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Alternatives to yeast bread in bread pudding

ls150 Sep 11, 2012 06:29 PM

I wan to make a bread pudding this weekend and don't feel like using and making yeast bread, for various reasons. I searched online and found a recipe using soda bread, but I'm not convinced that will be nice.

Has anyone used anything other than a yeast bread for bread pudding? I will be making it from scratch. Time/difficulty isn't a factor.

Any suggestions are welcome!!!

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  1. todao RE: ls150 Sep 11, 2012 06:38 PM

    Stale cake works nicely; or any quick bread made with baking powder instead of yeast. Left over scones, biscuits, etc .....

    7 Replies
    1. re: todao
      magiesmom RE: todao Sep 11, 2012 06:54 PM

      cornbread makes a nice one too.

      1. re: magiesmom
        ls150 RE: magiesmom Sep 12, 2012 05:50 AM

        Thanks! That's a great idea.

        1. re: ls150
          jbsiegel RE: ls150 Sep 28, 2012 10:44 AM

          Oooohhhh....very good idea! I'm thinking add some molasses and make it an Indian Pudding type tying.

      2. re: todao
        ls150 RE: todao Sep 12, 2012 05:47 AM

        Thank you. I wasn't sure how the texture would be using a quick bread instead. I appreciate your tips! Which one(s) have you made that you found work the best?

        1. re: ls150
          todao RE: ls150 Sep 12, 2012 08:58 AM

          Texture in bread pudding is more a product of the custard than the bread but, for my own choice, I'd use the quick bread like dried/stale banana nut bread or a cinnamon loaf.

          1. re: todao
            ls150 RE: todao Sep 13, 2012 04:22 AM

            Thanks. Maybe I will do the same, but with muffins (which would save me some baking time). Cinnamon sounds great. Thanks todao!

            1. re: todao
              Vinnie Vidimangi RE: todao Jul 3, 2013 08:51 PM

              No. Only in Wonderbread land.

        2. c
          critter101 RE: ls150 Sep 11, 2012 07:22 PM

          Did it with donuts once, don't recommend it. But the one I made at holiday time with store-bought panettone was great.

          2 Replies
          1. re: critter101
            ls150 RE: critter101 Sep 12, 2012 05:49 AM

            Thanks for letting me know. That seems like it would be pretty darn sweet! As for the store-bought, I can't purchase anything store-bought and make everything from scratch, so don't really want to go with panettone... but can imagine it is delicious.

            1. re: ls150
              jbsiegel RE: ls150 Sep 28, 2012 10:45 AM

              I've done the donut one too (using glazed chocolate cake-type donuts). The donuts never quite melded into the pudding. It tasted like eating a bowlful of donuts. I do think it could be good - probably needed more liquid.

          2. team_cake RE: ls150 Sep 11, 2012 07:30 PM

            Pound cake and/or angel food cake can work well, especially with a lighter fruit like berries. I wouldn't use ALL angel food cake because it's so light, and might just get goopy once in the custard. Pound cake gives bread pudding a nice texture for sweet puddings, imo -- but I'm a pound cake fan, regardless! You might try slicing day old berry muffins, and then using those.

            I second the idea of cornbread for a savory bread pudding, but I'd still make sure it's day old or toasted lightly in the oven before putting it in a custard, so it will have a decent amount of body even when soaked in custard. I like my bread puddings to have creaminess and texture from the bread or cake.

            2 Replies
            1. re: team_cake
              ls150 RE: team_cake Sep 12, 2012 05:50 AM

              I really like the idea of using muffins. Thanks!

              1. re: team_cake
                jbsiegel RE: team_cake Sep 28, 2012 10:46 AM

                I also do one with pound cake...spreading the cake with peanut butter and then cutting into cubes. I tend to make this one into a chocolate bread pudding since I'm a chocolate-peanut butter addict!

              2. chowser RE: ls150 Sep 11, 2012 07:32 PM

                I do it with pumpkin bread often. Leave the oil/fat out of the quick bread so it absorbs the egg mixture better. I do it for Thanksgiving in the crockpot because I've run out of oven space and it's really good.

                1 Reply
                1. re: chowser
                  ls150 RE: chowser Sep 12, 2012 05:53 AM

                  That sounds fantastic. Thanks for the idea!

                2. c
                  chez cherie RE: ls150 Sep 11, 2012 08:30 PM

                  croissants make great bread pudding.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: chez cherie
                    ls150 RE: chez cherie Sep 12, 2012 05:51 AM

                    Thanks, though they aren't yeast -free. I am sure they would be delicious, though.

                    1. re: ls150
                      chez cherie RE: ls150 Sep 12, 2012 08:03 AM

                      sorry--misunderstood that you didn't feel like making yeast bread, not that you were specifically avoiding yeasted goods.

                      1. re: chez cherie
                        ls150 RE: chez cherie Sep 12, 2012 08:10 AM

                        No, I'm sorry! You didn't misunderstand. I don't feel like making yeast breads/goods in general, I don't avoid them. I just wanted something that was quick to make instead. Sorry I am so confusing! But I would definitely think they would be delicious.

                        1. re: ls150
                          Sooeygun RE: ls150 Sep 13, 2012 06:12 AM

                          This won't necessarily help you now, but danishes make good bread pudding. You end up with little surprises of whatever filling was in the danishes. Mr S worked at a hotel that used their day old danishes, croissant, cinnamon buns, etc to make bread pudding for the dessert buffet. doesn't work for a menu item, because of the inconsistency (every serving's different). I've picked up day old pastries just to make it at home.

                  2. j
                    John Francis RE: ls150 Sep 11, 2012 08:46 PM

                    Soda bread ought to work, but I haven't tried it.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: John Francis
                      ls150 RE: John Francis Sep 12, 2012 05:52 AM

                      Yes, I thought it might, but I wasn't 100% sure - it has a bit of a different flavor/texture and didn't know how it might hold up.

                    2. Emme RE: ls150 Sep 11, 2012 08:53 PM

                      a few weeks ago, i had some leftover carrot cake. i did a bread pudding with buttermilk in the custard. it was a nice compliment. i also served it with a cream cheese creme anglaise.

                      i've also used banana bread, pumpkin bread (as suggested above as well), buttermilk biscuits, cakey brownies, and though i hate to admit it... i made it once with chopped granola bars...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Emme
                        ls150 RE: Emme Sep 12, 2012 05:54 AM

                        I really like the idea of something quick and easy like biscuits. And the pumpkin bread was a nice idea, too. Glad to hear they have worked successfully! I was also thinking I might do a simple quick bread, using club soda, perhaps, instead of beer in a beer bread. (And sweeten it up a bit). Or apple cider.

                      2. ipsedixit RE: ls150 Sep 11, 2012 09:29 PM


                        2 Replies
                        1. re: ipsedixit
                          ls150 RE: ipsedixit Sep 12, 2012 05:57 AM

                          Thanks. BEcause of my love of pancakes, I am not sure I could make a batch for bread pudding without eating them, though!

                          1. re: ipsedixit
                            fara RE: ipsedixit Jul 9, 2013 01:03 PM

                            I was also thinking this, it would go perfectly. Even could do gluten free

                          2. j
                            juliecd RE: ls150 Sep 23, 2012 12:39 PM

                            I often make extra extra breakfast breads and keep them in the freezer and have had great success making bread pudding with pumpkin bread.

                            1. jmcarthur8 RE: ls150 Sep 23, 2012 01:59 PM

                              I made bread pudding last week with a pumpkin bundt cake that had come out too dry. I added some raisins in, too. It was excellent. Served it with almond whipped cream.

                              1. greygarious RE: ls150 Sep 23, 2012 06:27 PM

                                Cooks Illustrated points out that oven-drying the cubed bread or cake or pastry you are using is preferable to staling it. The reason is that when baked goods stale, they crystallize, which traps much of the water they contain. When later heated, the crystals dissolve, releasing the moisture.
                                This is why you can revive bread that is a few days old by microwaving or oven-heating. But when you dry fresh bread pieces in the oven, the water evaporates rather than becoming trapped. The bread, being drier, can absorb more of the custard, and the bread pudding will also be crunchier at the top.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: greygarious
                                  jmcarthur8 RE: greygarious Sep 23, 2012 07:24 PM

                                  That is really interesting! I had no idea about the physics of dry bread. It explains a bit about the nature of cubed bread stuffing, then too. Thanks!

                                2. a
                                  amidalailama RE: ls150 Sep 28, 2012 06:44 AM

                                  I make about 60 muffins every week for the girls in my dorm, but sometimes the amounts vary, and when there are too many to eat, I make some sort of egg/flax/chia/almond milk/regular milk/yogurt/buttermilk/sugar/whatever is around mixture and go for it. The one thing I'd recommend is making sure you thoroughly soak your bread before baking it. Then, store in the fridge for a cool breakfasty treat (one of my favorites in the summer, if I can deal with turning the oven on).

                                  1. l
                                    lemons RE: ls150 Sep 28, 2012 09:55 AM

                                    The mention of something being "too sweet" to use in bread pudding: Just use less sweetener in the custard mixture. I've made BP with everything from Wonder Bread to Danishes and it's just a question of total sweetness, not just what's in the bread product. Corn bread would be fine...I keep thinking about it with a custard that has Grand Marnier in it, corn and orange seem to work well togethr. Or studded w/ blueberries or raspberries....

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: lemons
                                      susanl143 RE: lemons Sep 28, 2012 10:49 AM

                                      That sounds really yummy. I make a gluten free corn bread using a mixture of corn flour and corn meal. I wonder if that would work well in a bread pudding or do you need that wheat gluten?

                                      1. re: susanl143
                                        Emme RE: susanl143 Sep 29, 2012 10:59 AM

                                        it would work beautifully. if you'd be willing to share, i'd love to see your recipe... do you use any xanthan gum? (hoping not...)

                                    2. m
                                      mdzehnder RE: ls150 Sep 28, 2012 12:13 PM

                                      I don't have the recipe handy, but my wife makes a pumpkin bread pudding with a vanilla creme anglaise on top that is absolutely out of this world delicious. I can dig up the recipe if you're interested.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: mdzehnder
                                        blizzardgirl33 RE: mdzehnder Sep 28, 2012 08:51 PM

                                        @ mdzehnder
                                        That pumpkin bread pudding sounds wonderful! I'd love it if you'd share the recipe.

                                      2. b
                                        blizzardgirl33 RE: ls150 Sep 28, 2012 08:53 PM

                                        I love the sound of corn bread pudding.
                                        Another option is to make yeasted bread that doesn't take a long time. My new favourite is a no-knead recipe that goes from start to baked in about 4 hours.

                                        1. l
                                          LJS RE: ls150 Sep 29, 2012 09:20 AM

                                          I believe panettone was referenced earlier, but dismissed as 'too sweet" (or perhaps you were referring to the donuts?). A good Italian-recipe panettone should not be too sweet, unless it has been adapted for NA tastes.

                                          In any case, this is my 'go to' for bread pudding whenever I see it in the market, especially when it is on sale because of looming 'best before' date issues. I have made panettone in my bread-maker, too....but frankly, the supermarket ones with citron/raisin, not chocolate, are super for bread pudding. Just cut into chunks and either oven or air stale (depending on the degree of your love affair with Cook's Illustrated) and drench with the custard as usual...I do believe in letting the bread/cake soak for at least an hour before baking and using a bain marie, but I am fussy about bread pudding. I also pour on whiskey sauce if the pudding is for a special meal.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: LJS
                                            chowser RE: LJS Sep 29, 2012 06:26 PM

                                            I've never had panettone pudding but I"ll bet that would be great.

                                          2. k
                                            kengk RE: ls150 Sep 29, 2012 11:16 AM

                                            My favorite bread pudding is made with stale biscuits.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: kengk
                                              chowser RE: kengk Sep 29, 2012 06:26 PM

                                              Biscuits, like southern fluffy biscuits?

                                              1. re: chowser
                                                kengk RE: chowser Sep 30, 2012 04:23 AM

                                                Yes, regular baking powder biscuits.

                                            2. p
                                              pine time RE: ls150 Sep 30, 2012 12:15 PM

                                              Quick breads have been mentioned, up-thread, but one of the best bread puddings I ever had was from stale banana bread with walnuts, then a caramel syrup glaze. And, sadly, I didn't get the recipe.

                                              1. q
                                                Querencia RE: ls150 Jul 4, 2013 12:59 AM

                                                I don't understand why you would have to bake fresh homemade bread to make bread pudding. I make it in large quantities for a church feeding program and use bought bread all the time. And you don't need a lot---I don't use a full loaf of cinnamon raisin bread to make 24 generous portions of pudding. For family use a third of a loaf of leftover or stale bread would be adequate.

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