One of the food loves that I share with my mom has always been bread pudding. My sister, poor misguided deprived woman, does not, at least nowhere near our relationship with it. And considering it's not a very complicated recipe, I'm not entirely sure why I haven't made it more. So I was pretty happy to find that the first recipe for December with the Barefoot Bloggers was Ina's Bread Pudding recipe which was chosen this week by Peggy of Pantry Revisited.
I made a few changes (of course) to the recipe. Rather than make it with the 6 regular croissants which would have served 8-10 (normal people, 4-5 for people like my mom and I) I went with mini croissants instead so that to avoid a bread pudding overdose. I also added some vanilla sugar into the custard mix to give it a little extra flavor and sprinkled cinnamon on top of the croissants before covering the pans with tinfoil. Then there was the small matter of guessing at the cooking time. I figured that it wouldn't take the full 45/45 cooking times below so I had to settle for peeking at it several times after I pulled the tinfoil off...I probably baked it for another 25 minutes after that before I hoped it would be done.
For me at least, it tasted good the first night I made it but I thought it was a lot better the next day. The custard flavor tasted richer and smoother so patience,with this bread pudding, is indeed a virtue. And to put it over the top, I drizzled a little sweetened condensed milk to make it pop a bit more. I had some for breakfast the morning after (I figured it couldn't be all that much different from some of the ingredients you'd use to make a pastry) and I loved it.
CROISSANT BREAD PUDDING
Ina Garten - The Barefoot Contessa
- 3 extra-large whole eggs (2)
- 8 extra-large egg yolks (3)
- 5 cups half-and-half (2 1/2 cups for the half recipe (2 1/2 cups)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar (3/4 cup)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (1 tsp)
- 6 croissants, preferably stale, sliced horizontally (6 mini croissants)
- 1 cup raisins (1/2 cup)
- Cinnamon (my addition)
- Vanilla Sugar (my addition)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolks, half-and-half, sugar, and vanilla. Set the custard mixture aside. Slice the croissants in half horizontally. In a 10 by 15 by 2 1/2-inch oval baking dish, distribute the bottoms of the sliced croissants, then add the raisins, then the tops of the croissants (brown side up), being sure the raisins are between the layers of croissants or they will burn while baking. Pour the custard over the croissants and allow to soak for 10 minutes, pressing down gently.
Place the pan in a larger one filled with 1-inch of hot water. Cover the larger pan with aluminum foil, tenting the foil so it doesn't touch the pudding. Cut a few holes in the foil to allow steam to escape. Bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 40 to 45 more minutes or until the pudding puffs up and the custard is set. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.