Ok, so you guys will learn that I watch a LOT of cooking TV. Between the Food Network and all of the randomness on the Hallmark Channel, PBS, etc., it’s a wonder that I don’t weigh 500 lbs. I watch these show and I get inspired. I’ll lay in bed on a rainy day and the next thing you know, I’ll be in the grocery store buying the makings for five things I just saw on TV.
I got the notion to make bread pudding because I was going to make beignets but I didn’t feel like standing over the pan and turning and turning until they were golden brown and heavenly (Alex G. made some on “The Best Thing I Ever Made”, and I’d been craving them since seeing that episode, but my whole idea went down in flames…especially since Alex was filling hers with raspberry jelly which IMO, ruins the whole darn thing…then the yeast and the sitting and the rolling…that’ll happen another day). But alas, I still needed something sweet in the house…so here comes the puddin’.
Let me just start by saying this stuff is best when it FIRST comes out of the oven. It ends up being so dense that it’s hard to reheat without drying it out, or making it hard (the ultimate form of drying it out). Next time I make it, I’ll definitely make a smaller batch, for a dinner party (individual ramikans, perhaps), and I”ll let the magnificent aroma of brown sugar circle around our heads until dessert (that just sounds amazing).
So, in a nutshell, you need bread. Two french baguettes should do the trick. You want to get them from the “day old” section of the bakery. If you happen to have some not so fresh sandwich bread or something like that in the house, take it out of the bag and let it sit on the counter overnight. It’ll be perfectly stale in the morning.
Back to the ingredients:
2 french baguettes (cubed) (about 3 cups)
8lbs of granulated sugaer (not really, you actually only need 2 cups, but it seems like a whole lot when you’re pouring it.)
6 beaten eggs
4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of BOURBON (this is not bourbon extract…I don’t even know where you’d find that. This is straight up whiskey. Go to the liquor store and get yourself a shorty of Makers Mark and get on outta there.)
1 12oz can of evaporated milk
1/2 cup of WHOLE MILK (this is NOT the skinny version of this recipe)
1 stick of butter (real butter, soft, but not melted)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup of the novelty of your choice (I like to use pecans or walnuts, but you can use any kind of nut you like. I’ve made this with craisins and white chocolate instead of nuts, and it was AMAZE. You pick, but if it’s nasty, your improvisation privileges are revoked.)
Get a 9×13” baking dish (or ramikans), grease it up real good. In a bowl mix your milk, eggs, granulated sugar, bour
bon, and vanilla. Once they’re completed blended, pour in your bread cubes. Toss the bread cubes in the mixture until completely covered. Set this aside for ten/fifteen minutes…not too long because it’ll turn into mush, and I HATE that kind of bread pudding. However, if that’s the kind that does it for you, let that stuff sit for about thirty minutes, and you go with God.
Now, you wanna chop your nuts, if they didn’t come this way. Once your nuts are chopped you want to combine the nuts, brown sugar, and butter in another bowl. Depending on how soft your butter is, it might just end up being on big ball of butter, pecans, and sugar…no big deal, you’re gonna spread it out over your bread in a minute anyway. So…go on and do it. Spread that over the bread and pop it in a preheated oven on 350 degrees for about 35 minutes. It’s ready when its golden brown and bubbling sugar and goodness on the top…it’ll look something like this…