Bread Pudding Recipe

Because so many bread puddings can get mushy, I like Gaston Lenôtre’s version the best. Not only is it classic Lenôtre — simple and light yet elegant — it delivers a range of textures from crispy to tender to soft. You’ll need:

6-7 ounces sliced sandwich bread, crusts removed and cut into triangles
about two ounces butter (salted or unsalted)
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
2 cups whole milk
seeds of one vanilla bean

Set your oven to broil while you prepare the bread. Once it’s cut, butter it lightly. Lay the triangles out on a sheet pan and place the pan under the broiler until the bread is lightly toasted on one side. When the toast has cooled, arrange the slices in a medium oval or rectangular baking dish. Set the dish aside while you prepare the custard.

Turn the oven on to 425 and set a pot or large tea kettle of water on to boil. Combine the eggs, yolks and the sugar in a large bowl and whip until pale yellow and frothy. Combine the milk and the vanilla seeds in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour the milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking all the while.

Holding the bread down with a large spatula, gently pour the custard into the dish. Place the dish in a larger pan — like a roasting pan — and carefully pour in enough boiling water so it comes half way up the side of the baking dish. Put the whole works in the oven on a middle rack and bake for 30 minutes. Serve warm or cold, it will keep in the refrigerator for several days, though will start to lose its crunch after a day or so.

One thought on “Bread Pudding Recipe”

  1. In the UK the supermarkets sell small tubs of butter at Christmas whipped up with sugar and flavoured with brandy, rum or Cointreau. After the festive season is over they’re reduced to a fraction of the price and they can be popped into the freezer for later use. I think the recommended storage time is 3 months for fats, but I’ve kept them frozen for much longer than that without any problems. (I obviously don’t need to, but I’m sure it would be possible to make your own versions if they’re not available where you are.)

    I defrost a tub as required and spread my pudding bread with this ready blended butter. It gives a fantastic extra level of warmth and flavour without being overly alcoholic.

    I originally added just a tablespoon of dark rum to the custard which is what gave me the inspiration for trying the tubs in the first place. I wouldn’t make my bread and butter pudding any other way now.

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