Saturday, September 11, 2010

Bread Pudding

I know this looks burnt, but really it isn't...I promise : )

Have I mentioned Zea's before? If not it is probably because I don't want more people to know about it because then when I go the wait will be even longer then it already just forget we ever had this conversation. Zea's is the bestest restaurant in Lafayette, LA. Whenever we visit my mom's folks we always make it a point to go at least once, and hopefully twice. There are so many great things on their menu I don't even know where to start. Now if you know me you know it is rare to receive such praise from me about any restaurant. I am picky to say the least, and certain things have to be in place to receive my approval. Zea's food is so good that even my humble praise is not worthy of its greatness. Take a look at their menu and see for yourself. My favorites include the spinach salad, Mediterranean hummus, Thai ribs, coconut shrimp, and of course the sweet potato bread pudding.

Speaking of bread pudding that brings me to my next point. Bread Pudding. For some unknown reason I have never been moved by the spirit to make bread pudding. Maybe it is because we don't have a lot of bread hanging around our house, or maybe it is because the word "pudding" is really revolting to me for some reason. As a semi-Cajun I feel as if it is my God given duty to know how to make bread pudding...isn't there a passage in the Bible somewhere that says "Go forth and make pudding, and feed it to the people and it will be good, and there will be light among the nations." Sounds about right to me : ).

I am currently visiting my grandpa in Lafayette, and when we arrived he had some stale French bread that he had been hanging onto with the hopes that I would make his Lordship some bread pudding. I decided it was about time I made some, so I did, and it was good. My Grandpa grew up in New Orleans and was raised on the best of the best of authentic Creole dishes. I asked him to describe the bread pudding his Mom used to make and I would try my hardest to meet those standards. He said it had to be moist, not dry or crunchy; Sweet, but not too sweet; raisins and pecans were a must; and whiskey sauce was mandatory. I researched a bunch of recipes online and finally came up with a recipe that I thought fit his description. Now I know he is my Grandpa and his opinion is biased because he loves me, but I am uber critical and if this wasn't great I just wouldn't waste your that being said, I made it and it was excellent! So next time you find yourself with a loaf of stale bread hanging around I suggest you make this, not because I told you too, but because the Bible did.

New Orleans style Bread Pudding
by me, aka Dagny

Coat a casserole dish (you know those white pans with a glass top that everyone has in their cabinets somewhere?) with soft butter. Set aside.

In large bowl whisk together the following:

4 cups milk
3 eggs
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 TBS vanilla
1 cup raisins
1 tsp cinnamon

Add the following and toss together until coated.

6-7 cups cubed bread (12 oz) I used french bread, but many breads will work just fine.

Pour into buttered pan and press down. Chill in fridge over night. When you are ready to bake it mix together in small bowl the following and sprinkle over bread mixture:

3 TBSP melted butter
3/4 cup chopped pecans
2 TBS sugar or brown sugar

Bake in 350 degree oven for 1hour or until golden brown and slightly set. If you eat it straight from the oven the inside will look slightly undercooked, but if you let it sit for a while it will firm up. Bake longer if you like a more crispy pudding. I think this tastes even better if it sits in the fridge for a while and then you just reheat it.

Whiskey or Brandy Sauce:

Melt 1/2 cup butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 cup of sugar and 1 egg and whisk immediately or the egg will scramble. Continuously whisk and cook over medium heat until thick. Do not simmer, if it starts to bubble turn the heat down. Add 1 cup whiskey or bourbon and whisk. Remove from heat and serve warm over bread pudding.

We ate this for breakfast, but it also makes a nice dessert or snack before any workout : ) Carbs give you energy right?


  1. wow - ok, this is definitely next on my list of recipes to try. We have just discovered a mania for real bread from a real bakery, which goes stale quickly, resulting in at least two recipes of French Toast per loaf. If I can restrain the French Toast impulse a few times, I'll have enough to make this, mmmm...

  2. Yum. I am so jealous that you have access to a "real" bakery. I love stale bread, there is so much you can do with it. French toast like you said, croutons, crostinis, bread crumbs, strata, oh so good!

  3. Zea's is totally fabulous - I agree. When I used to live in Eunice, it was among my top picks for dining in Lafayette. Looking forward to the next occassion where we can try this bread pudding. One of my Cajun roommates would make an awesome Caramel Rum sauce to top hers...mmm, getting hungry now...