Thursday, June 17, 2010

Born-Again Bread

In some places they use it for croutons, panzanella or fresh bread crumbs. But in New Orleans when you find yourself with a loaf of stale French bread you only make one thing - bread pudding. And since I am officially a New Orleans resident again, that is exactly what I did when we found ourselves with two rock hard baguettes.

I was happy to find a somewhat slim-downed version of the New Orleans staple and was eager to commence my first attempt at this classic custard creation. I was pleased at how easily the recipe came together and even more delighted with the reaction to the dish. It was thoroughly enjoyed by all and is the perfect solution for an otherwise unfortunate outcome of hardened bread.

New Orleans Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce
Adapted from Cooking Light November 2002

  • Pudding:
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 1/4 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Dash of salt
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 1/2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed stale French bread (about 8 ounces)
  • Cooking spray

  • Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light-colored corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup bourbon

To prepare pudding, combine raisins and 2 tablespoons bourbon in a bowl.

Let stand 30 minutes.

Drain mixture in a sieve over a large bowl.

Combine reserved liquid, milk, and next 6 ingredients (milk through eggs) in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk.

Add to bread, tossing gently to coat.

Spoon mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with raisins, pressing gently into bread mixture.

Cover with foil; chill 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Place dish in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan; add hot water to pan to a depth of 1 inch. Bake, covered, at 350° for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.

To prepare sauce, combine 1/2 cup sugar, corn syrup, and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.

Bring to a simmer; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in 1/4 cup bourbon.

Serve each bread pudding serving warm with about 1 tablespoon sauce.

My Adapted Printable Recipe


Rebecca said...

I can't wait to try this with the old baguettes on our counter!

Also, since both your announcements, your posts have such a happy sound to them. Not that they weren't before - it's just now you don't seem so homesick or longing, you just sound so incredibly happy :)

Tiffiny Felix said...

I love love love bread pudding...this is wonderful! :)

MaryBeth said...

I love bread pudding...never had it with Bourbon before. I bet it is so tasty... Happy 300th by the way !

Krista said...

I just love bread pudding and this looks and sounds amazing! I found that when I was pregnant, that I made more food with liquour in the sauce, glaze, or marinade...guess I was trying to safely "get my fix". lol.

Ashley said...

My grandma used to make bread budding and this picture bring me right back to my childhood. I will have to give this a try for myself, thanks for sharing!

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Mary said...

I am a big fan of bread pudding and yours looks delicious. I'm new to your blog so I've spent some time reading your earlier posts. I'm so glad I did. I really love your recipes and will be back often to see what else you've been cooking. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Anonymous said...

I just happened upon your blog. Love all the great recipes

Lisa said...

Would this work with regular bread too? I have 2 loaves that are going to go bad soon. And I LOVE bread pudding so now I'm craving it!

Elizabeth said...


I don't think this would work with regular sandwich bread. For bread pudding it normally has to be some type of sturdy bread like a challah, brioche or other French/Italian breads.

Let me know if you do try it with success though! Good Luck!