Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Traditional New Orleans Bread Pudding

I have been lucky enough to experience two different types of authentic bread pudding - traditional New Orleans bread pudding and traditional English bread pudding.

During my sophomore year in college, I had the opportunity to travel to London over spring break to study Shakespeare.  The course I took that semester was called the London Shakespearience, and during the spring semester we studied plays and folios, and when we went to London we visited The Globe, Stratford-Upon-Avon, did some scene studies with Globe actors, and saw a production of Much Ado About Nothing.  And now you all know I am a Shakespeare nerd.  Besides seeing the sites, we also visited many pubs and I made sure to order a couple orders of bread pudding while there.

The following year, I went to New Orleans twice, once for an ultimate frisbee tournament (and Mardi Gras) and then went back a few weeks later for Alternative Spring Break, where we worked on building houses with Habitat for Humanity. Both experiences, while very different, were incredible. That was when I fell in love with the city and its food, and I made sure to stop at Cafe Du Monde for beignets and other restaurants in the French Quarter bread pudding.

The major difference between traditional English and New Orleans bread pudding is that with your English bread pudding, the milk and cream mixture are heated to create a custard, while the New Orleans bread pudding is usually served or infused with a whiskey sauce. Because I was making this bread pudding for a breakfast at school, I decided to forgo the whiskey sauce, but would certainly use Emeril's recipe for his whiskey sauce should I make this recipe again for a non-school function.

This recipe is beyond easy to make since most of your time is spent waiting for the bread to soak and then waiting again for the pudding to bake and set. You can use ANY type of bread for this recipe, from slices of white bread or a loaf of Italian or French bread. This is the perfect thing to make if you happen to buy loaves of bread at Costco, left them in the freezer for way too long, and then didn't know what to do with them. No bread is too stale for this recipe, just leave to soak until all cubes are completely saturated with this delicious cream.  The bread pudding was wonderful for breakfast warm, and I took some extras home to heat up with ice cream for dessert.  I love a recipe that can be used for breakfast or dessert :)

Bread Pudding
Serves 10
Prep Time: 1 hour
Bake Time: 30 min

-                1 loaf white bread (Italian, French, or classic loaf bread), about 6 cups, cubed*
-                4 tbsp unsalted butter
-                1 c heavy cream
-                3 c milk
-                3 eggs
-                1 c brown sugar, packed
-                2 tsp vanilla extract
-                1 tsp ground cinnamon
-                ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
-                pinch of salt
-                ½ c raisins

Pour the bread crumbs in a large bowl and melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat.  Pour the butter over the bread and toss to make sure they’re coated evenly.

In a separate bowl, mix together the heavy cream, milk, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and raisins.  Thoroughly mix and pour the cream mixture over the bread, tossing evenly to coat.  Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 30 – 40 minutes, or until the bread becomes very soft.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease the bottom and sides of a 13 x 9 in. pan.  Pour the bread mixture into the pan and bake in the oven for 30 – 35 minutes, or until the bread is slightly browned and set.  Serve warm and store in the refrigerator.

*Note: use the whole loaf, even if it isn't 6 cups.  You can fill the pan up since the bread won't bake up.  

Adapted from: Emeril 

1 comment:

  1. Mmmm I haven't had bread puddin' in forever! Definitely gonna have to make some now :)

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow


Comments may take a little while to show up, but don't worry they'll be there. Thanks for taking the time to comment, I read and appreciate every one!