While some variations add serious sophistication to this traditionally thrifty dessert, this recipe for homemade bread pudding with raisins is all about homey simplicity. For centuries, frugal cooks around the world devised similar methods to use up old bread. Stale bread does work well for bread pudding because it absorbs the sweet custard, but you need to let an assembled pudding sit for at least an hour before you put it in the oven. If you use fresh bread, as this version does, there's no waiting time. You can serve this straight from the oven, warm with ice cream or cold with whipped cream. You can also dress it up with a vanilla sauce.
- 5 slices white bread, crusts removed
- 4 tablespoons softened butter
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 cups milk
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly butters a 12x8x2-inch baking dish.
- Butter bread slices generously on one side. Cut each slice into 4 squares. Sprinkle raisins over bottom of the prepared baking dish then arrange bread squares, buttered side up, over raisins, overlapping slices as needed. Sprinkle bread with cinnamon.
- In a saucepan, heat milk just until bubbles form around the edge; remove from heat. Add sugar, stirring until it dissolves completely.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs; add 1/4 cup hot milk and whisk briskly to temper the eggs. Slowly stream in the rest of the hot milk mixture, whisking continuously. Stir in vanilla.
- Pour the milk and egg mixture over the bread in the prepared baking dish. Set the baking dish in a larger baking pan in the center of the oven then pours about 1/2 to 1 inch of boiling water into the larger pan.
- Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a wooden pick or knife point inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the baking dish from the larger pan of water and let it cool for about 15 minutes before serving. Bread pudding can be served warm or cold. Refrigerate unused portion.
More About Bread Pudding
Do the homey classics appeal to you? Check out these other bread pudding recipes: