Sometimes, the name tells you all you need to know. Buttery, boozy, toothsome and rich, this bread pudding from The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook is just the thing for Sunday brunch. Or, you know, any time you want.
Tips: The type of bread used to make the pudding makes the most difference in the texture. You can use ciabatta, which is the hardest and will give it the firmest texture. French baguette, thinly sliced, works too. Brioche and challah are softest; if you use either of these, you won't need to soak the bread as long.
Tweaks: Take a couple simple, extra steps to improve this recipe. Soak the raisins in the liquid made from combining the butter, sugars, and vanilla. Once the bread mixture is in the baking dish, let it sit for an hour on the counter before baking it.
Reprinted with permission by Cheryl and Griffith Day. Copyright © 2012. Published by Artisan Books. Available wherever books are sold. All rights reserved.
- For the Pudding
- 1 1/2 pounds ciabatta, brioche, or challah, cut into 2-inch cubes (9 cups)
- 4 cups half-and-half
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
- 5 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup golden raisins
- For the Bourbon Glaze
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
To make the pudding: Put the bread in a large mixing bowl and pour the half-and-half over it, tossing it gently to soak the bread. Let sit at room temperature while you prepare the custard.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Remove from the heat, add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla, and stir until well combined and smooth.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, then add the butter-sugar mixture, stirring until well combined and smooth. Pour the custard mixture over the bread, tossing gently to incorporate the custard and half-and-half mixture until well combined.
Pour the bread mixture into the prepared baking dish and spread it evenly. Sprinkle the raisins over the top and gently work them into the pudding; make sure the liquid covers the bread. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 55 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until the bread pudding is golden brown. Set the pudding aside while you prepare the glaze.
To make the bourbon glaze: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove from the heat and add the bourbon and confectioners’ sugar, stirring until incorporated. Add the cream and mix until smooth.
Pour the glaze over the top of the bread pudding and let it sit for 15 minutes before serving. The bread pudding is best served warm, but it can be refrigerated, tightly covered, for up to 4 days.