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Troubleshooting a bread pudding recipe

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Hello. I recently made an apple bread pudding from a Dorie Greenspan book. The recipe looked very promising and it did taste good, but we found the pudding too firm. The recipe had a pretty standard mix of ingredients (3c milk, 1c cream, 3 eggs, 5 yolks), but unlike most bread pudding recipes I've made, this recipe had me heating the milk and cream first and then adding that to the egg-sugar mixture, like one would do when making creme anglaise. My questions: Do you think that this added to the firmness of the pudding? Is there some other advantage to doing this as opposed to the usual method of just mixing everything together and cooking it in the oven? Would an extra egg make the pudding softer. Thanks!
Kevin

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  1. In my (limited, humble) experience with bread pudding, the milk and eggs should have a ratio of 1 egg to 1 cup milk. Scalding the milk has not made a difference in firmness that I've noticed--I've scalded and not scalded. More egg, with no increase in milk, will make a firmer custard, not softer. More milk would make it too soupy. I think there is simply too much bread in it, and it absorbed too much of the liquid.

    1. with that amount of custard ingredients (wow) how much bread was called for? seems like the liquid could take an awful lot! Maybe try a smaller batch next time? I usually make about 2 c milk/2 eggs/3 cups torn breads and it makes 4 good-sized servings.

      I've used everything from brioche to whole wheat bagels, and the bread texture didn't seem to make any difference to the texture of the finished 'pudding'. (Which I think is the old English term for 'dessert', not the custardy concoction we Americans think of as pudding)

      Try baking the casserole in a bain marie (water bath-- this will contribute to the tenderness of the finished product.

      2 Replies
      1. re: toodie jane

        It was 12oz egg bread which I think is a reasonable amount. I think I did cut the slices too thick though. Next time, I'll use a little less bread and will cut the slices thinner and remove the crusts.

        1. re: kevinm

          I LIKE the crusts. I sometimes use a baguette because of the high crust-to-bread ratio. Gives the pudding some texture.

          Remember that this is not a custard, the texture should be that of a moistened bread. Yummy, creamy, moistened bread.

      2. My bread pudding was pumpkin. Mine is not firm enough and it always has a liquid that sits at the bottom of the pan and makes it watery. What am I doing wrong? I like a very firm one with firm custard that cuts like a cake and you can eat it by picking the piece up and eating it like a brownie. Please help!!! Thanks a bunch

        1 Reply
        1. re: jeanetteiacovone

          The way that people can help here on Chowhound is by posting back on this thread. I suggest you remove your email address.
          Please post your recipe for help.