Easy Southern Cooking

Easy Southern Cooking/ Mom's Bread Pudding

Bread Pudding

By Diane Watkins

Bread pudding was one of my mothers specialties.  I remember her making it whenever we had stale bread, and occasionally even buying day old bread to make bread pudding with.  It was always one of my favorites, and she taught me to make it as a teenager. 

I have tried Bread Pudding in many restaurants, and it is never like my moms.  She didn’t butter her bread, in fact, there was no butter or shortening in it.  She didn’t even butter the pan.  It is more of a pudding than bread.  Serve it warm or cold, but my favorite way was cold, cut into a square that I would grab on my way out the back door. 

I have made this recipe for parties before, and gotten rave reviews on my unusual and delicious dessert.  It is easy to make and scales up into large batches easily.  In fact, the recipe is very forgiving, I had to make it and measure everything for the recipe, because I always just make it by feel.  This is not very sweet, but you can adjust the sugar to your taste.  It is is great served cold cut into squares like a soft bar cookie or elegant served hot with a fruit sauce or hard sauce.

My Mom's Bread Pudding

½ pound of stale white bread, torn up or cut into cubes (1/2 loaf or 10 slices)
2 Cups milk
½ - 2/3 Cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
½ cup raisins
1 teaspoon cinnamon  

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Put the bread cubes into a 9 by 13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle the raisins over the bread. 
  3. Combine the milk and egg, whisking with a fork to blend.  Add the sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.  Blend and pour over the bread.
  4. Mix all together to make sure the bread is soaked with the custard and raisins are distributed throughout. 
  5. Place this baking dish into another larger dish to which water has been added.  (Bain Marie) You want to add enough water to come ½ way up the side of the baking dish.  I measure out the water with the pan on the counter top, remove the pudding, place the water pan in the oven, then add the pudding into the pan in the oven. (This avoids spilling the water into the pudding as I put it into the oven.)
  6. Bake at 325 for approximately 45 minutes.  The pudding will be set and a little puffy.  The puffiness settles a little as it cools, this is ok. 


This version uses white bread, like hers.  You can use raisin bread, left over cinnamon rolls, brioche, pantone… You may want to adjust the sugar to taste if you use a sweet bread.
You can use any dried fruit or diced apples instead of  or in addition to the raisins. You can use any flavoring instead of or in addition to the vanilla. 
I once had a version of this in a restaurant that had white chocolate on top.  It was luscious!  I’ll work on that recipe and post it later when I get it right.
Serve with hard sauce or a fruit sauce.




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