I must admit, this is one of my favorite desserts. I was first introduced to the bread pudding by my mom; she would make Bread and Butter pudding for dessert as a part of our Sunday dinners. The bread was buttered on both sides, layered into a baking dish, covered with a egg custard and then baked to a golden perfection.
Over the years, I’ve had many versions of bread pudding and through experience I’ve come to know how I like my bread pudding made. I’ve had dry bread pudding, soggy bread pudding, boozy bread pudding, bread pudding with all sorts of things added to it such as fruits, chocolate chip and raisins. But my favorite bread pudding has to have the texture of a dense custard. I do not like finding whole pieces of bread in my bread pudding, so I soak my break until it falls apart. I also assist in breaking down the bread by mashing it with a fork.
In my household, this is one dessert that doesn’t last long. It is a huge hit! I love the fact that it’s so versatile and you can easily experiment with different flavors. I call this my kitchen sink dessert. I can add just about anything in my pantry. You can add spoonfuls of jam for an added fruity touch, or drop a hand full of chocolate chips, or even a sprinkle of coconut flakes. I like to serve mine warm with a scoop of rum raisin ice cream right on top. Enjoy!
6 cups day old french bread cut into 1 inch cubes
2 1/2 cups whole milk
4 whole eggs
3/4 cup condensed milk
3 tbsp butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp bourbon, rum or your favorite liqueur
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place bread cubes into a buttered baking dish. Over a medium to low fire, heat milk until hot but not boiling. While milk is being heated, beat the 4 eggs in a large bowl. When milk is fully heated, gradually add milk to the eggs while whisking the eggs. *DO NOT add the milk too quickly, this will cause the eggs to cook and scramble. Instead add milk by pouring a small steady stream into the eggs. When all of the milk and eggs are mixed, add condensed milk, bourbon, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Whisk to combine.
Place dollops of butter on top of bread. Slowly pour milk mixture over the bread. Gently press the bread so it soaks up the milk mixture and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes. If the bread has not broken down , I like to mash it with a fork. Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg over the top.
I like to bake my bread pudding in a water bath. Place baking dish with bread pudding mixture into a larger baking dish. Pour water in the larger baking dish until it comes up to half way the sides of the baking dish with the bread pudding. Carefully place into the preheated oven and bake until golden brown, about 50 minutes. Bread pudding should puff a bit but still be jiggly.
Serve warm with your favorite ice cream.