When I was growing up my mother would make something she called Bread Pudding. I called it mush in a pan. Now my mother was a fantastic cook and she is who taught me to love cooking so I do credit her with my passion for cooking but some times there is just one thing you cant make very well. Mine is cinnamon rolls and hers was bread pudding. As I have come to learn I think she was using the wrong bread. Hers was made with sandwich bread which is great for sandwiches but had no body to hold up to the eggy sweet custard that goes into bread pudding. Since I never really thought bread pudding was that great I never made it. Well one day my daughter brought home the most wonderful bread she had been given from a restaurant. It was a dense crusty bread and we had a lot of it!! Now I love good bread but the amount she was given went beyond love!!LOL! I hate to waste good food so some we gave away, some we ate and some I had to do something with. I began searching my cookbooks and came across a Paula Deen recipe for Bread Pudding…should I risk it? Well my husband LOVES bread pudding. Ok I had wonderful bread so what could go wrong? right? Ok I dove in head first and made the most amazing Bread Pudding I have ever eaten!
It was chewy and sweet and crusty! I was in Bread Pudding Heaven!! Since the first batch I made I have perfected the recipe and this is now a Holiday Favorite for our family!!
Here is a photo of the cookbook I still use!! You can see how messy I am!! But this recipe is AWESOME!! My Sister in Law who HATES any kind of bread went crazy over this!!
So I thought I would show you how I make our favorite Bread Pudding! Now I used First Street products you can find at Smart & Final!! I am all about supporting the California Milk Advisory Board! Lets get baking!!
I think the most important thing is to get good bread! I found a fantastic loaf of Italian bread and it was day old so it was marked down. Day old bread is actually better I don’t know why but it is. This loaf had a thick crust and that is important too so those are some things to consider when choosing your bread for this recipe.
Cut the bread into 1″ cubes.
Spread out in a single layer on a cookie sheet. There are 2 ways you can dry the bread out. You can leave it out over night or you can heat your oven to 250 degrees and then turn the oven off and put the bread in the oven for about 2 hours. Either way it takes time for this step and DO NOT FORGO THIS STEP IT IS ANOTHER CRUCIAL STEP. I usually plan ahead when I make this so I do the overnight method.
Here are your ingredients. I forgot to put the cinnamon bottle in this picture so sorry!
I used real butter made from California Milk. Do not substitute with margarine or other butter imposters!!LOL!
Here I used 2% Milk you can use whole milk or 1% but I would not recommend skim milk and what is the point?? This is a rich and decadent desert!!
Next take your egg, sugar, milk,vanilla and cinnamon and blend in a large bowl.
Then dump in your bread cubes and lightly toss them in the mixture until they are all coated. It wont look very pretty at this point but trust me this is gonna be good!
Place in a 350 degree oven for 35 to 45 minutes until edges are bubble and it is set in the middle.
Just before you take the pudding out of the oven you will want to make your sauce. Put the sugar, egg and butter in a cold sauce pan and blend together. Then gently heat mixture over low heat stirring continuously, this will burn very easily so do not step away from it.
The sauce will turn from a rich buttery yellow to a light frothy pale yellow when it is done.
Cinnamon Bread Pudding (adapted from Paula Deens “The Best Bread Pudding” Recipe)
2 cups granulated sugar
5 large beaten eggs
2 cups milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2T Ground Cinnamon
3 cups cubed Italian bread, allow to stale overnight in a single layer (I used the WHOLE loaf)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 c brown sugar for sprinkling
For the sauce:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan.
Mix together granulated sugar, eggs, and milk in a bowl; add vanilla. Pour over cubed bread and let sit for 10 minutes.
In another bowl, mix and crumble together brown sugar, butter, and pecans.
Pour bread mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over the top and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven.
For the sauce:
Mix together the granulated sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir together until the sugar is melted. Pour over bread pudding. Serve warm or cold.
Did you know Smart & Final First Street products are part of the California Milk Advisory Board “Help Our Teachers, Help Our Kids” promotion? Students & families collect Real California milk seals from select First Street products, then teachers submit seals. Each seal counts as one sweepstakes entry. Teachers who submit 100 seals get 25 Scholastic books or $25 school supply gift card. Each teacher entrant gets one Scholastic book. The California Milk Advisory Board is going to announce winners in February.
This project has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for #collectivebias #CBias, but all opinions and ideas are 100% mine.