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Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce

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Why This Recipe is a Must-Try

  • Comfort Food at Its Best: Bread pudding delivers a satisfying texture and rich flavors that evoke memories of home-cooked meals.
  • Versatility: This recipe can be customized with various bread types and additions, making it perfect for using up leftovers.
  • Elegant Yet Simple: The vanilla sauce adds a gourmet touch to this humble dessert, making it suitable for both casual and formal occasions.

Ingredients Overview

For the Bread Pudding:

  • Stale Bread (white, French, or brioche): 4 cups cubed
  • Large Eggs: 4
  • Milk: 2 cups
  • Granulated Sugar: 1 cup
  • Unsalted Butter (melted): ¼ cup
  • Vanilla Extract: 1 teaspoon
  • Ground Cinnamon: ½ teaspoon
  • Ground Nutmeg: ¼ teaspoon
  • Optional: Raisins or dried currants: ¼ cup
  • A pinch of salt

For the Vanilla Sauce:

  • Unsalted Butter: ½ cup (1 stick)
  • Heavy Cream: 1 cup
  • Granulated Sugar: ½ cup
  • Vanilla Extract: ½ teaspoon

Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions

Prepare the Bread Pudding:

  1. Preheat the Oven: Set your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Prepare the Bread: Cube the bread and place it in a large mixing bowl. For a crispier top, lightly toast the bread first.
  3. Mix the Custard: In another bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, melted butter, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
  4. Combine: Pour the custard mixture over the bread cubes, ensuring all pieces are soaked. Stir in raisins or currants if using.
  5. Bake: Transfer to a greased 9×9 inch baking dish and bake for 45-55 minutes until set and golden. A knife inserted should come out clean.

Make the Vanilla Sauce:

  1. Cook the Sauce: While the pudding bakes, melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add heavy cream and sugar, stirring until smooth.
  2. Finish the Sauce: Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.

Serving:

  1. Cool and Serve: Let the bread pudding cool slightly, then slice and serve warm drizzled with vanilla sauce.

Tips for Perfect Bread Pudding

  • Bread Type: The type of bread used can affect the texture; denser bread will give a firmer pudding.
  • Custard Soak: Allow the bread to soak in the custard mixture for at least 10 minutes before baking for richer flavor.
  • Sauce Consistency: For a thicker sauce, reduce the cream slightly before adding sugar and butter.

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