I’ve spent a lot of time with my parents over the past few weeks while my Dad is recovering from surgery. We’ve had a lot of time to talk and our topics have been varied and interesting. One afternoon we got on the subject of my grandmother’s cooking and my Dad casually mentioned how much he loved her bread pudding. I asked if he knew how she made it but all he could remember is that she used stale bread so it wouldn’t go to waste. I have a red spiral notebook filled with her recipes, in her own handwriting. I thought for sure the recipe would be in there…but it was not. Talk about disappointing. Anyway, I was on a mission to make him some bread pudding so I looked through my best, old cookbooks. What I came up with is a combination of a few different recipes. I took ingredients from one but used techniques from a few others. This is basic, old-fashioned bread pudding. No sauces, no raisins, no fruit.
Basic Bread Pudding
- 5 - 6 slices dense bread
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 c. whole milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove bread crusts and cut slices into 1/2 in. cubes.
- Put into 8 x 8 baking dish. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, combine eggs and sugar.
- Beat on high for 5 minutes.
- Add vanilla, butter and milk.
- Mix one more time to combine.
- Pour egg mixture over bread cubes. Use a spatula to press the bread cubes into the egg mixture. Let sit for 15 minutes.
- Place the 8 x 8 baking dish in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Add enough water to the big dish to come up the sides of the small dish about 1/2 inch.
- Bake 1 hour. Bread should be golden and the middle should be set when touched.
- Cool slightly. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.
- To store cover tightly and place in refrigerator.
The first time I made this I was at my Dad’s. In his oven, the bread was very golden after only 45 minutes. The second time I made it was in my own kitchen and in my oven it actually took more than an hour. I let it bake about an hour and 5 minutes. My advise would be that at the 45 minute mark, start watching it closely. Your choice of bread will make a bit of difference in the taste. I used homestyle white bread the first time. The second time I used sweet hawaiian bread I found in the bakery section at my Kroger. It was definitely much sweeter than the plain white bread. Both batches were gone in no time so in the end, I don’t think your bread choice really matters!
The past few weeks have been very interesting. I’ve learned some things about my parents and surprisingly a few things about myself. They are incredibly kind to each other and it never fails to warm my heart. They thrive on routine, which I knew, but I didn’t realize just how much until I tried to mess with it! I didn’t make that mistake twice. I have discovered that being patient is easier than I thought. I wasn’t sure how I would do in that respect but God must be watching over me because I’ve not lost my patience even once. Truth be told, that was my biggest worry. Even though the role reversal is difficult, I am so thankful to be able to be there for them. After all, they’ve been there for me my whole life.
Thank you for listening and for being there too…see you soon.