Bread pudding is a very simple but satisfying dessert. It makes good use of stale bread. The recipe is from the 1940s. I finally found Mom’s handwritten recipe. She’d left out the butter but I’ve added it. There are a number of possibilities with this one recipe.
Bread dates back to ancient times. In order not to waste any food stale or dry bread was used in various ways to create new dishes. Recipes for sweet bread puddings began to appear in cookbooks published in the 19th. Century. It was often called bread and butter pudding and found in the sections for invalid cooking. It was a favorite dessert during the Civil War period. In the early 1800s grated lemon peel and brandy were often added. Almonds were another addition mentioned in early recipes as was rose-water instead of vanilla.
- 2 cups of milk, scalded
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 2 cups of dry bread crumbs
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/3 cup of sugar
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup raisins
Heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a baking dish that will hold about 4 cups.
Tear the dry bread into small pieces and place them in a bowl. Scald the milk, add the butter to it so it melts and pour over the bread crumbs. Let stand until the bread is soft. Add the eggs, sugar, salt, cinnamon and vanilla. Mix well. Stir in the raisins. Pour into the baking dish and sprinkle the top with nutmeg.
Bake the uncovered pudding for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Test to see if it is done by inserting a silver knife blade in the center. If it comes out clean the pudding is done.
The recipe will serve six.
Other dried fruits can be used instead of raisins.
Brown sugar can be used.
Chocolate chips can be added.
Melted baking chocolate (2 squares) or cocoa (about 3 to 4 tablespoons) can be added if you want a chocolate pudding.
Other flavorings and spices can be used.
Citrus peel can be added.
Any type of bread or dry cake can be used in the recipe. Leftover cinnamon rolls, doughnuts, sponge or pound cake, biscuits or rich dinner rolls.
A savory bread pudding might be fun, use cheese and vegetables in it with the appropriate herbs. You could add some diced cooked ham or crisp bacon. Top with shredded cheese and herbs. Sort of like a strata.