New Orleans Bread Pudding

I bought of loaf of french bread on Thursday, roasted a few onions in balsamic and rosemary for an hour and served my jet-setting businessman husband some bruschetta upon his return from Toronto that night.  Having half a loaf left, I thought what better idea than to prepare bread pudding for the weekend.  After debating and debating over which recipe to use, I settled on New Orleans bread pudding since the recommended bread of choice was French or Italian.  It was nothing short of wonderful, let me tell you.  New Orleans bread pudding is soaked for an hour in the traditional eggs/milk/sugar/cinnamon combination then in the oven for an hour.  But what sets it apart is the Southern Whiskey Sauce that is drizzled over the piping hot pudding.  It gives it a grown-up taste that I particularly enjoyed and will make again someday soon.

Adapted from the Joy of Cooking ::  New Orleans Bread Pudding

"Like a warm sticky bun drenched in butter and bourbon." (I was sold right then and there)

Since I only had half a loaf, I changed the amounts of things as I saw fit...

Spread over a 13 x 9-inch baking pan, preferably glass ::
  3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices ::
  1 1/4 pounds French or Italian bread (1 1/2 to 2 loaves)
Arrange the slices almost upright in tightly spaced rows in the prepared pan.  Tuck between the slices ::
  1 cup raisins (I substituted raisins for currants)
Whisk until frothy ::
  3 large eggs (I used one)
Whisk in ::
  4 cups whole milk
  2 cups sugar
  2 tablespoons vanilla
  1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pour the liquid over the bread and let stand for 1 hour, pressing down now and then with a spatula to wet the tops of the slices.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Bake the pudding until the top is puffed and lightly browned, about 1 hour.  For me, it took exactly 1 hour.  Cover with ::
Southern Whiskey Sauce (recipe follows)
Let cool on a rack for 30 to 60 minutes, then cut into squares and serve.  Leftover sauced pudding will keep for several days in the refrigerator and can be reheated in a 300 degree F oven for 15 minutes.

Southern Whiskey Sauce ::
Makes about 1 2/3 cups; 8 to 12 servings (I halved this)

Melt over low heat in a small, heavy saucepan ::
  8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
Stir in, using a heatproof rubber spatula or wooden spoon ::
  1 cup sugar
  1/4 cup bourbon or other whiskey (we used Makers 47 - what we had on hand, I married a Kentucky man)
  2 tablespoons water
  1/4 teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg
  1/8 teaspoon salt
Cook, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is blended.  Remove from the heat.  Whisk until light and frothy ::
  1 large egg
Vigorously whisk the egg into the liquor mixture.  Set the sauce over medium heat and, stirring gently, bring to a simmer.  Cook until thickened, about 1 minute.  The sauce will not curdle.  Serve at once, set aside at room temperature for up to 8 hours, or let cool then cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.  Reheat over low heat, stirring; if the sauce separates, remove from the heat and whisk in a little warm water.


Natalie January 24, 2011 at 1:52 PM  

this looks soooo good! i've never made bread pudding before, i will have to try it!

Farmchick January 24, 2011 at 2:10 PM  

Bread pudding is some good stuff and I am totally a Maker's Mark girl!

City Girl Chicago January 24, 2011 at 2:31 PM  

YuM! This is something I could do ~ I'm not typically a sweets person, probably just because I enjoy cooking more than baking :), but this sounds simple and a little savory. Again I say, Yum!

Erika Lee Sears January 24, 2011 at 2:36 PM  

Yum! :) I am supposed to be on a diet and not thinking about yummy deliciousness. ! lol

the southern hostess January 24, 2011 at 2:50 PM  

A girl after my own heart. This sounds amazing!

Carissa January 24, 2011 at 4:52 PM  

ooh, I love bread pudding! this one sounds particularly divine with that whiskey sauce! yum!

thanks for entering my giveaway! I am so in love with Paper Source! I get stuck in there forever looking at all the cuteness. I rarely leave without buying something! and everyone who works there is so nice. I think you can't work in such an adorable stationary store and be mean or down. you just can't! :)

hope you are having a good Monday!

Alli (One Pearl Button) January 24, 2011 at 5:14 PM  

Mmmm...sounds delicious, and I LOVE your Pyrex! So cute!

Virginie's Cinema January 24, 2011 at 5:47 PM  

Wow, what an exemplary wife you are! Home made made bruschetta as you come back from a business trip? Yes please!

As for that bread pudding, completely seducing!

jeanette from everton terrace January 24, 2011 at 6:03 PM  

Drool is running down my face - not really (okay maybe just a little). I wonder if my gluten free bread would hold up to this recipe. I think it might be worth it to try:)

Leslie January 24, 2011 at 7:31 PM  

I love bread pudding! I'll have to try this recipe. Your blog is so lovely. I'm glad you left a comment, because it lead me to your blog. :)

Carmella January 24, 2011 at 7:35 PM  

that looks delicious!

p.s. i looove that baking dish. i'm a sucker for vintagey kitchen ware

Tee, Passports and Postcards January 24, 2011 at 8:37 PM  

That looks and sounds so delicious! I don't think I've had bread pudding before but it doesn't seem too difficult to make - will try next time I have some french bread left ;)

communikate. January 24, 2011 at 9:40 PM  

That looks delish!!

Cute blog header!

S and O January 24, 2011 at 10:47 PM  

Sounds Delicious, I'm gonna try this :D

Dancing Branflake January 24, 2011 at 11:58 PM  

Oh yum! I am in love with this now!

Vanessa January 25, 2011 at 1:39 AM  

You had me at 'Southern Whiskey Sauce.' I will definitely be trying this, it looks so good!

Diana Mieczan January 25, 2011 at 8:05 AM  

I really love bread pudding but I never made it on my own..I think its time to give it a try! Cant wait..Yum!
Kisses and hugs, darling

Kirby January 25, 2011 at 8:47 AM!

I think I'm going to have to book a flight to chi-town so you can make this dish for me!


Jaime @ La vie...J'aime January 26, 2011 at 7:02 PM  

i looove bread pudding. i could use a piece of that right now lol

Anonymous,  February 1, 2011 at 5:21 PM  

New Orleans has the best food in the world.

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