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Aug 2, 2014 05:02 AM

Looking for Mom's Bread Pudding Recipe

Mom's bread pudding had a custard matrix along with the custard saturated bread chunks. I have not bee able to find her recipe. Can anyone help. I think that just adding more custard would just result in soggy bread.

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  1. As you can see I posted before I had my coffee - it should read: Looking for Mom's Bread Pudding Recipe.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Fiona

      I think you can edit the thread title if you want to.

      1. re: Fiona

        Rats. I thought it was Brad Pitt's family recipe.

      2. Fiona,

        Hi! I don't know what you mean by a "custard matrix." All bread puddings have custard in them, so I am a little confused. Please clarify.

        The bread pudding recipe that I swear by follows:

        Place the following in a ceramic or glass two or three quart casserole dish, greased with butter, after following the directions below:

        1/2 cup mixed candied fruit (pieces of dried fruit cut up into 1/8 inch cubes will work, as well, but they will be more chewy, so mixed candied fruit is better)

        1/4 cup kirsch (or any after dinner liqueur with a cherry flavor will work, as well--Seagram's, Bols', or Cherry Kijafa, for example)

        1/2 cup dried raisins

        1/4" inch slices of day old French bread in a sufficient quantity to cover the top of the casserole dish without overlapping. (You want there to only be one layer, floating on top of the custard which will be created.)

        Butter in an amount sufficient to heavily butter the slices of French bread

        1 cup of heavy cream. (This recipe is very forgiving and will work fine with light cream, or probably half and half, but heavy cream is best.)

        1 quart whole milk

        1 and 1/4 cup granulated white sugar

        6 eggs

        5 egg yolks

        1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

        Confectioners' sugar to sprinkle over the entire dish

        1. Pour boiling water into a small bowl sufficient to cover the raisins.

        2. Pour kirsch (or the other alternative liqueurs) into a second small bowl sufficient to cover the candied fruit or dried fruit. You will just be using this to hydrate the candied fruit and then will discard the unabsorbed liqueuer, so use a very small bowl just big enough to cover the fruit. Otherwise, you can waste a lot of kirsch.

        3. Slice the French bread pieces 1/4" thick and butter them very heavily. (They are going to brown and the more butter which you use, the better they brown--and taste delicious.)

        4. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

        5. Combine the milk and cream. Bring this mixture just to a boil in a separate sauce pan. Then take it off the heat immediately.

        6. Dissolve the sugar in the hot milk/cream combination, stirring.

        7. Beat the egg yolks and whole eggs lightly with a beater or whisk.

        8. "Temper" the egg mixture by pouring a small amount of the milk mixture (maybe a quarter of a cup) into the eggs and beating it rapidly. Repeat three times. Then add the rest of the milk mixture to the egg mixture. Beat some more for a minute or so. This procedure prevents the eggs from scrambling.

        9. Add the vanilla extract to the milk and eggs mixture.

        10. Drain the raisins and the candied fruits and place them in the bottom of a two or three quart casserole dish.

        11. Plac the heavily buttered French bread slices on top of the candied fruit.

        12. Pour the milk and eggs mixture slowly over the bread, soaking it as much as possible. The partly soaked bread will float on the milk and eggs mixture. (My original recipe called for straining the milk and eggs mixture before pouring it over the bread, but I have never found this necessary.)

        13. Place the casserole dish in a larger casserole dish or metal container and pour boiling water into the larger dish, thus creating a "baine Marie" in which the egg mixture will cook slowly and evenly. (To be clear, the hot water is NOT poured into the dish with the egg mixture, but rather, surrounds it in the second container. As Sir Thomas More said in "A Man for All Seasons", "I trust I make myself obscure.")

        14. Bake about 40 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit (on a middle rack) or just until set. Remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool. The bread will be golden and look like individual pieces of bread. But just below the surface, the bread will be custardy and soft. Below that, there will be a pure custard layer, and the fruit and raisins will remain on the bottom.

        15. You can run the whole shebang under a broiler, if you want, to increase the golden bread color, but I do not because it has plenty already, and I am one of those people who frequently burns that which he puts under the broiler.

        16. Sprinkle the top with powdered sugar, if you wish. I usually don't.

        17. Let this cool for several hours. Otherwise, the custard is too thin and runs. This dish is cook served warm or cold (but not hot). After the first time I serve it, I usually serve it cold.

        4 Replies
        1. re: gfr1111

          That sounds close to what I am looking for. The recipes that I have tried have no "free" custard - all of the custard is absorbed by the bread. The way my mother made it the bread absorbed the custard but was also surrounded by custard.

          1. re: Fiona

            I'm with you all the way! My mother makes hers the same way. I really like this recipe that uses croissants, but you could easily substitute plain bread.

            1. re: Fiona

              Have you tried experimenting with the amount of bread you use? The less you put in, the more custardy it will be and you'll find the ratio that still says "bread pudding" to you more than it does "custard".

              1. re: Fiona


                I think that Rainey's suggestion is a good one. Although I have never tried it, I suspect that you could slice the French bread in the recipe I posted much thicker and, as long as the bread was thoroughly soaked in the custard before baking, you would get the sort of bread pudding with a matrix of custard that you are thinking of. There would be almost no "free" custard, but there would be plenty of it in the bread.

                Alternatively, you could slice the French bread slices fairly thinly, as called for in the recipe, but load the custard up with them, so that they don't just float on top. The pudding would have a bread component from top to bottom.

            2. You want it more like the first photo, right? Definitely not like the second photo.