I know I know you don’t have to tell me. It’s only bread pudding so what’s so special about it? First, it’s the first time I’ve ever made it. Second, I made it to rescue a left-over from being wasted (that’s a good thing right?). Third and most importantly, I used basic ingredients to create light, puffy and delicious French-toast bread pudding that makes you ask for more with no guilt, only because it’s not loaded with other “stuff” most people I know would put in it.
So, every Friday we celebrate Shabbat and almost always end up with left-over challah bread that nobody bothers to eat again the following day. No matter what I do it wont be seen in anyone’s mouth – shame. So I’ve decided to not give up and try my french toast bread pudding style – pure and simple. No fuzzy or unnecessary ingredients. Let me tell you it was a huge success. How do I know that? Just when I was ready to take pictures of beautifully presented pudding to entice you my readers, it was all gone. I was late.
Lesson learned: No more wasted challah bread ever. And…I was late.
I know there are many varieties to make bread pudding be it with dried fruit, nuts, heavy creams, two thousands yolks you name it. But I refuse to shop for anything special just to rescue left-over challah and I want it pure, simple and delicious. I used what I had in my pantry. The addition of my “surprise spice” – cardamon – gives the pudding a distinctive “lift” in flavor and aroma that you won’t regret adding it.
Feel free to adjust or add whatever you like but with this recipe you will enjoy pure flavors without anything else taking over the other. So, shall we:
**5 cups egg-free day old Challah bread, cubed
3 large eggs
2 egg whites
2 cups low-fat milk
1/4 cup water
1 vanilla bean
pinch kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
5 cardamon cloves, crushed no skin
1/2 cup of light brown sugar plus 2 tbsp for garnish
1/4 cup raisins (any kind)
non-stick cooking spray
**I buy egg-free challah bread but you can use any challah bread you like.
Preheat oven to 350º. Grease 6 small ramekins or medium ceramic baking dish, set aside.
In a large mixing bowl place challah pieces and the raisins. In another mixing bowl combine the rest of the ingredients. Whisk all together until well combined and then whisk a little more. Pour custard over the bread pieces, toss well to coat and let it soak for an hour. Give a light toss to fluff it up and pack pudding into greased ramekins or baking dish. Sprinkle with light brown sugar.
Bake for about 35 minutes or more, or until puffed and is lightly golden brown in color. Insert a toothpick in the center and if it comes out clean and dry it’s done. You will notice how the sugar topping sparkles. Gotta love that.
Serve warm with a nice cup of fresh hot mint tea or your favorite coffee. Mmm…I’m envious already.