cjr and I had an extra 1/3 of a loaf of challah lying around from our valentine's day french toast so I got the idea to make bread pudding out of it.
I nice thing about this recipe is that it doesn't make a big mess. You'll need one sauce pan, one loaf pan, one baking dish (which will only contain water), one wooden spoon, a cutting board, and a decent knife. No mixing bowls required!
1. This recipe could probably serve up to 4. We ate about 1/4 of this recipe each plus about 1/3 cup of my Italian hot chocolate and we were STUFFED.
2. If you leave it to soak overnight you will get a gooier consistency and a longer cooktime (if you put it in the water bath cold!). If you let it soak for 30 min on your counter (not in the chill chest), you will greatly reduce the cooking time. Check it after 20 min.
1/3 loaf challah bread
4/3 tablespoon butter (1.5 will do) + extra for buttering dish
1 cup whole milk
pinch of salt
1.5-2 oz (about 1/4-1/3 cup) good dark chocolate, chopped (or chocolate chips)
2 tablespoons sugar
(optional) tsp of vanilla extract
(optional) 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
(optional) 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper -- I haven't tried this, but I suspect a nice mexican hot chocolate taste would be perfect here especially when used with the cinnamon.
(optional) for serving: whipped cream -- homemade, preferably, powdered sugar, ice cream, chopped bananas
1. Butter a loaf pan.
2. Cut crust off bread and chop into 3/4 inch cubes.
3. Place cubes in buttered loaf pan.
4. Heat milk, butter, chocolate, salt and sugar until butter and chocolate are melted. Stir constantly.
5. When melted, cut the heat and add vanilla and, if interested, cinnamon and/or cayenne pepper.
6. Pour mixture over bread cubes. Allow to sit for a few minutes before adding egg. Mix well making sure to push any unsoaked pieces that float to the top back down again.
7. Beat egg and add to bread/milk mixture. Mix well.
8. Allow to soak for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight (in refrigerator if overnight!).
9. Create a water bath for your bread pudding by immersing loaf pan in hot water-filled baking dish (should come to about 1 inch below the rim of your loaf pan). The key here is to do this with the two dishes in the oven already. First, place your larger dish in the oven, then place your smaller pan with the bread pudding mixture into the larger one. Pour water until desired height. Remove smaller pan and place aside. Leave larger pan (with hot water) in the oven to preheat.
10. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. When heated, carefully add the smaller pan in the center of the water bath.
11. Cook until knife slid through center comes out clean. About 45-60 min (if using overnight soak with cold mixture).
12. Put under broiler for 30 seconds-1 minute to crisp the top.
13. Serve as is or with whipped cream, ice cream, chopped bananas, and/or a sprinkle of cinnamon and/or powdered sugar.
PS: Sorry for the delayed postings. We here at diced tomato have been quite busy training for a half marathon. So we're not always up to cooking or posting.