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First Date Bread Pudding

     In First Date Wednesdays, Annabeth ditched her bad date but kept the dessert, a decision she said she proudly stood behind. And who can blame her? A good dessert is hard to pass up. There’s something about the perfect combination of butter, sugar and laughter that makes for some amazing and memorable moments.

     I hope this delicious take on a classic recipe that drew both Annabeth and Hudson to the same restaurant and had them laughing together at the end of the night can be the backdrop for many memorable moments with your own loved ones.  

 

Happy baking!

Rachel

     

First Date Bread Pudding

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Serves: 10-12

 

Ingredients - 

For Bread Pudding:

1 loaf French bread or Hawaiian bread

4 cups milk

3 large eggs

1 cup sugar

2 Tbsp vanilla extract

1 Tbsp bourbon (optional)

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ tsp salt

3 tablespoon melted butter

 

For Vanilla Bourbon sauce:

½ cup butter (1 stick)

¾ cup sugar

¼ tsp salt

2 Tbsp heavy cream

1 large egg

¼ cup bourbon

1 Tbsp vanilla

 

Directions - 

For the Bread Pudding:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F

  2. Cut stale bread into chunks. (If it’s not stale yet, see tip below on how to get ‘instant’ day-old bread!) In a large bowl, soak bread in milk until all milk is absorbed.

  3. In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, sugar, vanilla, spices, and bourbon (optional). Pour over soaked bread and stir gently just until combined.

  4. Pour melted butter in the bottom of a 13x9 baking dish, swirling it to make sure bottom and sides are coated.

  5. Bake at 350° F for 40-45 minutes or until liquid is set and edges and peaks are golden brown.

 

For Vanilla Bourbon Sauce:

  1. While bread pudding is baking, melt butter in a medium sauce pan over low heat.

  2. Add in sugar, salt, cream and egg. Whisk continuously until well blended.

  3. Cook over low heat just until thick enough to coat a spoon. Remove from heat.

  4. Wisk in bourbon and vanilla. (Want an alcohol free option? See tips below!)

  5. Pour over warm bread pudding as desired.

 

Enjoy!

Tips and Adaptations

Life doesn’t always go according to plan, and neither do our recipes. So here are some tips and tricks for when things aren’t exactly as listed above:

I don’t have time to wait for my fresh bread to get stale! Help!

No worries! Cut your fresh bread into thick slices and place on a cookie sheet. Put in a 200°F oven for 10-15 minutes or until it is dry and slightly crisp but not brown. Once it’s perfectly “stale” you can cut it into large chunks.

 

Let’s talk about bread. What kind should I use?

Good question! Traditionally, bread pudding uses a loaf of day-old, crusty French bread. Any French bread or baguette you pick up at the supermarket will work beautifully. Although personally, I like to use Hawaiian bread rounds. I like the extra touch of sweetness and it’s a little richer. Yum! But really, any bread will work. If you have left over hot dog or hamburger buns, this is a great way to not let them go to waste. Whatever fresh baked bread is on the day-old cart at your local grocery store is also a fantastic choice (plus it’s already stale and on sale! Win-win) And a regular loaf of sliced bread will work, too, although the texture will be slightly different because the chunks will be thinner.

Sounds delicious, but I’d like to make it without alcohol.

It’s just as delicious without the bourbon. Maybe even better. Simply omit it from the bread pudding.  For the vanilla sauce, instead of bourbon, mix together ¼ cup of water, 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar, and the vanilla. Whisk that into the sauce after it has been removed from the heat. (Vinegar sounds weird, I know! But the acidity helps make the sauce smooth.)

Can I make it ahead of time?

Absolutely! To make ahead, go through the step of pouring the bread mixture in a 9x13 pan. Cover the pan and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before you bake it. When you’re ready to bake it, take it out of the fridge and leave it on the counter to warm up while the oven is preheating.

The sauce is best made at the time you want to serve it.

 

I hope you enjoy this delicious dessert. And don’t forget to send me a picture of your creation!