Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bread Pudding: Another Use for Leftover Bread!

I grew up on bread pudding. My mother would make a vanilla spice version and a dark chocolate version. And then she'd make "butter balls".... A butter ball is simply one part butter to three parts sugar.... You soften the butter, add in the sugar, mix with fork until the butter is evenly distributed. And then you form it into little balls and use these to plop into your piece of steaming hot bread pudding.

Like I mentioned to Belle yesterday, I throw old pieces of bread into a gallon ziplock bag and freeze them to use for stuffing. Bread pudding. Bread crumbs. It's easy and costs nothing, right?  For stuffing and bread pudding I like firmer bread. If it's soft bread, I lay it out on the counter to dry overnight. Toughen it up a little, so it doesn't get so soggy.

So here's Ruthy's Maple Bread Pudding:  (very much like a baked French Toast)

Simple ingredients. A bunch of broken, old, dryish bread.... :)

6 eggs
1  1/2 Cups Milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 Tablespoon vanilla
Maple syrup or Maple cream (yes, the real thing!  Oy!)

Whisk eggs.

Add in milk, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Whisk until the ingredients are well blended.

Now the fun part! Press a lot of broken bread:

Yup, just like this bowl of mixed deliciousness!  I don't use donuts or cake in bread pudding. Their texture is too soft and it comes out too soggy for me. But others like it softer like that, so it's your preference. I have old apple fritters in here, though, and they work great. Much denser texture than traditional donuts or fried cakes. If I'm keeping sweet bread in the freezer, I toss them in a separate gallon freezer bag because I DO NOT like my fish fries coated with cinnamon raisin bread. 'Sall I'm sayin'!!!

Push bread into custard mix until it's really stuffed. The more bread, the firmer the final "pudding".

Fill baking dish halfway with bread/custard mix. Dab on bits of maple cream or drizzle with maple syrup.
Add the second half over the first and do the same. I used maple cream in this one, but it's pricey... I buy it for the little ones. They love it on bagels... Amazing stuff! But maple syrup works just as well!

Bake at 325 degrees until firm and golden. I steam bake it in a 13 x 9 pan of water. That keeps the edges from getting browned and keeps the "pudding" moist but allows it to cook. Okay, I'm going to show you this next pic BUT DO NOT LOOK AT MY OVEN!!! WOULDN'T YOU THINK ANYONE WITH A SELF-CLEANING OVEN WOULD JUST DO IT ONCE IN A WHILE????

Note the "Spice of Life" Corning Ware that I got for a shower gift decades ago. Isn't it pretty? I still love it today, although it's the only one of that design I have left... But I love it!

And here is the finished product about 45 minutes later!

You can also make this more sliceable by baking in a 13 x 9 inch pan, but then you need to have a larger oven pan for the water and not everyone has nice big flat pans. All you have to do is adjust the cooking time.

I love old-fashioned desserts....

But I love new-fashioned ones just as well, LOL!


  1. Oops, sorry, it's 1 1/2 cup milk.... Going to change it now!

  2. Oh. My. Stars. As soon as I saw your title, Ruthy, I knew this was going to be a great day. I LOVE bread pudding. Used to have wonderful recipe but lost it in a move :-( Now I can't wait to try this.

    On the oven thing, I don't know about you, but it's the stink that usually keeps me from doing the self-cleaning. All those pizzas the boys love wreck havoc with my poor oven. But they're happy, therefore I'm content with a dirty oven until the next open-window day. We don't get too many of those in Texas.

  3. So, believe it or not I have never had bread pudding but I've been reading about it a lot lately in my fiction so now I'm intrigued and about to ask a dumb question. Is this a dessert...a breakfast? When would you eat bread pudding? And you can't just mention dark chocolate and then not tell how you can turn bread into chocolate. That sounds as miraculous to me as turning water into wine!

  4. I'M SO LAUGHING ABOUT THE OVEN!!! I almost took a photo of something baking the other day to use but didn't want y'all to see the blackened gunk on the bottom. :) Yes, Mindy, those frozen pizzas baked on my hole-y pizza pan (to help crusts get crisper) causes those messes. :)

    I love bread pudding, Ruthy! I'm so glad you shared this. I've never made it before. Now will start freezing those buns and stale doughnuts and buy real Italian bread for spaghetti night. :)

  5. LOL, Kav! I agree. I wanted to know how to do the chocolate version. :)

    And by the way, around here, it's dessert. :) But in seems in the South, we usually add raisins--which according to my daughter, ruins it. ;)

  6. And just because typos drive me crazy...

    Those frozen pizzas CAUSE those messes. (not causes)


  7. that bread pudding. Dessert, breakfast, snack, who cares?

    I save my old bread, too. To do bread crumbs I dry it out in the oven and then whisk them around in the food processor.

    Of course, we don't often have leftover bread...

    And the oven? I love self-cleaning ovens, but inherited one with this new house that I don't quite trust. The thermostat doesn't seem to work right. The last time this happened (two houses ago - we move much too often), the control panel broke every time I cleaned the oven.

    This house has the cheap appliances the builder put in ten years ago, and the previous owners didn't seem to care for them too well.

    Dishwasher is kaput. Oven needs babying. Fridge is too big for the space and overheats.

    Someday I'll get new appliances...but saving for ACFW in Dallas takes precedence, right? ;)

  8. I'm excited about this recipe, ladies. I've had a variety of bread puddings. My aunt's was more like custard with bread than bread with custard. Our local grocery store has chunks of it in their deli. Yes. Chunks. I'm telling you it's not pretty, but it still tempts me.
    It's been too long since I made it myself. Love the idea of maple...

    Yum Oh!

  9. Deb, that's it exactamente! The more bread you use, the firmer the pudding... So when I make it, you can slice it. Or chunk it. But I've had custardy versions, too....

    I didn't like them as much but I think that was because the bread was kind of drippy-soggy and I like mine more like French Toast firm. Soft, but not wet... Because it can soak up more BUTTER from the butter ball that way, right???

    And I had an aunt that made a whiskey sauce for hers. Why would you ruin a perfectly good pudding with something like that? I could see a light rum sauce... because rum and butter go hand in hand.

    But WHISKEY???? I did not try to ferret out that recipe!

  10. Jan, yes. Who needs new stuff???? ;)

    We nurse ours too. Had to replace the dishwasher this year, and the new one isn't as good. It's quiet... But so was the old Maytag. But it does the job as long as I pretty much wash the dishes first.


    You hang in there with that savings plan! And if you have to use it for something (as is often the case around here) well, amazing things happen.