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Looking for a Bread Pudding recipe

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itsme_timd Dec 12, 2011 10:39 AM

My mom taught me to cook a lot of great things as I was growing up and she passed on a lot of great recipes. One recipe I never got from her was her bread pudding, I just can't get it right. Does anyone have suggestions based on this description?

The bread pudding was very dense, almost like a pound cake density, but very moist. It was sweet but not overly so, lots of cinnamon and nutmeg. She'd make it in a 9x13 pan, I remember her taking it out of the oven and rubbing an entire stick of butter over the top and letting it melt down into the pudding. :-) She'd let it cool just a bit then serve it up it big pieces. Heaven on a plate.

My mom passed away in '92. I've tried for almost 20 years to recreate this and can't get it right. Everyone in my family remembers this bread pudding and I'd love to make it at Christmas. Any help is appreciated.

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  1. biondanonima RE: itsme_timd Dec 12, 2011 10:51 AM

    I'm not a bread pudding expert, but I think I (and probably other posters) might be able to help you more if you could tell us what you've tried that DOESN'T work - lots of clues to be found there.

    3 Replies
    1. re: biondanonima
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      itsme_timd RE: biondanonima Dec 12, 2011 11:03 AM

      It's actually been a while since I've made it and have to be honest that I don't recall what all I've tried. My main issue was with consistency/density of the pudding. All the ones I made seem to come out too thin, more of a scooping pudding than a slicing one. However it seems like if I try to cut back a bit on the wet ingredients it just seemed to be too dry for a bread pudding. Even though what my mom made was very dense it maintained the moist creaminess of a bread pudding.

      1. re: itsme_timd
        biondanonima RE: itsme_timd Dec 12, 2011 11:15 AM

        What types of bread have you tried? I would go with something like brioche or challah as a starting point - they are denser than your average sandwich bread and should absorb more custardy goodness. Is it possible that your mother actually used pound cake to make the dish? Another thing to try would be to make sure the bread is very dry, and let it sit for a long time with the wet ingredients before baking - getting the inherent moisture out of the bread will allow it to soak up more of the custard. Baking it in a water bath will also help keep it moist.

        1. re: biondanonima
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          itsme_timd RE: biondanonima Dec 12, 2011 11:24 AM

          Thanks for the info. I'll try that. I know she didn't use pound cake, I actually think she used just sandwich bread. I was going to try challah, hadn't thought about brioche but that's a good idea, too.

    2. blue room RE: itsme_timd Dec 12, 2011 11:12 AM

      Did your mother use store bought bread, or did she make her own?

      1 Reply
      1. re: blue room
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        itsme_timd RE: blue room Dec 12, 2011 11:22 AM

        I'm pretty sure she used store bought bread for this. I 'think' it was just white sandwich bread, but not positive about that.

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        acgold7 RE: itsme_timd Dec 12, 2011 11:30 AM

        If it was *very* moist and dense, it probably had a very high ratio of eggs -- or perhaps just yolks -- to milk. Look for recipes that use 5 or 6 eggs for a recipe that size, rather than 2 or 3.

        Just my guess.

        2 Replies
        1. re: acgold7
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          itsme_timd RE: acgold7 Dec 12, 2011 11:33 AM

          Will do, thanks for the tip.

          1. re: acgold7
            chowser RE: acgold7 Dec 12, 2011 11:36 AM

            This is what I was thinking, too, all egg yolks or at least heavy in it and a good amount of cream. Also, letting it sit overnight so the bread soaks up the goodness (and make sure to use either day old, or dried bread).

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            charlieboy RE: itsme_timd Dec 12, 2011 05:32 PM

            I've found that bread pudding recipes vary from region to region and also from other countries. For instance, in the UK they make something called "Bread & Butter Pudding"....quite different from the US version, in that they don't have as much cream/egg/milk in them. You didn't mention it, but if your mom was from another country that might be why you've not been able to recreate hers. if, for instance she was from Ireland or elsewhere you might try looking at recipes from there.........just a thought.

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              HillJ RE: itsme_timd Dec 12, 2011 05:38 PM

              itsme, it might be hard to replicate your Mom's recipe but I'm always on a bread pudding quest. So many just don't wow me. The right bread to batter, soaking, the right temp of the oven, the right flavorings, gosh so many things can throw off the result.

              But I happen to love this one: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/brea...

              It's super simple, the french bread is the key choice (just the right balance of soft/crusty). The bourbon sauce makes it oh so comforting.

              1. greygarious RE: itsme_timd Dec 12, 2011 05:57 PM

                America's Test Kitchen has featured bread pudding this season. http://www.americastestkitchen.com/re...

                If that doesn't give you the recipe part, you can register for free, no fee or trial membership involved. This recipe seemed, on TV, to be just what you are looking for.

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                  itsme_timd RE: itsme_timd Dec 13, 2011 06:20 AM

                  Thanks again for everyone's input and suggestions. I've got some good ideas to work with now.

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