This is a heritage recipe that comes from a time when nothing on the farm was wasted. Leftover bread, extra eggs and milk, and a little sweetening produced a dessert that was satisfying after a long day in the fields.
Today, bread pudding is a comfort food which can easily be made from what's available in most kitchens. In the old days, honey or jelly might replace some of the sugar. No raisins or cinnamon? No problem. What about a sauce? Feel free to play with your food!
In just over an hour, you could be enjoying this treat from the past. Hey, what are you waiting for? =^..^=
Mist a 13 x 9" baking dish with cooking spray. Tear up bread into pieces and put into the baking dish. Sprinkle optional raisins & nuts over bread pieces, if desired. Set aside.
Next comes making the custard. Do you want to heat this up in a pan on the stove or in the microwave?
STOVE DIRECTIONS: Crack the eggs into a saucepan and beat with a whisk or a wooden spoon. Add the milk, sugar, and butter, then heat until hot, but NOT BOILING, stirring constantly. Remove from heat & stir in the vanilla. Pour egg mixture over the bread pieces in the baking dish. Jump down to Step #5.
MICROWAVE DIRECTIONS: Crack the eggs into a large microwave safe bowl & beat with a whisk or fork. Stir in milk, sugar, and butter. Microwave for 2 minutes, stir, microwave for 2 more minutes, stir, check to see if it's hot, but NOT BOILING. If not, continue microwaving for another 30 seconds, then stir & check. When the egg mixture is hot enough, remove from microwave, stir in vanilla, and pour over the bread pieces in the baking dish.
Press the bread pieces into the egg mixture with the whisk until all bread is evenly coated.
Sprinkle sugar & cinnamon over the dish, if desired. Let set for 15 minutes so the bread will absorb the egg mixture. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 50-60 minutes, or until the custard is set and a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve warm or cold. Refrigerate leftovers.
ARE YOU GOING TO GET SAUCED? In my family, bread pudding is usually eaten warm with a little milk poured over the top. But many people love to top their bread pudding with a sauce. Popular choices are Praline Sauce (Paula Deen has a great recipe online), Vanilla Custard Sauce, Rum Sauce, Whiskey Sauce, Lemon Sauce, and Caramel Sauce. Other people like a simple drizzle made of confectioners sugar & milk. Enjoy the search for the perfect bread pudding topping for your family. =^..^=