Ever wonder what to do with left over bread? Make bread pudding of course! Bread pudding is a lovely addition to a holiday dessert table. Or begin a tradition by serving bread pudding on Christmas Eve with a mug of steamy hot cocoa. Even still bread pudding is mighty tasty for breakfast on a wintry morning.
I used a loaf of European French bread I purchased from the bakery. Cut the bread into bite sized cubes. Spread them out on a baking sheet and left them out, uncovered, overnight. In the morning the bread is just perfect for making bread pudding. Do not use fresh bread because the bread will become too soggy.
When cooking milk for longer periods you would want to stir frequently to keep it from burning the bottom. Milk when heated creates a film on the surface. This film is formed when the proteins attach to a fat molecule. The film then serves in increasing the temperature of the milk underneath. Stirring constantly keeps this film from forming and the milk from boiling over. For this recipe we are just heating the milk. Since we are using the film as a guide constant stirring is not recommended.
2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup butter
*2/3 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (use slightly less for freshly grated)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups french bread, cut into cubes
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
In medium saucepan, over medium heat, heat milk just until film forms over top. Add butter, stirring until butter is melted. Cool to lukewarm.
Combine sugar, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. Whisk until well combined and frothy. Slowly add milk mixture, whisking constantly.
Place bread in a lightly greased 1 1/2 quart casserole. Sprinkle with raisins if desired. Pour batter on top of bread. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 to 50 minutes or until set. Serve warm. To serve sprinkle with powdered sugar or a bread pudding sauce.
***Note: If you make the sauce to put on top of your bread pudding, adjust the sugar in the bread pudding recipe, change it to 1/3 cups sugar.
Bread Pudding Sauce:
1 cup whole milk
2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp flour
dash of salt
Mix everything together and bring to a boil over medium heat for 3 – 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Set aside for 5 minutes, then pour on warm bread pudding.