I had a bread pudding conversation with my brother-in-law over Thanksgiving. He's a tremendous cook who loves bread pudding, but has never enjoyed the recipes he's tried. Hmmm. I don't use a recipe. It's one of those throw-it-all-together dishes that I like to make, and my family loves to eat. Made me think I should share what I do, in case you have a hankering for some good comfort food and some stale bread on hand. In the past, I was the main "heel eater" of the family. I gave up wheat last spring (a whole post in itself!) and the bread ends/heels started piling up. I keep all old bread in a bag in the freezer. Sometimes they turn into bread crumbs and croutons, but mostly I wait until the there is enough to fill a shallow baking dish (approximately 8" square). This lends itself to child participation... or even complete kitchen independence. Always a good thing.
Waste Not Want Not Bread Pudding
- Gather bread, thaw if frozen.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Make custard. Beat 4 or 5 eggs into 1 cup of milk.
- Mix 1/3 to 1/2 a cup of sweetener (syrup, honey, sugar) and a dash of vanilla.
- Rip bread into bite sized pieces and fill baking dish. Pour on custard and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Add 1/2 cup or so of mix-ins like dried fruit, chocolate chips, citrus zest... you get the idea. Use a fork to simultaneously mash the bread and mix in the extras. I tend to keep the crust sides down for a lighter appearance. Just a little something that makes it more appealing to my kids.
- Bake until golden on top... around 45 minutes. Serve warm.
****************I find reinventing leftovers and food bits as exciting as any other repurposing! Do you enjoy clever transformations of the edible variety, too?