Friday, June 17, 2011

Pyrex Bread Pudding

Leah moved out a little over two weeks ago, and it is 2 more til we move back in together (Miss you, Leah!) When she was moving out, she asked me if I wanted her to leave any baking supplies. I furiously shook my head, mentioned something about not wanting the responsibility of any subletters damaging or breaking anything, and spouted off a line about probably not baking much anyway. Of course the next day was spent kicking myself for having had turned down the offer to hold on to: a muffin tin, cake pans, cooling rack, casserole dish, cookie sheet, loaf pan, measuring cups, etc.

Because I logistically could not bake anything, I had the overwhelming desire to do it. I frantically looked around for ANYTHING I could bake in. After contemplating some ceramic bowls (I don't recommend using them unless specifically oven proof - the glaze could melt and release dangerous chemicals into your food, not to mention it would heat very irregularly) I spotted the pyrex measuring cup. It is made from the same stuff as the baking dish, right? I did some research and decided to go for it. The beauty happens to be a 4 cup measuring cup, and I HIGHLY suggest getting one if you don't already have one.
I had made a few large boules of wheat bread a few days before and found my last one stale and hard as a rock. Instead of carrying it around as a weapon I decided to salvage it by making some bread pudding.

The following recipe is a basic one adapted from epicurious that can be dressed up in a ton of ways. It makes 5-6 servings.

4 Cups of stale bread (pretty much anything will work, you can even toast it a bit)
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick) melted
3/4 Cup white sugar
3 Eggs
2 Cups milk
2 Tablespoons vanilla extract (I didn't have any, so I used amaretto again)
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon nutmeg

Grease/butter a small casserole dish (in my case it was the pyrex measuring cup) and preheat the oven to 350 F. Saw the bread into bite sized pieces. If your bread is as stale as mine was, you may need a real saw... In a bowl combine the butter, sugar, eggs, milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon and nutmeg. Lay the bread in the dish and pour your mixture over the top, making sure to get the bread nice and saturated. Stir if you need to ensure it is all soaked. Bake for 40 min and serve hot or cold.

The pudding can be made more custard-y by adding additional eggs. You can also add in things like raisins or other dried fruit, nuts, chocolate chips, etc. I kept mine pretty simple and polished it all off in 2 days...

So much for not baking!

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