What to do with stale leftover bread? Bread Pudding. Simple and nondescript, bread pudding doesn’t often get time in the spotlight, and that’s a shame. Not only is this recipe simple, but it’s also quick. Less than ten minutes of prep time then you leave it alone in the oven for half an hour. Try it yourself.
The first time I made bread pudding was for a Christmas party a couple of years ago (when gatherings were allowed) at my aunt’s place. I was tasked with providing dessert and I thought I’d give bread pudding a try. Got the dessert warmed up in the oven and when we took it out, the first thing my uncle said to me was, “How dare you bring bread pudding!”
Shocked, I could only look at him with confusion all over my face. My aunt comes to my rescue. First berating her husband (while my other aunts nodded in approval). Turns out, my uncle recently had a bread pudding at another Christmas party, and it was a disaster. “Oh,” was all I could say. My other aunt helped me cut the bread pudding into equal portions and serve it to the rest of my family. I took a plate and stared my uncle down.
“Do you want some or not?”
I could hear the rest of my relatives chatting happily at each other as my uncle and I stared each other down. He finally took the plate from me, lifted the fork, and took a bite. To this day, his surprised reaction ranks pretty high on my list of satisfying moments in my life. I wouldn’t be so cliché as to say his eyes lit up in astonishment, but he did point at it with his fork and say, “not bad,” then eat the rest. Believe me, that’s the highest form of compliment my uncle could possibly give me.
As I said, this was a few years back, since then the recipe has evolved and changed. I’ve taken out, added, substituted, and reversed a lot of things to make this something that I can say I’m happy with. During the lockdowns, I had the chance to play with old recipes and one of them was bread pudding. It all started with the NSSSO giving me sad eyes and asking, “why don’t you make bread pudding anymore?” Ah, who am I to turn down a request like that?
So, towards the end of that loaf of bread became the bread pudding that finally sparked my need to perfect this recipe. As I said before, we’ve had different iterations of this recipe, from using regular white bread to tearing into buttery croissants, from vanilla to chocolate, and so on. My latest discovery (thank you Food Network and too much time on my hands) is cardamom.
Cardamom is a spice. Apparently, it’s made from seed pods from the ginger family. According to sources, they come in both pods and ground up. So, eager to try this new flavour, I sent the NSSSO on a quest. The first time he goes to look for cardamom, he brings home coriander instead…. Which… let’s move on. The second time, I make sure to put it on his grocery list and not just message him like last time and he tells me it doesn’t exist. The next time, I just go to the grocery store with him and, lo and behold, there it is, sitting on the shelf. By all means, the celebrity chefs on Food Network tell me that buying whole pods is the way to go, and while that would be awesome, that’s not what the local supermarket stocked. So, ground up cardamom was the pick of the day.
We found that cardamom adds a certain depth to the bread pudding, and we nixed the nutmeg/cinnamon combination in favour of all spice. The cardamom acts a little like mint, leaving a refreshing flavour in your mouth after the warmth of the all spice. So yes, my bread pudding is made with bread pudding is made with cardamom and all spice.
As usual, if you have all your ingredients measured out, set out, then you’re golden.
Tear the bread into small pieces and set that aside.
Next, mix together the eggs, vanilla, milk, cream, sugar, cardamom, and all spice (yes, the gif is wrong, but we will fix that at a later time). I usually just pour everything into a mixing bowl and go at it with a whisk. This recipe is low energy enough that even lazy ol’ me will mix by hand and not use a mixer.
Once that’s done, butter your container. I chose to use ramekins for this recipe so that they can are pre-portioned, you can for sure use a baking pan. If you decide to use a baking pan, you can always put down parchment paper to make cleanup easier.
Once you’ve buttered your ramekins/baking dish or put down parchment paper, add your torn up pieces of bread. I like to pack in as much as possible so guarantee maximum amounts of bread. If there is any leftover, I just snack on it.
Then we pour the egg mixture over the bread evenly.
After that, preheat the oven to 350°. Yes, we preheat the oven after the mixture is ready. This gives time for the bread to soak up the egg mixture and the flavours and is something I’ve done since the very first time I made bread pudding. Once the oven is preheated, the bread pudding goes in for half an hour.
And there you have it, super simple bread pudding. Give it a try sometime, it’s an excellent accompaniment to a snowy winter’s day.
Super Simple Bread PuddingCourse: Baking, Bread, DessertDifficulty: Easy
3 – 5 Slices of Bread (depending on container)
1 TSP Vanilla
¼ TSP Cardamom
1/8 TSP All Spice
- Tear bread into bites sized pieces and set aside.
- Mix together two (2) eggs, 1 TSP vanilla, 100 ml milk, 100 ml cream, ¼ TSP cardamom, 1/8 tsp all spice, and 60g sugar.
- Once everything is mixed together, butter ramekins/ baking dish. You can also choose to put down parchment paper for the baking dish for easier cleanup. Add bread, packing it in. Pour the mixture over the bread evenly.
- Preheat the oven to 350° and let the bread soak while waiting.
- Bake for 30 minutes.