you’re going to eat this out-of-the-oven, it’s best with ice cream. If you’re going to eat it after it sits overnight and then nuke it a bit in the microwave, try whipped cream instead. I thought the subtlety of whipped cream paired quite well with the mix of flavors that had established.
4 cups soft bread cubes
1/4 cup raisins (soaked in 2 tbs brandy, optional)
2 cups peeled and sliced apples (or you could cut them in chunks depending on your preferences)
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 3/4 cups milk
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 11×7 inch baking pan. Start a pot of boiling water for a water bath.
Prep the bread, apples, and raisins and combine.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine brown sugar, milk, salt and butter. Cook and stir until butter is melted. Pour over bread mixture.
In a small bowl, whisk together cinnamon, vanilla and eggs.
Pour bread mixture into prepared dish. Pour egg mixture over bread.
Place boiling water in a 9×13 pan to fill about 1/2 to 1 inch. Gently add bread mixture. If it seems that the water will overflow into the bread mixture, remove some of the hot water.
Bake for 40-50 minutes or until center is set and apples are tender.
Serve hot with ice cream (kind of like an apple pie!) or the next day reheated a bit with whipped cream.