Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Bread Pudding when I dream of snow...

I dream of snow 1-1
Although I'd agree with anyone that there are just some kinds of cold days that are beyond miserable, I have to say I'm a cold weather kind of gal at heart. I love winter clothing, wrapping up in thick sweaters, trying different kinds of knots in my scarves every day (I wouldn't be a real French girl if I didn't have a drawer full of scarves and at least five different ways of putting them on), cradling a cup of hot chocolate or a steaming bowl of soup in my cold hands and then savoring them slowly, letting the warmth seep through me, all things I am happy for every time the calendar hits December.

Unfortunately, my ideal winter and the one I actually get here are two rather different things. I suppose I should be thankful that we don't get three feet of snow at a time the way my sister and her family do in Chicago, but a little snow once in a while would be nice, and by that I don't mean snow that I might see if I were up between 6:00 and 6:17am before it has essentially vanished, making one doubt it was ever here to begin with.
Last year there was one such day, unexpectedly. Granted, it caused the whole nation to grind to a halt and I did lock myself out of the house that morning while walking the "one who brings the crazy." But even while heavily pregnant, somewhat inappropriately dressed, trying to control one very spazzy dog reconnecting with something in her Dutch, barge-pulling, canine DNA, and walking over to the hotel nearby to call A. to come home and let me in, I was still thoroughly charmed by the six inches of snow through which I was trudging. Call me crazy.
Bread Pudding on Cold Days
So, when it turns out we probably aren't going to get snow like that again any time soon, but the weather is cold enough and gray enough and soggy enough to make you want to stick your head in the sand of your couch and wish for naptime, springtime, Hammertime, any other time really, I turn to food to feed my emotions longings. So what if the only remains of the snow that fell an hour ago is the ice trapped in the grooves of the horse track in Hyde Park? Get thee to the kitchen and make some Norwegian Coffee Cake I say. Or, if you already did that, you know, that other cold, gray and generally unpalatable day, slice up what's left of it and make some bread pudding. Come on, you know you want to, even if it's not that cold or gray. Well, I did anyway.

Full disclosure: I had been having a bread pudding sort of obsession for a while, as if the only possible thing one could make with slightly dry bread is bread pudding. Luckily for me, in this particular instance I had plenty of internet support with Kerrin and Y both suitably impressed by the gargantuan size of above-mentioned coffee cake, and Kerrin suggesting I get A. to make his specialty of pain perdu (French toast) with what was left, while Y suggested bread pudding. What? What was that? Bread pudding?? I'm so glad you said that, that would never have occurred to me.
Of course, not being one to waste a good opportunity, I did ask A. to make thin slices of French toast for our afternoon snack the next day which I garnished with some salted butter caramel. And then there was enough left to make six ramekins of bread pudding. That coffee cake was colossal, true story.
Norwegian Coffee Cake Bread Pudding
I know you want me to give you a really detailed recipe and everything, but I'm only going to tell you how you make the simplest bread pudding ever, people. And no, this isn't make crème anglaise or crème pâtissière and then add it to the bread kind of bread pudding, this is even simpler than that. (A. doesn't really like custardy bread pudding; I make the constraints work for me, if you want to make something more complicated, knock yourself out).

Sneak peek of the next edition of my random adventures through food and life: On Peanuts and the Hyde Park Squirrels of Doom.
Feeding the Squirrels


Laziest Bread Pudding Ever
inspired by the interwebs

- You heat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F).
- You cut up the bread into slices or sliced chunks, not too thick about 1cm (half an inch) is good. 4 slices will probably be enough for 6 ramekins.
- You take some dairy: Whole Jersey Milk for me, about 300ml (1 cup + 3Tbsp), but it could be half-fat milk, single or double cream, creme fraiche, any combination of these and more, etc...
- You take some eggs: about 1 egg for every 100ml (1/3 cup + 1Tbsp) of dairy product.
- You add anywhere from 1-3 Tbsp of sugar, whatever kind you want: I used brown sugar because the coffee cake was slightly sweetened with brown sugar already and I was adding...
- Some stuff to tie the layers together somehow like raisins or nuts or in my case more chunks of Valrhona orange chocolate.
- Some spice you might want to infuse the whole thing like cardamom for me because the coffee cake was already cardamom-flavored.
- You layer the bread, the additional stuff (raisins, nuts, chocolate, whatever) alternately almost up to the top of the dish.
- You mix the dairy, eggs and sugar, you throw a pinch of the spice in there or alternately on top of the whole thing before you stick it in the oven (kinda depends on the spice).
- You pour the liquid mixture over the bread, filling the dish up to reach the top layer of bread if not soaking it.
- And you can either do this or not, I put the ramekins in a big baking dish which I filled halfway up with hot water, and bake between 20-30mn depending on the consistency you want. A. likes it just soft, not liquidy or custardy, so it was 30mn for me.
- Serve with cream, whipped cream, ice cream, or any other sort of indulgent thing you want, or just eat them plain and warm.

Bookmark and Share

26 comments:

El said...

I am at the point where I'm longing or flip flops and a garden rake so I will be happy to send you some snow! Well, maybe in exchange for some of this incredible bread pudding. Looks delicious!

shayma said...

Hilda I love the simplicity and elegance of your photos- for eg., you have used a white and blue tea towel and created a beautiful portrait. buon appetito!
ps orange flavoured Valrhona my fave, too. x

WizzyTheStick said...

I love this easy laid back recipe.

Kerrin @ MyKugelhopf.ch said...

Yay for A making his famous pain perdu ! I am still thinking about your salted butter caramel - your tweets are starting to drive me crazy... crazy with sweet cravings ! :)

Love your writing here, as usual. I share the same sentiments about snow - ok, and bread pudding - and have an entire drawer of scarves too (hey, I'm married to a Frenchman, it's osmosis !). Your photos are gorgeous, my favorite is the one of hte 2 ramekins and 2 spoons. I assume you were serving for you and me, right ?! :)

Laura said...

mmmmmm looks delicious!

Chocolate Shavings said...

I LOVE bread pudding and this one looks amazing! I make mine with panettone but your recipe sounds just perfect!
http://ourchocolateshavings.blogspot.com/2009/11/grand-marnier-panettone-bread-pudding.html

C said...

I hate to admit that I am living in a country where Feb is summer and I am longing for winter and cozy sweaters and scarves also. So to satisfy my longings, I will turn the a/c up higher and bake this bread pudding, because I have to have it, it looks so good.
I am so happy I chanced upon this blog..
chau, Candice

Mowielicious said...

Would you believe I never heard of bread pudding until last week? A friend of mine suggested it and I said: 'you mean, bread & BUTTER pudding'. And they corrected me. She's now given me 5 different recipes to try out. And I'm adding this one to it, obviously =)

The Curious Baker said...

Just read Mowie's comment and thought he's never heard of bread and butter pudding,!!?/ then I realised it's BREAD pudding, wow looks like it's a new discovery for me too. If I hadn't already overindulged with two batches of chocolate chip muffins, I might make this now, but I think I'll be a good girl and wait at least 24 hours!

C said...

I have made Savory Bread Puddings and enjoyed them, but nothing beats a Bread Pudding with chocolate :)

Stella said...

Looks so good! I have a mango ripening in the kitchen. Maybe I'll use your recipe and adjust it just a bit...

Rambling Tart said...

Your snow pictures are so dreamy and wonderful. Makes me want to curl up by a big bay window and stare out at the storm. Your bread pudding sounds scrumptious. I haven't made any in ages but now you've got me craving it. :-)

my spatula said...

i always crave bread pudding in the winters...they go perfectly together.

diva said...

As usual you take stunning and very atmospheric pictures! I love that one of the squirrel :D I feel the same way. The cold gets bone-chilling sometimes but I'm surely a A/W person because summer gets me grumpy quite a bit. Was sad to see it getting warmer in London and then it snowed! So YAY! Gorgeous bread pudding. Just what I would love to have tonight x

Deeba PAB said...

Lok at your gorgeous pictures Hilda ... I could swear I had reached Narnia in the first frame, and I was all ready for bread pudding. What a great loaf of bread, all comforting to offer so much variety out of one batch. I've never made bread pud, though now I'd love to. Can see your love for orange creeping out of that chocolate. YUM!!

Jeanne @ Cooksister! said...

I'm with you on the snow... I don't mind it being cold, as long as there is some snow to compensate. It's the relentless grey dampness that gets into your bones that I can't stand. had to laugh. These puddings would succeed in cheering me up, whatever the weather!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures. Here in Oregon.. we didn't get the snow this year. Had really a mild winter.

Erika

Asha @ FSK said...

Hilda, I'll send you snow! I am not so much a cold weather person at all!! Bundles of clothes hide my figure and all :PP...

Bread pudding has been a bit of a bane for me.... It either comes out too dry or too wet :O.. Gonna give it another chance with you version! You have made me optimistic!

MeetaK said...

i've enjoyed the snow this winter in weimar too but it can seriously go away now! i am more the summer gal as you know.

this bread pudding is seriously addictive and love the fact that you used that norwegian bread in it.

Erike from The Pastry Chef At Home said...

I love a recipe that lets you be free with ingredients and technique! This is due mostly to the fact that I feel obligated to mess with any recipe that comes into my hands to make it my own! I haven't made bread pudding in years! It's snowing here in nyc too so maybe it's about time I make some.

ps: I would love to see photos of your various scarf tying techniques. I've always been intrigued by the ability of French women to make scarves look so amazing.

Kitchen Butterfly said...

Exactly what the DR ordered. Cardamom. Orange Chocolate.....woman after my heart. Saying that, I've never had bread pudding........You may want to send this on to food52 - this week, they're having a bread pudding contest! Winning recipes get published in the food52 cookbook....

Kajal - Aapplemint said...

The first pic just sends shivers down my spine :) Such a gorgeous shot ... actually all of them. I'm a sucker for bread n butter puds and in that cold weather , ah I can just imagine how comforting it would be.

Sari said...

I'm totally with you about London weather. Like today. It was an exquisite example of crappy weather. It made me stay in my kitchen for most of the day! :)

Oh and another goodie I've never made or eaten... This bread pudding looks delicious. Can I use any bread for it?

Sigrid said...

Oooooh?!! that squirrel photo is great!! It must have given you an incredible feeling to have seen one from that close!! (I usually see squirrels in Calabria, southern Italy, in the summer, but they just come in our garden to eat pinenuts and they're very shy :-) ps. nice to 'meet' your blog too! ;-)

LetMeEatCake Eat With Me! said...

Living in Los Angeles I am a whimp when it comes to cold weather, but i do love to snuggle up and bake when it is 60 degrees out =). I love this bread pudding recipe caues I like things simple and I'm not a huge fan of super gooey bread puddings. I can't wait to make the coffee cake so I can have left over for pudding!

chemin faisant said...

I was looking for a bread pudding recipe and found your blog.Merci;
Great blog by the way;I subscribed
to it illico presto.
Catherine

Related Posts with Thumbnails