In an effort to explain the difference between the meanings of ‘pudding’ in American and British English, Cliff and I took a trip to wikipedia, where we learned more about pudding than I ever thought possible. And there, nestled among the (surprisingly diverse) lists of puddings, was bread pudding. So I searched out a recipe — and it turned out fabulous!
3 cups milk, scalded and cooled
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup brandy or water
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
8-10 slices dry bread, cut into bite-sized chunks
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 325°F. Scald (heat to just before boiling) milk and set aside to cool – milk must not be hot when used. Cover raisins with brandy or water and set aside.
Combine brown sugar, cinnamon and allspice in a large mixing bowl. Add bread chunks and pour melted butter over bread. Stir bread and brown sugar mixture until bread chunks are well coated (the butter helps the sugar stick to the bread). Place half of the bread chunks in a greased 9×13. Drain the raisins and sprinkle them over the bread in the pan. Add other half of bread mixture to pan.
Combine egg, salt and vanilla in a bowl and beat for one minute. Gradually beat cooled milk into egg mixture. Pour egg mixture over bread chunks and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Sprinkle any brown sugar that didn’t adhere to bread over the top and bake for 50-55 minutes.