This is a way to use old bread, but I sometimes make bread just to make bread pudding, it's so good. I don't use raisins in baking much, but they are an important textural element in this dish. I like my bread pudding to have some texture from the bread; for a more custard style, cut the amount of bread in half. This is best done with dry - not simply stale - bread which absorbs the custard better, but the drying step can be skipped.
- 400 g (8 cups) bread
- 100 g (1/2 cup) raisins
- 30 g (2 tbs) bourbon or rum
- 100 g (2) eggs
- 200 g (3/4 cup) vanilla sugar
- 2 g (1/4 tsp) salt
- 5 g (1 tsp) vanilla extract
- 450 g (2 cups) milk
- 50 g (4 tbs) butter
- Caramel Sauce, made with the same spirit as the pudding.
- Slice bread into 1 cm cubes.
- Optionally, spread bread out in a tray and dry overnight, or put in a low (250 °F) oven for an hour.
- Add the spirit to the raisins and macerate several hours, until they absorb most of the spirit.
- Preheat oven to 350 °F.
- Combine eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla extract, and milk in a large bowl. Beat together until just combined.
- Stir in the dry bread cubes, immersing well in the custard. Let them soak up the custard 15 minutes.
- Grease a 2-quart casserole or six large ramekins set in a baking tray. Put in the bread mixture, packing down reasonably well.
- Melt butter and brush evenly over the top of the bread mixture.
- Cover, put in oven, and bake 45 minutes, until custard is nearly set. Meanwhile, make the caramel sauce.
- Uncover and continue to bake until top browns, another 15 mintues.
- Remove from oven and cool 15 minutes.