Whenever I pass by our local bakery store, they always run out of bread pudding– and for a very good reason. Not only are they insanely delicious, but they are very cost-effective as well.
Did you know that the delicious bread pudding dessert we love to eat is made of stale bread? Not only is it a very versatile dish, snack, or dessert that’s very easy to make, with the most common ingredients, but it is also customizable in all and any ways possible.
You can add in fruits, sprinkle with chocolate chips, sprinkle some raisins, top it with ice cream, or even eat it plainly– the delicious and decadent taste of bread pudding will surely make you rethink before throwing away that seemingly stale one-day-old bread sitting on your table counter.
In this article, I’ll share a few known (and unknown) facts about bread pudding and how to make bread pudding in the comfort of your own home, with your personal twist!
What Is Bread Pudding?
Bread pudding is a snack or dessert primarily composed of stale bread mixed with milk, cream, or eggs. When cooking bread pudding, you usually take stale bread, soak it in liquid, mix it with other ingredients and then bake it.
There are many variations of bread pudding around the world. In Malaysia, bread pudding is often eaten with custard sauce, while in Hungary, it is baked with whipped egg whites on top.
Bread pudding is often served in Canada with maple syrup, while Belgium boasts bread pudding incorporated with cinnamon and raisins.
In the United States, bread pudding is often served with a dollop of whipped cream or topped with vanilla ice cream.
If you’re wondering where bread pudding originated from, then here’s an answer. Multiple sources say that bread pudding started way back in early 11th and 12th century Europe. Back then, bread pudding was simply made by soaking stale bread in hot water, squeezing it dry, then mixed with other spices.
Also popularly called the ‘poor man’s pudding’ back in the 13th century, this dish was a staple food for the lower classes to salvage stale bread instead of throwing it away.
What Is In Bread Pudding?
I love my simple recipe for bread pudding. The thing about pudding is that it’s a very versatile dish that you can simply add whatever you feel like adding to pump up the personality of your dish.
Once you learn how to make a simple bread pudding, your foundation is set.
Let me share with you what is in my bread pudding recipe.
- Day-old bread. I grab 6 cups worth of day-old stale bread, sliced into cubes. The idea here is one-day-old stale bread. If they’ve been stale for a week, throw them away so you don’t risk yourself food poisoning.
- Two pieces of eggs, beaten.
- Two cups of milk
- One teaspoon of vanilla extract
- One pinch of salt
- Two tablespoons of butter (unsalted)
See, aren’t these ingredients very easy to find? Now, off we go on how to make bread pudding.
How to Make Bread Pudding
To start, I grab an 8×8 inch casserole dish for this recipe and grease it beforehand. If the bread is already cut and sliced into cubes or chunks, I spread them evenly into the greased casserole dish.
I whisk together milk, beaten eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla extract, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Once done, I pour the mixture over the bread in the casserole dish.
Like it was prepared in the 13th century, let the bread soak in the mixture for 25 minutes. While doing this, preheat your oven to 350°F, then once fully preheated, pop in your bread pudding casserole and bake for 50 minutes.
You can prepare sauce together with your bread pudding if desired.
For a nice, sweeter twist on your bread pudding, let me share how to make banana bread pudding.
Using the same procedure and ingredients above, simply add one cup of sliced bananas, preferably cut into bite-sized pieces. Stir in the bananas over your eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla mixture, then pour them all over the bread on the casserole dish. Bake as usual.
How to Make Bread Pudding Sauce
My favorite sauce to pair with bread pudding is the vanilla sauce. To make vanilla bread pudding sauce, simply melt butter in a saucepan on low heat, then add milk, sugar, cornstarch, and vanilla extract. Cook over low heat until it comes to a boil, preferably for one minute.
Serve the warm sauce over the warm pudding for the best taste.
How to Store Bread Pudding
If you’ve made heaps of bread pudding with leftovers, don’t worry. They’re very easy to store. Simply keep them in an airtight container. If consumed within a few hours, you can leave them out at room temperature on your table or kitchen counter. Storing bread pudding with or without sauce is okay, but keep in mind that keeping them for long with the sauce in will make their texture notably more soggy.
You may be wondering how long does bread pudding last? If kept in the fridge in an airtight container, bread pudding will last you up to 5 days.
While I don’t recommend keeping bread pudding for very long, you can also freeze them if they’re not drizzled with sauce yet. Double wrap the pudding in a plastic wrap and place it in an airtight freezer bag. This way, you can still keep your bread pudding for up to 3 months.
How to Reheat Bread Pudding
So, how do we reheat bread pudding? If it was placed in the fridge or the freezer, let them thaw first at room temperature before reheating. The best way to reheat bread pudding is to warm them in the oven at 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes. If in a hurry, you can also pop them in a microwave for 1 minute.