June 2, 2005

Bread Pudding

Barb recently posted her Bread and Butter Pudding recipe and we've since gone back and forth about whether this is essentially the same as bread pudding or not.

So, in an effort to finally know for myself what, exactly, the difference is, I have made both my version of bread pudding (which is really Betty Crocker's version) and Barb's version of bread and butter pudding.

When I make bread pudding, I usually use leftover bread that I've set out to harden. Today's version included half whole wheat bread rinds (We always called them "keenchicks" in our family. I've always assumed that was Ukrainian, but I don't really know.) and half cinnamon buns (which are white bread rolls with cinnamon chips in them that we get from the local bakery).

To be completely fair, I used the same ratio and types of bread in both recipes.

2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1 t. ground cinnamon or nutmeg (i always use cinnamon)
1/4 t. salt
6 cups dry bread cubes (8 slices of bread)
1/2 cup raisins, if desired

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat milk and margarine over medium heat until margarine is melted and milk is hot. Mix eggs, sugar, cinnamon and salt in 4-quart bowl. Stir in bread cubes and raisins. Stir in milk mixture. Pour into ungreased 1 1/2 quart casserole. Place casserole in pan on oven rack. Pour very hot water into pan until 1 inch deep.

Bake uncovered 40 to 45 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch from edge comes out clean. serve warm and, if desired, with cream. (which i think is a bit over the top if you ask me.)


  1. Differences in ingredients and preparation:

    The bread and butter pudding seemed more labor intensive to me as I had to butter each individual slab of bread. There's also stylistic differences in terms of how the concoctions are arranged (chunks all thrown together as opposed to being evenly layered).

    As far as ingredients go, I maintain that these recipes are still very similar. The biggest shocker, for me, was that the bread and butter pudding has less sugar (1 - 2 tablespoons as opposed to 1/2 cup). Most other differences were, in general, only a matter of magnitude (3 - 4 eggs compared to 2, 4 - 5 slices of bread compared to 8, 2 Tbs raisins compared to 1/2 cup).

    One recipe calls for nutmeg, the other says nutmeg or cinnamon.
    One recipe calls for vanilla, the other doesn't.

    These all seem like incredibly minor differences to me. At the most, I expect the bread and butter pudding to be slightly more custardy than the bread pudding. (But I don't know for sure yet, since the bread and butter pudding is still cooking. I'll have a final verdict in about 15 minutes.)

  2. I have always wanted to try bread pudding. I already printed this out. Thanks, Meg! :-)

  3. i'm kind of a bread pudding snob. i'm always eager to try out bread pudding in restaurants, but i generally find that it's not near as good as my own.

    it's all in the bread you use. if you make this recipe and it tastes crappy, then you're using crappy bread.

    the cinnamon burst rolls (or loaves) from the Great Harvest Bread Company make the best bread pudding i've ever had.

  4. ok, the bread and butter pudding is done and the verdict is in...

    barb, you lose dear. these are pretty much exactly the same thing. whoever made bread pudding for you while you were in cali. didn't know squat about making bread pudding. you send them on over to me and i'll set them straight, k? ;-)

    here's a pic of my bread and butter pudding. the mottling is from the cinnamon chips inside the cinnamon buns (remember, i used the exact same types of bread with the exact same ratios, so the fact that i used "weird" bread does not at all nullify my findings.)

    ok, so there are some slight variations between the two. the bread and butter pudding tastes a bit more buttery. i used nutmeg in the b&b pudding and cinnamon in the bread pudding. and (possibly the biggest difference between the two) the bread in the bread pudding was of fairly uniform consistency. in the b&b pudding, on the other hand, the bread at the top was quite crispy and the bread at the bottom was quite mushy. i'd attribute this to two things -- 1) in th bread pudding i started with crusty bread, in the b&b pudding i used fresh bread and 2) the b&b pudding layers might have locked in the moisture so that the bottom bread couldn't vent and the top bread vented too much.

  5. I still say they are different, sorry :) Yep, the top is sposed to be crunchy and the bottom mushy if not custardy. I use margarine because butter is full of fat, not good for a person who has a heart condition. Plus we don't use butter here neither me or my hubby like it and it costs almost double the price of margarine. I also use powdered skim milk (made up of course) and I usually only use white bread or raisin bread. I use it fresh not stale, although I guess it wouldn't make a great deal of difference in the taste or texture. My mother has used stale cake once and it was okay.

    It was Trudy's mother who made the bread pudding, I have no idea what was in her recipe nor how she cooked it but it does look different than your picture. The reason there is only a small amount of sugar is the raisins or sultanas add enough sweetness to the dish. It would be too sweet if I added more sugar.

  6. butter vs. margarine
    the eternal debate

    you're right that butter has more fat. margarine, however, has more trans-fat, which is worse even than saturated fat. either way, i think the ultimate goal is to use as little of either as possible.

    barb, you should look around for a bakery with good, fresh whole wheat bread. once you get used to it you'll wonder what you ever saw in the tasteless white stuff and it'll be way better for your heart. i don't recommend the whole wheat bread that's been sitting around in grocery stores for months on end. it always tastes gross and i think that's why many people don't like whole wheat. but fresh whole wheat bread is a thing of glory -- the staff of life.

  7. For people who like random citations, this web page says...Proper cholesterol levels in the blood are important to proper working of brain and nervous system tissue. Foods like butter and eggs are considered brain foods because they encourage correct cholesterol levels in the blood....and this one says...Studies have also linked a diet high in trans fat to North America's Number 1 killer heart disease and possibly adult onset diabetes and even Alzheimer's.
    (BTW, take what you read on the web with a grain of salt. I'm not sure I believe that butter is "brain food", but I found the quote to be entertaining.)

  8. the bottom bread is supposed to be mushy, the stuff at the top crispy, thats part of the reason its so nice.

  9. Did you make the picture above? That one looks tastier than the butter version below.

    I'll be making this soon... *licks lips*

  10. You are correct about the trans fat but I don't like the taste of butter and my hubby doesn't mind the taste of marg so that's why we get it. There is margarine on the market that helps lower cholesterol, it is very expensive and you would have to eat almost a tub a day for it to work. This was straight from the mouth of the dietitian who spoke to us at the Cardiac Rehabilitation session on Wednesday. She also talked about trans fat, (vegetable oil that has been heated and cooled a number of times) If you are trying to lose weight, margarine is better than butter. You also spread it a lot thinner than usual. The body needs a certain amount of fat to function correctly and it's when we eat too much fat and don't exersize enough is when we get into trouble. Just like me LOLOL

    We eat multigrain bread most of the time. But that is no good for Bread and Butter pudding..LOL My hubby likes his white bread but I think I have him starting to like mulitgrain more. I haven't cooked that pudding for ages. I usually only cook a dessert if we have a lot of visitors and then it's usually wine trifle or self saucing chocolate pudding

  11. This is what the dietitian told us. However, this does not mean you should go out and stuff yourself with butter and eggs. What you stated only works in moderation. Less is best. Two eggs per person per week, who have high cholesterol levels, and no butter for us who have high coholesterol and are over weight.

    We have profesional people telling us this and that is bad for us one day and not the next. I believe a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, grains and fish and moderate intake of red meat and dairy is the best for us who are trying to prevent any further damage to our hearts, lower our cholesterol and lose weight. Along with plenty of exersize.

  12. yup. i took both pics right as each one was taken out of the oven (when they're still puffy and beautiful.)

    i have to admit, this was one of the most delicious experiments i've ever done. i suppose it's right up there with testing which chocolate bar is best to use when making genache.

    i'll have to try that self saucing pudding next, barb.

  13. Hi Barb, I just made that Bread & Butter Bread Pudding. It smells really good but I have not had any to eat yet. I will let you know how I like it.

  14. for some reason it will let me reply or quote, but i cant do both *frowns at computer* anybody else having that problem...it might be cause im on safari, not aol...oh well...

    Two eggs per person per week, who have high cholesterol levels, and no butter for us who have high coholesterol and are over weight.

    seriously??? only two? 'cause i have high cholestrol, runs in my dad's side of the family, hasn't been a problem for me yet, but i know I have at least four or five a week, think its bad for me?


  15. I just wanted to let you know that the bread pudding came out really good & I do like it.

  16. Are you on medication to lower your cholesterol? Perhaps if you visit a dietitian they would be able to help you with your diet as regards cholesterol management.

    Yep I had the same problems with quoting on a recipe too. I reckon it might have something to do with recipes, cause it works okay other wise.

  17. Glad to hear that, what about the bread and butter pud??? LOL keep posted for more recipe's in the near future and pictures too LOLOL

  18. every time I go see the doctor (every six months or so or whenever I manage to hurt myself in a way that doesnt require a hospital visit) I hear the same thing...

    "oh, look, your cholesterol's high, we'll worry about it next year"

    oh well, guess its ok, nothing seems to be caused by it yet...


  19. The bread & butter bread pudding is the one that I was talking about. I should have said that instead of just saying bread pudding (sorry). I gave Judy some & she liked it also.

  20. Re: eggs and cholesterol

    The current recommended limits on cholesterol only allows about one egg per day (assuming no other sources of cholesterol). If you like eggs but are worried about your cholesterol, just avoid the yolk -- egg whites have no cholesterol.

  21. That depends on whether you believe that a link between dietary cholesterol and heart disease has been demonstrated.


    (ugh how do I do a link in this thing - it's been a long time)

    In any case the joy per square inch of eating food like this more than makes up it ;-)

  22. regular old html works just fine, except on an opening journal entry, in which case you need to click the "view source" button before using html. :-)

  23. Ah - html.

    I suppose I only use it every day so it seemed a bit obvious :-)

    I'm definitely going to have to make this desert.

  24. That depends on whether you believe that a link between dietary cholesterol and heart disease has been demonstrated.
    - fourcheezeTechnically... no... it doesn't depend on much of anything. The current recommended limits are the current recommended limits whether I believe in them or not, and I was just reporting them. The fact that I don't believe in them doesn't make the recommendations from the AHA say something else or not exist.

    Personally, I often have two eggs in a meal myself, and I did four eggs per meal over Memorial Day weekend because it seemed like the healthiest choice available in the particular situation I was in. I just didn't think my beliefs were relevant to the question.

    Also, the serving size is 8, so each serving only got 1/4 of an egg if it's evenly distributed.

  25. the problem is that you've been you've been mistrained by orkut to throw [ ]'s around everything. ;-)


  26. Yes, why is it that every forum has its own implementation of html?

    At least this one stays up longer than Orkut.

  27. I apologise if I came over as assuming that you were promoting an anti-egg point of view :-)

    In my view one problem with food these days is that there are so many conflicting sources of information that it's hard to know who to believe. Although I agree the AHA may have a recommendation I was trying to put over the point that theirs might not be the only one. I realise I didn't make that clear.

    Personally I love eggs (although not boiled ones) and regularly have 2-3 for breakfast alone. Recently I had my blood cholesterol checked and my doctor was delighted at the result. At that time I was eating a 3 egg cheese omelette every morning - I dare say she would not have approved of that :-)

  28. I completely agree with that. The nutritional debates partly lead to me generally not believing much in statistical studies at all -- I think the debates only point out statistics showing a correlation doesn't prove that the correlation was actually caused by what the scientists thought the causes were. I also think that the nutritional debates also point out how creative we can get in changing things around. For example, when sugar was bad, we created sugarless sugars -- saccharin, which was then accused of causing cancer, and aspartame, which was then accused of being a neurotoxin. When we were told that fats were evil, the food companies came up with a whole bunch of creative ways to reduce the amount of fat in foods. They used salt so things would still taste good in spite of having less fat, so hypertension became a problem. There was the margarine vs butter thing, and we found that removing fats from butter created trans fats, which are even worse for us. And there was the low-fat high-carb approach, supposedly causing a rise in type 2 diabetes. Now with the low-carb hype, who knows what kind of monster chemicals or new disease we'll come up with to have all the taste of carb-filled foods but none of the carbs.

    Throughout it all, we seem to keep finding out how little we thought we "scientifically" knew was actually true. We seem to not even know enough to ask the right questions. The questions shouldn't have been "is sugar/fat/carb/cholesterol/etc. bad?" Doing studies based on that gave us the wrong answers. That's when we found how we should've asked "what kind of sugar/fat/cholesterol is bad?" More questions we're asking would be "when do they start becoming bad" and "how do they cause bad things to happen", but they're still not the right questions yet. As we learn more, we can start narrowing in on what is the right question to ask, but we're not there yet.

    Actually, when we get down to it, we might have already known the "right answers" even before we developed science -- two of the "deadly sins" are sloth and gluttony. (Who knew that the phrase was so literal in this case?) The nutrition "experts" all seem to agree (as a footnote or in the fine print) that proper exercise would help our health, and we'd be better off if we ate things in moderation. It sounds like there's no real question about that (so far), and the nutritional "debates" seem to exist to encourage more eating. If we believe it's more okay to slightly overeat one type of food over another, we might forget that it's bad to overeat in the first place, and then they can sell more of their product. Moreover, because of these nutritional debates, they can charge more for their product by claiming it's "low calorie", "sugar-free", "low fat", "low-carb", "no cholesterol", "no trans fat", etc., etc., etc.

    Maybe we don't know who to believe because we don't want to believe the truth.

  29. I enjoyed following the whole entry, I always thought one of the main things to count when you write a blog is learning how to complement the pharmacy with images, that's exploiting at the maximum the possibilities of a ciber-space! Good work on this entry!


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