When my dad asked me if I had a recipe for bread pudding, I was able to tell him pretty quick that I didn’t have one. Bread pudding is just one of those desserts that doesn’t sound good to me.
Dad, on the other hand, loves it. My sister Gail brings him a dish of bread pudding from the Blount Memorial Hospital Cafeteria about once a week, or whenever they serve it. He thinks it is just the greatest.
I did some research and came up with a recipe that I thought would most resemble the one he loves from Blount Memorial. The only thing my dad really gave me to go on was that it had raisins in it, and it had a wonderful caramel sauce topping.
Bread pudding is a bread-based dessert that is made using stale (usually left-over) bread. The bread is soaked in a milk, egg, sugar and spice mixture, sometimes adding fruit such as raisins, and then baked. It is usually served with a sweet sauce topping.
With the new-found recipe in hand, I baked daddy a dish of bread pudding and poured the caramel sauce over it. When I got the pan to his house, it was still warm. Dad didn’t even bother scooping any out into a bowl, just took a fork and started eating it right from the baking dish. Yes, he said, it was that good. Just what a cook loves to hear.
I tried the Bread Pudding, too, and really liked it. Just goes to show you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover or a dessert by its name!
Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce
7 cups white bread, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup raisins
1 stick margarine or butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups Half and Half milk
1 cup whole milk
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1 stick margarine or butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup evaporated milk
Place the bread cubes in a 9” x 13” buttered glass pan and sprinkle raisins and pecans over the bread. Drizzle on the melted butter. Do not mix in. Set aside.
In a large bowl beat eggs until only broken up and blend in sugars, cinnamon, milk and vanilla. Do not overbeat this mixture, just combine. Pour mixture over the cubes and raisins and let it soak in, gently patting down the bread into the milk mixture.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake pudding for 50 to 60 minutes, checking at about the 45 minute mark to make sure it is not getting too brown. If it is, cover loosely with foil. Bake until pudding is puffy and golden brown. Remove to rack to cool.
To make the sauce: In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Whisk in vanilla and milk. (The sauce can be made ahead, then warmed in a microwave.)
Pour topping over bread pudding or serve on the side.