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  #1  
Old 06-08-2009, 11:40 AM
BrandonR BrandonR is offline
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Bread pudding - possible to make ahead of time?

Simple question. I know I could make/bake bread pudding and keep it in the fridge and reheat it to eat it warm, but is it possible to make it up to the baking step and keep it in the fridge, baking it when I'm ready to eat it fresh out the oven? Or is it going to disintegrate the bread or do something else?
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  #2  
Old 06-08-2009, 12:10 PM
Claire Beauchamp Claire Beauchamp is offline
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Bread pudding is best when the bread is allowed to soak in the custard for a while, and overnight is fine. You should never just mix it up and pop it into the oven. The trick is that you should use stale/dry bread, and "real" bread -- i.e., a french or country loaf that's homemade or from a bakery, with no preservatives.
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Old 06-08-2009, 12:20 PM
crowmanyclouds crowmanyclouds is offline
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If you like the bread chunks to have dry insides (does anyone actually like it that way?) bad idea.

If you like the bread chunks to be completely custard filled great idea. The longer the soak the more likely you might want to increase the liquid part of the recipe though.

CMC fnord!
We usually like our BP with raisins, so I start with raisin bread. No sinkers that way.
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Old 06-08-2009, 01:58 PM
stargazer stargazer is offline
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Yeah, it depends on how soggy you like the bread. The other thing you could try is mixing the custard and cubing the bread, and then keeping them separate (the custard in the fridge, of course). Then, when you wanted a serving, you could put a handful (or two) of bread cubes in an ovenproof bowl, pour on the appropriate amount of custard, and bake it up like that, leaving the rest of the custard in the fridge for the next day.

I have 3 really awesome bread pudding recipes, if anyone is interested - one pumpkin, one with a chocolate custard, and one with a regular custard but with bits of chocolate mixed in with the bread. I think they all tie as my favorite dessert ever.
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Old 06-08-2009, 02:44 PM
Mahna Mahna Mahna Mahna is offline
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I usually make my bread pudding the day before, since I happen to like the soft custardy texture you get when the bread cubes have fully absorbed the egg mixture. In fact, many recipes I've seen actually suggest leaving it overnight to get that effect.

That said, I think the max in the fridge would probably be 24 hours. For one, the egg mixture might start to separate after that time, and that would affect the texture of your bread pudding. I'd also be worried about the possibility of off-flavours being picked up from other stuff in the fridge (especially if it's a very traditional pudding with nothing but cinnamon or nutmeg for flavour) and the risk of spoilage given that you've got both eggs and dairy sitting in there.
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Old 06-08-2009, 04:28 PM
devilsknew devilsknew is offline
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I'm not sure who it was, but I once heard a guy on a cooking show very specifically reccommend that the bread soak only 10 or 15 minutes in the egg mixture for his recipe... any longer and you would start changing its texture and cohesion.

Personally, I tend to agree. I'm kind of a short absorbtion guy when it comes to my bread pudding, as I prefer that texture.
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Old 06-08-2009, 04:48 PM
redtail23 redtail23 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stargazer View Post
I have 3 really awesome bread pudding recipes, if anyone is interested - one pumpkin, one with a chocolate custard, and one with a regular custard but with bits of chocolate mixed in with the bread. I think they all tie as my favorite dessert ever.
Yes, please! Bread pudding YUM.
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Old 06-08-2009, 04:50 PM
Claire Beauchamp Claire Beauchamp is offline
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Short soaking will result in chunks-of-bread-embedded-in-a-custard texture. Long soaking will result in a more homogeneous, overall custardy texture. The latter is traditional, but if you prefer the former, then ... short soaking it is.

P.S. Again, the type of bread used makes a huge difference -- commercial vs. from scratch, fresh vs. stale/dry.
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Old 06-08-2009, 05:15 PM
devilsknew devilsknew is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire Beauchamp View Post
Short soaking will result in chunks-of-bread-embedded-in-a-custard texture. Long soaking will result in a more homogeneous, overall custardy texture. The latter is traditional, but if you prefer the former, then ... short soaking it is.

P.S. Again, the type of bread used makes a huge difference -- commercial vs. from scratch, fresh vs. stale/dry.
That's not an entirely accurate description, the bread will absorb the custard as it cooks, as well. And even if you only let it sit for 5-10 minutes it will still soak through most bread. I do agree that it depends on the bread as well. I believe the chef that I quoted above reccomending only a 10-15 minutes soak was making a brioche bread pudding now that I think about it, so there's that grain of salt.

I have had bread pudding that is more like a custardy souffle, and I have had bread pudding that is a denser, more toothsome texture... the later is what I tend to believe is the more traditional. After all, it is Bread pudding, not bread custard or souffle. It is also my preference.

But I could only imagine that the bread would disintegrate and loose any texture after a 24 soak...
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Old 06-09-2009, 07:33 AM
BrandonR BrandonR is offline
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Thanks for all the suggestions everyone, but it does appear that my first bread pudding was a failure. It seemed really eggy (despite using a water bath) with chunks of white egg-like stuff throughout (and the rest was kind of grainy). I think it was possibly due to me not mixing the eggs in very well as the recipe I was using instructed me to mix in the eggs into the baking dish after the milk/butter/sugar/cinnamon/salt mixture was already poured over the bread.
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  #11  
Old 06-09-2009, 09:24 AM
Snickers Snickers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stargazer View Post
I have 3 really awesome bread pudding recipes, if anyone is interested - one pumpkin, one with a chocolate custard, and one with a regular custard but with bits of chocolate mixed in with the bread. I think they all tie as my favorite dessert ever.
Seconding the request. Please for to give?
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  #12  
Old 06-09-2009, 09:26 AM
stargazer stargazer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandonR View Post
I think it was possibly due to me not mixing the eggs in very well as the recipe I was using instructed me to mix in the eggs into the baking dish after the milk/butter/sugar/cinnamon/salt mixture was already poured over the bread.
That is really, really weird! I've never seen instructions like that. And I've never used a water bath for bread pudding. I think you should try a new recipe!

As requested, here are "my" bread pudding recipes (meaning "recipes that I found and love," not "recipes that I developed"):

Pumpkin Bread Pudding from Smitten Kitchen. I bump up the spices even a little more than she does.

Chocolate Bread Pudding Cupcakes
. (this is the one with the chocolate custard) I don't usually bother with the toffee or nuts. This could be done in bigger vessels than cupcakes, but I haven't done it.

Chocolate Bread Pudding with Irish Cream Sauce. (this is the one with chocolate bits in with the bread) The recipe calls for white and dark chocolate, but I have little use for white chocolate in this sort of application, so I substituted milk chocolate and OMG it was divine.

FWIW, I pretty much only use challah for bread pudding. Brioche is good, too, but more expensive than worth it (IMO). Challah is richer than French bread, so it stands up to the custard better and gets toothsome rather than soggy. And I rarely remember to leave it out to get stale, so I usually cube it and then stick it in a warm oven for a bit to dry out.

And one of the nice things about bread pudding is that, if you have a good recipe, you can tweak it some and it won't be awful. I mean, if you don't have the exact right amount of bread, it's no big deal. I've doubled the pumpkin one without messing with the separate yolk and it's fine. It's meant to be a rustic dessert, to use up the stale bread before it gets completely inedible. So once you get a feel for it, play with it some!

The pumpkin one makes a lovely breakfast, btw, with a little whipped cream... mmmm. And it's pumpkin, right, so it's good for you!

Last edited by stargazer; 06-09-2009 at 09:27 AM..
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