Bread Pudding

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Resurrected from the archives for Mardi Gras. Best bread pudding ever! No substitute for alcohol in the bourbon sauce, definitely NOT kid-friendly. This one is for the grown-ups. Originally posted 2005. ~Elise

This bread pudding recipe is based on one from the famed Bon Ton Cafe in New Orleans. My friend Becca has been making this bread pudding in her family for years and made us a batch for the holidays.

The sauce is loaded with bourbon (Becca says the Bon Ton’s sauce has even more bourbon in it), so you might want to use somewhat less. My father still gets a dazed and happy look in his eyes when this bread pudding is mentioned.

Bread Pudding Recipe

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  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Makes 8-10 servings

Ingredients

Bread Pudding:

  • 1 loaf French bread, at least a day old, cut into 1-inch squares (about 6-7 cups)
  • 1 qt milk
  • 3 eggs (large)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup raisins (soaked an hour or two in 1/4 cup bourbon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Bourbon Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup Kentucky bourbon whiskey

Method

1 Preheat oven to 350°F.

2 Soak bread in milk: Preheat oven to 350°F. Place milk in a large mixing bowl and add the bread that has been cut into squares. Press the bread into the milk with your hands until all of the milk is absorbed.

3 Make egg mixture, pour over bread: In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, then whisk in the sugar, vanilla, allspice and cinnamon. Pour over the bread and milk mixture. Add the bourbon soaked raisins and gently stir to combine.

4 Butter baking pan, add bread mixture, bake: Pour the melted butter into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan. Coat the bottom and the sides of the pan well with the butter. Pour the bread milk and egg mixture into the baking pan.

Bake at 350°F for 35-45 minutes, until the liquid has set. The pudding is done when the edges start getting a bit brown and pull away from the edge of the pan. Can also make in individual ramekins.

5 Make the bourbon sauce while the bread pudding is cooking. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan on low heat. Add the sugar and egg and whisk to blend well. Slowly cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, then remove from heat. Do not allow the mixture to simmer! (Or the sauce will curdle. By the way, if your sauce curdles, just take it off the heat and blend it smooth in a blender.)

Whisk in bourbon to taste. Whisk again before serving. The sauce should be soft, creamy, and smooth.

Serve the bread pudding with bourbon whiskey sauce on the side; pour on to taste. Best fresh and eaten the day it is made.

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Bread Pudding

Showing 4 of 146 Comments

  • Gail Thorpe

    I made this bread pudding today and it’s delish! Perfect!
    I’m having trouble with the sauce though. The sugar wouldn’t go into solution. I whisked it on simmer for 15 minutes or more taking care not to simmer. I like the appearance, consistency and color of the sauce. I’m wondering if the 1/2 cup butter and the 1 egg is enough liquid for the sugar to go into solution? I was hoping that when I added the liquor, there would be enough liquid to allow the sugar to dissolve but it didn’t change. You can see the sugar granules in the sauce and it’s a little like chewing sand.
    Any suggestions? Have you had this happen?

  • Karen

    Cover with aluminum foil or leave uncovered while baking?

  • Cheryl Ross

    I make the no knead artisanal bread and when I have scraps I like to cube it up and bag it for the freezer. Perfect for croutons or…. BREAD PUDDING! Decided I had enough saved up so I made this today. Only this is that I don’t keep bourbon around so thought about trying it with Grand Marnier. Wow! This was the easiest and best bread pudding I have made.

  • MrM

    In my mind this looks completely awesome, but I want to sort out one thing before I start on this one:
    The recipe says “add the bourbon soaked raisins”. Does this mean JUST the raisins or the bourbon also?

  • Marsha

    Is it possible to prepare the bread pudding the day before without cooking?

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