Translate

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Easy Bread Pudding

Know why you can get 24 dinner rolls at the day old bread store for 99 cents?  It is because you have just 2 days before they become crumbs.  With my current Spartan food budget I can't bear to throw things out, so some of them became bread crumbs (will use them next week) but I still had 7 rolls that were at their last moment of salvaging. Since TheHub and Son2 had gone to the ball game Saturday and would be in later I had already decided to have a light salad meal for dinner, but I needed a little something extra to go with it.  I suppose I could have made a frittata as an entree, but sometimes I tend to drift more toward my sweet tooth, and it has been yelling at me since last weekend.  The sweet tooth won and I decided to whip up a simple bread pudding. I mean, why would something savory ever win over something sweet?

This past week I had kept my kefir grains in a covered jar in the fridge. It allows them to have a severely slowed growth so every time we will be out of town and I can't feed it regularly I do this. However, after a full week you have to take them out to "restart" the grains growth. I drained all the milk it was resting in and found I had about 2 1/2 cups of a thickened sour milk (much like buttermilk but a tad sharper flavored)  I figured I might as well us it for the milk and adjust the sugar upward just a tad to accommodate the tartness.




Simple Bread Pudding
About 4 cups of bread torn in bite sized pieces (I used the rolls)
3 beaten eggs
3 cups milk (I added additional milk to equal the 3 cups)
1/2 cup sugar (Normally I use 1/3 cup but added more because I was using very sour milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9x9 inch casserole dish and place the bread pieces inside. Mix the eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl and whisk until it is well bended and a bit frothy. Pour over the bread and let it hang out on the counter for about 10 minutes so much of the liquid is absorbed by the bread. I don't like crunchy bread bits in bread pudding so I use a fork and make sure no bread bits are sticking out and that everything is well moistened.

Pop it in the oven and let it bake for 45 minutes to an hour.  It seems that each time I make this the time varies.  I guess since I always eyeball the bread sometimes I have different bread liquid ratios. You want the center to be just set yet still creamy.  Remove from the oven and let it sit to cool  for about 15 minutes.  Since this is not a terribly sweet bread pudding I usually top it with a whiskey sauce, but my budget did not allow for that, so I made a very simple caramel sauce to top it.

Simple Caramel Sauce*
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
coarse salt

Over a low heat caramelize the sugar.  All I do is put the sugar in a pot with a heavy bottom.  Stir constantly (I highly recommend a long wooden spoon for this process because you will be stirring a long time.  Soon the sugar will melt and will become a light brown color.  Remove from the heat immediately at this point.  (There is just a few seconds difference between light brown and dark brown and burned)  You really should have the milk hot and the butter melted in it at this point. ( That is what a coffee cup and a microwave are for)  While stirring constantly add the hot milk and butter.  Put the pan back on the heat and stir and stir. (If the milk is not hot enough the caramel will harden.  That is ok but it requires a little more heat and stirring time to remelt the sugar and incorporate it in the sauce)  Continue cooking and stirring until it is thick and sauce like.  Remove from heat and pour over individual servings of bread pudding.  (Or pour it over the top of the pan.  It works but makes serving it a lot messier)  Sprinkle with a pinch of coarse salt and serve.

*This sauce is also good over ice cream or pound cake

17 comments:

  1. I often put sultanas in a bread pudding and cream on top. They are probably both too expensive for a restricted budget.

    I have some sachets here for making kefir, my husband brought them home and I dont really know anything about the stuff. Maybe I'll give it a try and make you my resident expert

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Put them in a cup of milk, (Actually use a cup for every tablespoon of kefir grains you have) loosely cover the top (I am very technical here and use a paper towel secured with a rubber band), and let it sit on the counter all day. I give mine 24 hours usually, then strain off the milk get a clean jar/glass and begin again. The first couple of times you make it you might want to use the kefir/milk for cooking but after a couple of times it should be ready for daily consumption.

      Delete
  2. I too often put sultanas in. And a sprinkle of cinnamon.
    This sounds lovely - and would be a real treat on a limited (or any) budget.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have used just about every sweet seasoning in the world in mine and do prefer cinnamon too. I am definitely having to think out of the box strictly for my budget, but it was a tasty bit and made the salad meal feel much more substantial.
      My personal favorite is to add white chocolate and pecans to the custard liquid, bake it and then top it with a raspberry coulis and a big fat dollop of whipped cream. Not budget or figure flattering at all!

      Delete
  3. Reading this makes my mouth water for bread pudding. That is exactly the ingredients my mother used and so did I. Food World had samples that were made with raisins and brown sugar. While they were good, they just weren't bread pudding to me. There is choke-inducing wheat-free bread in the refrigerator that I cannot bear to eat. At $10 loaf, I need to do something. Bread pudding fills the bill. The bread is so dry that the moisture will help it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You might want to try a small bread pudding just to see how it works with your wheat free bread. I think it would work fine but you really won't know till you try it. Did you ever make the Martha White gluten free mix? I am curious how it turned out.

      Delete
  4. You are amazing, I would have eaten the dried out rolls because that is the extent of my abilities.
    But the good news is I may just come in under budget for this week. But then Den was gone for most of it. Hey, can I blame everything on him?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yes you can blame everything on Den! it's in the rules

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have done this. One time at a family reunion we ran out of food. We had over 50 people to feed. All we had was bakers racks of old hamburger buns, eggs, milk, commodities, noodles and lot's of garden produce. You know anything you could get from a farm we had. So I did a couple of huge pans of bread pudding. They loved it. Also large pots of spaghettis with a bolognaise sauce (no meat) toasted the bun halves with garlic butter. They loved that. Funny what you can do when you can't shop!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like the fishes and the loaves.

      Delete
    2. I actually manage to be much more creative when I have little. And except for My Beloved Sister who doesn't like bread pudding?

      Delete
  7. I think this challenge has your creative juices flowing. Everything you've made so far, has sounded good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It has but I am really thinking this through and keeping notes so when it comes time to pass the info on, I have it available.

      Delete
  8. My mama always made bread pudding with leftover biscuits. Most of the time it just had a bit of cinnamon in it, but sometimes she would add pineapple or chocolate. I haven't had any in a long time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pineapple sounds delicious. Glad to meet you btw

      Delete
  9. Yum! Your caramel sauce sounds much more balanced than the one I made for a recent bread pudding. I think it had a stick of butter in it and it was so rich is was almost inedible. I am going to copy this recipe.

    Did I dream that you had another post about your grocery challenge?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The caramel definitely needs the salt just to cut a little of the sweetness. It is truly not too rich.

      I accidentally posted week 3, but the challenge week doesn't end until after dinner tomorrow so before I deleted the post I copied and pasted it and will post it after I figure out what we will be eating. Options are severely limited

      Delete