Dorcas Annette Walker
Taste buds are individual and intriguing. What makes one person love one food while another hates the sight of it? The cultural background and part of the country you are raised in is a definite factor. But even within a family unit there are often different likes and dislikes of certain foods. Bread Pudding is one dish that you either love or hate and can be eaten hot or cold. To me there is something comforting and soul satisfying on a cold wintery day to pop a Bread Pudding into the oven and let its aroma fill the house.
Bread Pudding originated in the 13th century and became known as the “poor man’s pudding” due to its creation as a means of salvaging stale bread. By the 19th century Bread Pudding had become a classic Christmas dish. The bread was soaked in milk or water then sugar, butter, fruit and spices was added and the Bread Pudding was either baked or steamed. Sometimes the custard mixture was poured into a hollowed out loaf of bread and baked. The Victorian era showed the popularity of Bread Pudding by having a folk song and a Bread Pudding dance.
Today Bread Pudding is made by pouring custard over cubed bread and baking it. From humble origins it now shows up in upscale restaurants, but remains a more popular dish in the United Kingdom than here in the United States. Bread Pudding is also featured as a rich treat in trendy establishments. Portia Little, a cookbook author, has been given the title, “Bread Pudding Queen” with her collection of 1,000 recipes for Bread Pudding as a dessert or main dish ranging from chocolate and pumpkin to cranberry orange.
The possibilities for Bread Pudding are endless. One can use any kind of bread, leftover coffee cake, muffins, donuts, or even hamburger and hotdog buns. You can also add spices, cereal, nuts, fruit, marshmallows, cookie chunks or candy to a basic Bread Pudding recipe. Bread Puddings can be either steamed or baked in the oven, crock pot, microwave, grill, or on the stovetop. Even the most humble Bread Pudding can be dressed up with a variety of sauces, whipped cream, ice cream, or ice cream sauces.
Cut up six slices of bread or crusts into one inch squares and place into a 9 x 13 buttered baking dish. Then sprinkle 2 c berries (your choice) or for a Carmel pudding 1c brown sugar and 1 c raisins on top.
In a blender combine:
4 c milk
½ c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
Whip on high until all the ingredients are blended then pour over the bread crumbs. Spread thin slices of 3 tb of margarine over the top and sprinkle on cinnamon. Bake at 350º for one hour- the first 30 minutes covered and the last 30 minutes uncovered- until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Preparation time is ten minutes and this recipe servers sixteen. Serve hot by itself or with a cream sauce!
Weekly tip: Basic cream sauce for Bread Puddings~ In a small saucepan bring to a boil stirring constantly with a Wisk: 1 can of evaporated milk, 1 stick of margarine, 1 c sugar, and 2 tb of flour. Remove from heat as soon at the mixture comes to a boil and stir in 1 tsp of vanilla!