Well that sounds like a bit of an oxymoron doesn’t it! Well as it turns out the BEST bread pudding is made with gluten-free brioche bread. I discovered this through trial and error. The original recipe came from my dear friend Lucie. She would make it for our house concerts as it makes such a large batch. With so many gluten-intolerant friends I started trying out variations of the recipe and came up with the recipe below. Be SURE to use Promise Brand too. You can get it both at almost any large grocery store. My son swears by all of their breads!
In my childhood years, bread pudding was never served in our family home. My mother felt that it fell into the same category as rice pudding and tapioca pudding….. a spot for left-over food. Her parents grew up during the depression and WWI in times when food was a scarcity and carefully managed. Mom’s childhood was during WWII and so she experienced the same “carefulness” that her parents had gone through years earlier. I think that she swore that once on her own that she would NEVER make them! Each of these are now my favourites though!
Bread pudding originated in the 11th century as a frugal dish where cooks created a dish out of stale, leftover breads instead of wasting the bread or anything else that happened to be in the cupboard By the 13th century it was called “Poor Man’s Pudding” (though we had a different version of that which my mother WOULD cook!!). It really hasn’t changed much over the years though: layers of bits of bread with add-ins and then a custard sauce of eggs, milk and sugar over the top.
One of the pluses of bread pudding is its versatility! You can omit or add any of the following: rum, whiskey, scotch, flavoured liquor, raisins, coconut, dried fruit. And is not only the add-ons that can be altered. Instead of traditional bread it can be made with leftover Danishes, coffee cake, brioche, donuts, hamburger or hotdog buns. In this time when food is so expensive it is an amazing way to not waste anything! I would love to hear about any other variations that you may create!
- 1 10 oz loaf stale French bread, crumbled (or 6-8 cups of any type of bread)
- 4 cups of milk
- 2 cups of sugar
- 8 Tbsp butter, melted
- 3 eggs
- 2 Tbsp vanilla
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup coconut
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp nutmeg
- Combine all ingredients; mixture should be very moist but not soupy.
- Pour into buttered 9 x 13″or larger baking dish.
- Place into a non-preheated oven and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes until top is golden brown.
- Serve warm with sauce (see below)
- Be sure to mix the cinnamon and nutmeg with the sugar to blend before adding to the bread mixture so it is evenly distributed.
- You can refrigerate the uncooked mixture before cooking and bake 1.5 hours before you plan to eat it.
- Raisins are optional
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1.5 cups powdered sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup Bourbon (or Frangelico or Amaretto)
- Cream butter and sugar over medium heat until all butter is absorbed.
- Remove from heat and blend in the egg yolk.
- Pour in Bourbon gradually to your own taste, stirring constantly. Sauce will thicken as it cools.
This recipe makes 16 to 20 servings, perfect for a crowd!