Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Bread Puddings

"Bread pudding," in some form, probably dates back to just after the invention of bread making.  It's creation is linked to the poor and frugal people that couldn't afford to waste anything. What to do with stale bread was the question.  Those bread puddings and other dishes created with that stale bread are vastly different from the bread puddings we know today.

Each culture developed bread pudding based on their culinary ways of the time.  Different regions used different ingredients and seasonings to come up with what met their taste palate.  Stale bread and milk was the two main ingredients.  Then they would add those regional favors consisting of fats and sweeteners. Later, fruits, nuts and the like worked their way into the bread puddings.

Today, bread puddings have evolved into a much more classy dish.  In the middle ages custard was invented.  It's the integral part of today's bread puddings.  Eggs were the addition to the milk and other ingredients that transformed the dish.

In North and South America, Europe and several other countries, bread pudding remains popular.  Bread puddings are both savory and sweet today.  But it is as a dessert that you see it most.

The two recipes I have for you today do not have a sauce.  However,  that has become very popular when serving bread pudding in restaurants.  Their are many different types of sauces you can use.  Some common ones include liquor based, caramel based, fruit based (including lemon), chocolate based and vanilla based. But you can also just serve the bread pudding with whipped cream or ice cream.  Personally, I like mine served warm.  I've just never become a fan of cold bread pudding.

My recipe tomorrow is for "Basic Bread Pudding" and it's simple and easy to make.  The nice thing about the recipe is that you can change it easily to fit your taste or available ingredients.  Be sure to use your imagination and come up with a signature dish that family and friends will crave.

Here are some ideas for ingredients to try.  The most popular are raisins and nuts (pecans probably top this list).  Try using some dried cranberries or cherries, fresh blueberries, diced apples.  You get the idea.  Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, pumpkin spice and even ground cloves put a little zip in the bread pudding. Orange or lemon zest is nice too.  As I stated earlier, just use your imagination and taste-buds.

The second recipe (Thursday) this week is a seasonal bread pudding.  With Thanksgiving coming up in the USA the end of November (28th), I thought "Pumpkin Bread Pudding" might be something new to try this year at the big dinner.  Give it a try and see what everyone thinks.  It might become a mainstay for future  years.

Both recipes just call for white bread.  But please don't limit yourself to just that.  Different breads are going to add different results and flavors.  So again, experiment with this recipes.  Now some breads aren't a best choice for a sweet dish, but follow your own tastes.

I hope you enjoyed today's blog and found it helpful.  If you're not sure about bread pudding and trying a recipe right now.  Check out some of your favorite restaurants and sample some of their bread pudding. You just might get hooked.  "Happy Cooking" and see you next week.

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