Thursday, November 4, 2010

Comfort Food - Bread Pudding

This is Aunt Grace, in about 1980, with my 3 children. Aunt Grace had a stroke in her mid 60's and subsequently moved into a nursing home because she could not manage on her own. Her physical disability confined her to a wheelchair, but the stroke did not affect her mental abilities at all. She became manager of the gift shop and lived in that home for over 20 years.

Some time before she entered the nursing home she gave me this recipe for chocolate bread pudding. It's simple, old-fashioned cooking with few ingredients, and not one of the ingredients is a chemical name. Yes, you can make good food without all those chemicals. Think of how much better this is for you:

2 tablespoons butter
2 oz. baking chocolate (2 squares)
3 cups whole milk

3 cups dry bread cubes (½” squares)
2 eggs
½ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease 8” round baking dish with butter.

Locate a baking pan larger than the 8” dish. You will bake the pudding by setting the pudding dish in the larger pan filled with water about 1 inch deep. Put this pan of water in the oven while it is preheating.

Scald the milk (heat until it starts to steam, but not to boiling). Add chocolate squares and stir until melted. Put bread cubes in a large mixing bowl and pour the milk mixture over it.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla. Add to the bread/milk mixture and stir until blended. Stir in the chopped walnuts.

Pour entire mixture into the buttered baking dish and set the dish into the larger pan containing about 1” of water.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Pudding is done when it is set but not dry (insert a toothpick; it should come out clean).

This can be served warm or cold, but I think it is best served warm with a dollop of whipped cream, ice cream or yogurt.


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