My mother in law gave me the tip that it is best to use two different types of bread, half of each. She usually uses one white (such as a buttermilk bread) and the other a cinnamon raisin, such as SaraLee's cinnamon swirl loaf. I really like using the cinnamon raisin bread, it rounds out the pudding nicely.
about 8 slices of bread
1 c sugar (use 3/4 c if you use a sweet bread such as the cinnamon raisin)
4 c whole milk, cream, half&half, or some combination of them (you could use any milk, but fattier milks will obviously make a nicer pudding)
1 tsp vanilla
cinnamon, nutmeg, or cinnamon-sugar to sprinkle on top.
Preheat oven to 350.
Put the eggs in a bowl and mix them with an electric mixer for 5 minutes. (If you have a stand mixer set them going while you do the bread, otherwise really do set a timer and mix them for the full five minutes. It makes a much smoother nicer pudding.)
Tear or cut the bread into chunks and spread it around in the pan, about two layers deep. Don't pack it tight, just drop it all in there. If you use two kinds of bread, mix them up. The pieces don't need to be bite-sized, because they will break easily once they've been soaked and cooked, so big chunks are fine.
Set the pan aside, and go back to the eggs. Add sugar, vanilla, and milk/cream. Beat until mixed. Pour over bread. Poke the bread a little if it floats, so that it all gets soaked. Sprinkle cinnamon/sugar/nutmeg over the top (I do plain cinnamon).
Bake for 45-50 minutes. (My mother in law says she has one cookbook that says to do it at 350 and one that says to do it at 325, so if your oven runs hot, try the lower temperature or the shorter time.) The pudding will set up like a custard--when it is done it will be solid on the edges but jiggly in the center of the pan. The bread will rise to the top and make a somewhat crusty top.
|really, what's not to love!|