Have you ever had bread pudding? No-Then you are missing out. There are a lot of recipes for bread pudding out there…just go and Google bread pudding and see what pops up. I recall even watching Paula Deen once make a bread pudding from Krispy Kream donuts. I never tried it myself, but I’m sure it was tasty too!
This pudding is a very old dessert that was known as the “poor man’s pudding” way back when it was made with stale bread. The English would moisten the bread with water, add some sugar and other spices and fruits and maybe candies if they had them.
This pudding is made from lots of different breads such as croissant, French, brioche….any type of bread works. Another change to the recipe from then to now is that the bread is soaked in a rich custard mixture, instead of just water.
This recipe is one that I came up with over 10 years ago, after much experimentation in the kitchen. My favorite bread to use is brioche bread, but croissants will do. You can also vary this recipe to add more flavor with such things such as nuts, dried fruits, alcohol, zests, chocolate and fresh fruit, or even a drizzle of caramel. I use this recipe as a base, then add to it depending on what I have in the cupboard. Apples and caramel for all, cranberries and white chocolate chips for Christmas and everything in between.
Day Old Bread Pudding
3 extra-large whole eggs
8 extra-large egg yolks
5 cups half-and-half
4 tablespoons of melted butter, cooled
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 croissants, preferably stale, sliced horizontally
1 cup raisins and chocolate chips
1 large peeled and cored tart apple, diced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a mid-sized bowl, whisk the eggs, half-and-half, butter, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. Set aside.
Slice the croissants in half horizontally. In a 10 by 15 by 2 1/2-inch oval baking dish, distribute the bottoms of the sliced croissants, then add the raisins apples, and chips, then the tops of the croissants (brown side up), being sure the raisins, apple and chocolate chips are between the layers of croissants or they will burn while baking. Pour the custard over the croissants and allow to soak for 15 minutes, pressing down gently.
Place the pan in a larger one filled with 1-inch of hot water. Cover the larger pan with aluminum foil, tenting the foil so it doesn’t touch the pudding. Cut a few holes in the foil to allow steam to escape.
Bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for 40 to 45 more minutes or until the pudding puffs up and the custard is set. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.