All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2018

Friday, October 2, 2009

simple bread pudding with vanilla bean

Fall is here. The mornings are chilly with a scent of woodsmoke. The beech trees gently shower their yellow leaves on the still-green grass. We haven't had a frost yet, but it is simply a matter of days - this morning the temperature was 33 degrees.

The brisk temperatures send me into the kitchen to stir up something warm and comforting. A half a loaf of my favorite supermarket bread, viera saloio ( Portuguese bread), reminds me how long it's been since I made my bread pudding. A few hours later, it sits on the counter, warm, cheerful, fragrant with vanilla.

You can use any leftover bread, really. I prefer a slightly chewy bread for the bread pudding, like the 12 hour bread I made a while ago. I tear it into small pieces rather than cutting it into cubes.

Simple Bread Pudding with vanilla bean
Makes about 4 servings

1 3/4 cup milk
2 T. heavy cream
2 T. unsalted butter
half a vanilla bean, broken in pieces ( or 1 t. vanilla, but it won't be as good)
about 3 pieces handcut, 1 inch width bread, torn into small pieces
pinch of cinnamon
3 egg yolks, beaten
3 T. sugar, plus more for sprinkling
Butter 2 small ovenproof dishes, or one larger dish.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Heat the milk, cream, vanilla bean, cinnamon and butter in a saucepan. Do not boil - just heat until it's hot.

Place the bread in a bowl.

Remove hot milk mixture from heat.

Pour a little hot milk into the eggs, stirring, then a little more.
Tip the yolk mixture into the warm milk, whisking all the while ( so it won't curdle.)

Remove the vanilla beans ( you can scrape some of the delicious seeds into the milk)
Pour the milk/egg mixture over the bread and let sit ten minutes.

Arrange the bread and milk/egg mixture in dishes.

Sprinkle a little sugar on top of the bread.
Transfer dishes or dish to a baking pan that has been filled with an inch of hot water.

Bake for 50 minutes, or until bread is golden and custard is set.



Foodelf said...

I love the simplicity of your bread pudding.

A couple of years ago, I practically used to plan for leftovers for all sorts of versions, including Christmas cake, gingerbread, croissants, pannetone and various other cakes. In the end, I decided I was taking an unnecessary gilding-the-lily approach - as in - no need to put chocolate in an already "busy" preparation which might include dried cherries or coconut and/or raisins.

I can't wait to try yours - there's a special place in my heart for vanilla.

Thank you!

katrina said...

What a lovely name, Foodelf! I do agree with you on the gilding the lily - I tried a few other recipes, but came back to the one I always made, off the cuff. And vanilla? Simply lovely, wonderful, warming, and cherished.
Thank you so much for stopping in.


lululu said...

i could smell the bread baking fragrance flying straight through my bedroom in a cool autumn morning!

katrina said...

And I bet that cloud of bread pudding with vanilla was heavenly, lululu! Thanks and delighted you enjoyed!

kellypea said...

I'm afraid if I made bread pudding right now, I'd eat the entire thing by myself. It's been one of those days I've forgotten to eat and now I'm looking for dinner ; ) I could skip dinner with this lovely recipe!

Sophie said...

MMMMM,...I can nearly smell the lovely flavours of this stunning & yummie dessert!!

katrina said...

Exactly what I did that day I made this, Kelly! But the nice thing? I don't feel that guilty eating this, because it's not so over-the-top as far as sugar, calories, or carbs and fat go.

katrina said...

Thanks, Sophie!

Jennifer said...

I tasted bread pudding for the first time last year. Now, I celebrate this "discovery" by diving into a healthy serving at any opportunity. Yours looks heavenly.

katrina said...

You tasted bread pudding for the first time last year, Jen?! This is such a lifetime memory for me ( some were good, some were not) I'm amazed it missed you! But then, I am a pudding/vanilla/lemon/carb person, so of course I'd pick this over chocolate, anytime.
Just commiserating with your cold - mine appeared early this morning, sniffle, snuffle. Hope you feel much better soonest.