Ever since my kitchen started overflowing with bread items, I knew I wanted to make some bread pudding. Bread pudding is not something I have always liked. I remember my dad loved it, but I always thought it sounded weird and probably tasted gross. Kids are so dumb sometimes because how could bread, milk, sugar and eggs taste bad? Maybe it was the raisins that turned me off.
Now that I am older and more mature, I also know that bourbon makes things taste good. So good in fact, that I talked to my clean plate after making this. That’s a funny thing about blogging. I have to take pictures early in the day to get good light, so I often end up making a fancy plate of dessert for a photo and then eating it for lunch. If it was just what I was craving, then Motu and my spoon will hear about it.
This recipe came from my textbook. It’s similar to many other bread pudding recipes on the internet but I’m really into weighing my ingredients these days. Especially cubes of bread. I don’t see how 6 cups of cubed bread could be an accurate measurement at all. I have a small Weight Watcher’s kitchen scale and I love it. I use it when I am watching my portion sizes of cake and now more often to measure ingredients. If you want to make this without using weights, I would suggest using this one from Simply Recipes. Actually, I just compared the two recipes and I think they are almost exactly the same.
4 oz Raisins
2 oz Bourbon
1 oz Unsalted butter, melted
12 oz Day old white bread
1 cup Heavy cream
3 cups Milk
10 oz Granulated sugar
1 Tbsp Vanilla extract
Bourbon Sauce as needed (see recipe below)
Combine raisins and bourbon in a small saucepan and heat just to a simmer. Cover and set aside.
Use some of the melted butter to coat a 9×13 casserole dish (or two smaller dishes so you can take one to your neighbor). Reserve the remaining butter.
Cut the bread into 1 x 1 in cubes and place in a large bowl. Pour the cream and milk over the bread and let it sit until soft.
Beat the eggs and sugar in a separate bowl until smooth and thick. Add the vanilla, the remaining melted butter, and raisins and bourbon.
Pour the egg mixture over the bread and toss gently to combine. Pour into the buttered dish and bake at 350 until browned and almost set, about 45-60 minutes. It should still be slightly jiggly in the center.
Serve warm with whipped cream and bourbon sauce. Or eat it cold straight out of the dish. Both ways are delicious.
4 oz Unsalted butter
8 oz Granulated sugar
3 oz Bourbon
Melt the butter in a small saucepan.
Stir together the egg and sugar and add to the melted butter. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. It will foam and bubble up so watch out.
Remove from heat and stir in the bourbon. Strain if necessary. (My sauce had bits of burnt sugar and cooked eggs in it, so I recommend straining it.)
This is becoming a problem. Look at this mountain of bread I’m bringing home every week from baking and pastry class! It all tastes amazing and I’m having a blast making it, but John and I need help eating it.
I mean, these danishes are delicious, but a healthy breakfast they are not.
Cinnamon Raisin Brioche with more butter on top? Yes please. Carb crash in an hour? No thank you.
This week we made baguettes, brioche, danishes, jalapeño corn muffins and soft dinner rolls. Last week we made zucchini bread, morning glory muffins, sour cream muffins, foccacia, biscuits and soft dinner rolls. I love all the techniques I am learning, and I love how much work it takes to produce something great. It feels really good to work with my hands and run around the fast paced kitchen trying to get everything done on time.
Stay tuned for some more recipes! I hope to have a bread pudding or a bread crumb cake posted soon. If anyone has any thoughts on how to use up some leftover bread I would be grateful.
This afternoon did not go as planned. Motu, the dog, had an incident. She was overcome with “separation anxiety” while we were at work and tore up some stuff in our bedroom. She also found my stash of Christmas chocolate. A nice big bar of organic dark chocolate that I was really looking forward to eating.
To make a long story short, did you know that hydrogen peroxide induces vomiting in dogs?
In lighter news, things are going great right now. I started classes this week and already love my nutrition class. Tomorrow I have my first day of Introduction to Baking and Pastry and can’t wait to see what we make! Also, I got a promotion at work! Yay!
I made this simple cake twice in one week. The first time was when we were expecting a friend for dinner and my gluten-free beet cake completely failed and I needed to whip something up real quick. I made it again with some of my own little changes. I used greek yogurt and olive oil. Although I would not call this diet food, it definitely fits in with my lighter meals that I am aiming for this month.
1 cup flour
1/2 cup ground almonds
2 tsp baking powder
scant 1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
zest of one lemon
1/2 cup greek yogurt (low-fat or non-fat is fine)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp raspberry jam
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease one 8×4 inch loaf pan or two mini loaf pans.
Whisk together flour, almonds, baking powder and salt.
In separate bowl, whisk together sugar and lemon zest until moistened and fragrant.
Whisk in yogurt, eggs and vanilla. Whisk in olive oil.
Add dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until combined.
Pour into greased pan(s) and bake for 50-60 minutes or until golden brown and a tester (thin knife or toothpick) comes out clean. Let cool for 5-10 minutes in pan on wire rack. Cut around edges and remove from pan. Let cool completely.
To make topping, put raspberry preserves and lemon juice in a small bowl. Microwave for 20 seconds and stir to combine. Brush on with a pastry brush or pour over the top. Sprinkle the sliced almonds on the raspberry glaze.
Happy 2011! John thinks this is a stupid year. He says 2010 was exciting because it was the start of a new decade, and 2012 is exciting because it is an election year, and 2011 is just lame. I think 2011 is awesome because 11 is my favorite number. And since 11 is such a great number and it is the start of a sparkling new year, I am going to make some lists. Like resolutions, but not.
5 things I need more of in my life this year:
Blogging! My goal is once a week.
Friends in DC. John and I always feel like it is creepy and weird to ask someone for their phone number.
Vegan and gluten-free baking. It is time to expand my baking skills into new territory.
Exercise and fruits and veggies. Cliché but true.
Adventures. I would love to explore this new area we are living in. There is the Chesapeake Bay, Blue Ridge Mountains, all sorts of stuff!
5 things I need less of:
Naps. Some of you may laugh or roll your eyes, but I found myself taking way too many naps last year instead of being productive. Instead of napping, I can blog, or exercise (see list 1).
Parking and traffic tickets. These are such an infuriating waste of money.
Meat. I feel so much better about my food choices when they contain less meat and I got out of that habit last year.
Excuses. No more!
Although these pinwheels are in violation of List #2 (they are meaty), they are so delicious and would have been perfect for a New Year’s Eve party if I had gotten them up in time.
I have to give a shout out to my best friend for these, because her mom made them when we were growing up. I was always excited to see a plate of them on her counter and they wouldn’t last long once I had shown up.
Roll the biscuit dough out to a 10×20 inch rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.
Thinly spread the sausage out onto the dough leaving a clean 1 inch border on the long side away from you. To do this, I grab a hunk of sausage and flatten it between my hands, then I lay it on the dough and push it around until it is thin and touching the other hunks of sausage.
Roll it up into a log and pinch the seam. I cut the log in half and put one half in the fridge while I worked with the other half.
Slice the log into 1/4 inch slices and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.