07 March 2011

TWD: Bourbon Bread Pudding

So I gave it one more go.  I think I have mentioned before that I LOVE bread pudding.  I understand it is a dish one either loves or hates;  but really, how can you hate spiced cream-soaked vanilla-laden baked BREAD?  I really think people who hate bread pudding just haven't had decent bread pudding before.  There are a lot of bad recipes, and a lot of ways it can go wrong. 

The last time I made a bread pudding for TWD, it went wrong.  I was really peeved;  I spent I don't know how much time and money on it and it failed, miserably.  I was hesitant to try this time, but I had all I needed on hand, including some loaves of bread tucked in the freezer so I decided to give it a whirl.

First, I cut up the bread.  The usual suggestion is to go for something eggy and maybe sweet;  but, um, I think this is a sourdough, or at least a plain white loaf.  I weighed the chunks to be sure I had 8 ounces before putting them in my new ceramic loaf pan, purchased just for this recipe. 

Then I made the custard.  I warmed the eggs in a warm water bath before making the custard as I was petrified of them curdling on me.  I mixed them with the sugar and spices
and then alla the other wet stuff

And now the fussy bits.  I'm pretty sure when I was growing up, one just dumped the wet stuff in with the bread and slapped the whole thing in the oven.  Dorie prefers that you soak the bread in the custard for at least an hour and bake it in a water bath.  I'm skeptical, but she has a book, not me, so, a-soakin we will go.

I didn't have a pan big enough or enough water to come halfway up the pan, so I did what I could.

It took a good long while after removing the foil for my pudding to start to brown.  I still felt it was awfully pale, but was afraid of overbaking it, so I took it out after about 30 minutes sans foil.  I let it cool for a bit and then cut and scooped.  Result?

Sigh.  Once again, I get scrambled eggs and toast.

Fortunately, it is edible this time, so I am toughing it out.  It was inoffensive the night of but actually better the next day;  I could taste the bourbon more.  I am still very disappointed in the texture.  I don't think bread pudding should have visible custard.  There was less of it than last time.  But I really don't know what I am doing wrong.  Not enough bread?  Not enough soaking time?  Not enough of a water bath?  Too much of one?  Sigh.

Thanks for this recipe go to Sharon at Simply Southern.



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