Low-Carvers, this isn’t for you.
On a cold, snowy day, bread pudding is a warm and satisfying dessert, designed for flavor and sweetness. We like this recipe because it’s a little stodgier, less flan-like when done. If you like it moister, just add a bit more half and half. We prefer the tanginess of sourdough bread, but you can use any bread.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
– A 9 x 3 1/2 inch soufflé dish
– Cookie sheet
– Probe or instant-read thermometer
– Microwave-safe bowl
– Mixing bowl
– Small saucepan
FOR THE BREAD
– 8 oz sourdough baguette
– 4 large caramel rolls
FOR THE CUSTARD
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 3/4 cup brown sugar
– 2 eggs
– 1 egg white
– 2 cinnamon sticks
– 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated)
– 4 cups half and half
– 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
FOR THE TOPPING
– 1/4 cup sugar
– 1 teaspoon cinnamon
FOR THE CARAMEL SAUCE
– 1 cup brown sugar
– 1 stick of butter
– 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
– 1/2 cup sour cream
– 1/4 cup half and half
1. For the bread: Tear apart the baguette and caramel rolls into 1 – 2 inch pieces. Place in a low oven to dry out (170° for 1 – 2 hours). The drier they are, the better.
2. For the custard: Set aside 1 cup half and half, and put remaining 3 cups half and half into a microwave-safe bowl. Break up cinnamon sticks and add them and nutmeg into the half and half. Microwave until mixture reaches 180° then let it steep for 15 minutes. *Microwave in short bursts of 30 – 60 seconds each so you don’t boil it over and mess up your microwave.
3. Put 2 whole eggs and 1 egg white in blender on low speed for just under a minute. Add the brown and white sugars and blend until dissolved. Add the remaining cup of half and half and 2 tsp. vanilla and blend for 1 more minute. If your blender is big enough, strain the cinnamon/nutmeg mixture directly into the blender. Otherwise, strain, then combine liquid mixtures in a large mixing bowl. Bam! You’ve got custard. Refrigerate until bread is dried.
4. For the topping: Combine sugar and cinnamon; mix well.
5. Putting it all together: Now that your bread is dry, remove from oven and turn oven temp up to 325°. Dump bread into a large mixing bowl and toss the baguette chunks around with the caramel roll chunks to get everything all gooey from the caramel.
6. Prepare soufflé dish with non-stick cooking spray. Line bottom of dish with bread chunks until bottom is covered. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. of the topping. Cover with bread until bread comes to about an inch from the top. You may not get it all in, depending on how big your caramel rolls were to start with (that’s okay, you can eat the leftover chunks).
7. Pour custard over the bread. Wait a minute or two for the bread to soak up some of the liquid then continue to fill the soufflé dish up to within an inch from the top (it will rise). Sprinkle remaining topping mixture on top. Oven should be heated to 325°. Place on cookie sheet in middle of oven and bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes.
8. For the caramel sauce: About 15 minutes before bread pudding is done baking, combine sauce ingredients and heat until smooth.
9. Remove bread pudding from oven, slice and place on individual serving dishes. Top with warm sauce. Enjoy!