I’ve never particularly loved bread pudding when I was younger. Probably because of a diner disaster that offed my taste for them. However, I remember a gathering where my aunt brought bread pudding for us to share on. And it totally blew my mind, right then and there. It was not the bread pudding I remembered disliking. It was soft and heavenly. Every bit seems to exude a burst of milk and all its goodness.
So, being a nut job that I was. I hounded my aunt the entire night for a recipe until she finally gave in and gave to me. And since then, I’ve been making bread pudding whenever I can and made some alterations to it over the years. For me, bread pudding such has all the makings of a comfort food. It’s tender and luxurious at the same time. It has the perfect balance of taste and depth that we all look for whenever we want something to pick us up.
When making bread pudding, it’s important to invest in the quality of the bread. I prefer to use sourdough bread instead of the usual white bread. The sourdough bread gives it texture and crispy crust when it’s bake while leaving the center soft and gooey. It gives it the extra dimension to the bread pudding while keeping things balanced. I add a touch of whiskey to the cream sauce to give it an extra kick since I like to rile things up a bit. But, this definitely works in this dish. The whiskey gives it a sinful notch that perfectly plays well with the softness of the milk infused bread.
For those who are not fond of the taste of whiskey, believe me, you’d appreciate their taste in this one. Truthfully, you’d hardly notice its taste individually, but you’d know that there’s something to the cream that you just can’t put your finger on.
So, let’s get started with our sinfully addicting bread pudding…
- 4 to 5 cups of sourdough bread
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- 1/3 cup pecans, chopped finely
- 1/3 cup raisins, optional
Whiskey Cream Sauce:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup Jack Daniels (or your preferred whiskey)
Preheat your oven to 325 F.
Begin by cutting your bread into 1-inch cubes. First, cut the bread into 1-inch slices and then stack these slices together and cut again into 1-inc slices. Rotate the slices of bread to 90 degrees and cut again to form 1-inch cubes. Keep going with this until you have about 4 to 5 cups of bread cubes. You can put the unused bread in a resealable bag and put in the fridge for later use.
Lay down your sourdough cubes at the bottom of a 9-inch baking dish. Make sure to keep the crust facing up and around the edges. Put on the side.
Using a durable knife, like Priority Chef Knife, chop your pecans using a rock-and-forth motion until you get a fine but gritty texture. Set aside.
Add your eggs, melted but slightly cooled butter, milk, and vanilla in a medium sized mixing bowl. Beat all of these together until just combined. Add in your sugar and mix until the sugar is dissolved in the mixture. I prefer to use Priority Chef Mixing Bowl because of its silicone bottom and it’s pretty lightweight too! Once everything is just about done, pour the cream liquid over the bread. Sprinkle the finely chopped pecans and raisins over the soaked up bread.
Put in the oven and bake for 55 to 70 minutes or until you’ll get the golden brown crust over the top.
While waiting for the bread to finish baking, you can start making your whiskey cream. Combine all sugar, cream, butter and whiskey in a medium-sized saucepan, place over low heat. Stir the mixture constantly until small bubbles appears right around the edges and has not come to a boil yet. Set it aside to cool. You can keep leftovers in an airtight container and store in the fridge.
Once the bread pudding is done, you can serve immediately and pour the whiskey cream on the top and thank your lucky stars and take the time to enjoy its beautiful, crispy yet soft texture. Now that’s a piece of heaven in every bite.