Bread pudding is an excellent way to use leftover stale bread. The frugal dessert probably originated in early England, where it was called "poor man's pudding." It is still a great way to use stale bread, but it's evolved over the years to become a versatile dessert often found in upscale restaurants. Many consider it a comfort food.
Small, French-style sandwich rolls were used to make the pictured bread pudding, but any good, sturdy leftover bread will do. Feel free to use everyday white loaf bread, a loaf of French or Italian bread, or a rich and buttery brioche or croissants.
Fresh or frozen berries can be used in the pudding as well. Top the pudding with the included lemon dessert sauce or use a whiskey sauce, fresh blueberry sauce, or whipped cream. Or just sprinkle some powdered sugar over the pudding and drizzle some sweet cream over it. It's wonderful warm or cold.
- 3 cups milk
- 3 large eggs
- 5 to 6 cups day-old torn French or Italian bread or rolls
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, optional
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- Heat oven to 350 F.
- Butter an 11-by-7-inch baking dish.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla and almond flavorings, and 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest. Add the bread and let the mixture stand for 10 to 15 minutes.
- In another bowl, toss the blueberries with powdered sugar and then fold them into the bread mixture.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Set the baking dish in a larger baking or roasting pan and place it in oven.
- Add about an inch of very hot water to the large outer pan.
- Bake the bread pudding for about 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until it is firm and the top is lightly browned.
- Serve the bread pudding with the lemon sauce or another sauce or topping. Vanilla sauce, blueberry sauce, or bourbon sauce are all good choices.
- In a saucepan over high heat, bring the 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil.
- In another saucepan, combine the 3/4 cup of granulated sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Blend well.
- Pour the boiling water over the sugar mixture and place it over medium-low heat. Cook until the mixture is thickened and clear, stirring constantly. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and butter. Stir to blend.
Makes about 6 to 8 servings.
Omit the lemon zest from the pudding mixture and add 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
Instead of blueberries, make the pudding with