Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sourdough Bread Pudding

I wish I had photos of the process, but hey, I didn't know I'd be writing a blog until after it came out of the oven. Here's what you'll need:

Half a loaf of good stale sourdough, cut into 1" cubes
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 eggs
2.5 cups milk (I used 2%)
2 tablespoons good vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
A couple handfuls sliced raw almonds

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

Stale bread really works best for this because it soaks up the custard without turning to mush. Cut the bread into 1" slices, then 1" strips, and then 1" cubes. Arrange the cubes in a deep dish pie plate, packing them in as tightly as you can. I had enough bread cubes to make two layers of cubes. I tried to make the bottom layer with crust side down, and the top layer with crust side up.

Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl. Add melted butter in a stream while whisking. Pour in milk, vanilla and sugar. Whisk until the sugar dissolves. Then pour this mixture over the bread in the pie plate. Once you've poured all in, feel free to push gently on your bread cubes to get each one soaked in the custard mixture. I put a small dinner plate over the whole thing and gave it even pressure. You can even put this in the fridge just like this and let it "age" for an hour or more, even overnight if you want. Custards like this will develop more flavor and set up better if you let them chill for awhile before cooking. I only chilled it for as long as it took for the oven to heat up and it still turned out fab.

Sprinkle sliced almonds all over the top and pop it in the oven for 60-70 minutes. I baked mine for a full hour and ten minutes. You may want to put foil or a cookie sheet under the pie plate in the oven because mine bubbled over slightly. Be careful taste testing when it's fresh from the oven. The sugar in the custard makes a candied crust and it will be very hot. The finished pudding will be crispy on the outside, moist on the inside. This would be great served warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

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