Irish Bread Pudding – Bread & Butter Pudding . $1.37

Bread Pudding, we always called this, although on the rare occasions I’ve seen this recipe, it’s been called Bread & Butter pudding, probably to distinguish this from the New Orleans’ style of bread pudding which has become so popular. Bread & Butter pudding is layers of lightly toasted bread, spread with butter, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and baked in a custard. So simple, so good, so humble. So Irish…at least in our small little town we grew up in.

Irish Bread & Butter Pudding with Whiskey (or Rum) Sauce
Irish Bread & Butter Pudding with Whiskey (or Rum) Sauce

I begged this recipe from my friend Cassie’s Mom the first time I tasted it. I fell in love with my first bite. What kid does that, asks for a recipe? So simple, she listed off the ingredients, so I hope I’ve done it justice – it may have morphed just a titch in the 40 or so years I’ve been making it.

Since this is a special occasion St. Paddy’s day posting, I added a Whiskey Sauce, a simple little sauce that was almost ubiquitous when I was growing up; the same sauce is excellent with Rum.

It falls a bit as it cools, this is normal.
It falls a bit as it cools, this is normal.

I think I mentioned the sauce on the post about my Grandmother’s Apple Cake, which has a Caramel Rum Sauce, a completely different animal. This bread pudding actually forms its own little bit of syrupy sauce on the bottom, but the Whiskey or Rum Sauce? Well, it just takes it over the top.

By the way, Raisins may be added to either the Bread Pudding or the Whisky or Rum Sauce. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. Just depends on my mood. Any left over bread pudding is great for breakfast, although it will not be as fluffy and will separate more. Speaking of which, this is gorgeous and puffy when it comes out of the oven, then falls, which is normal.

This is a fantastic, homey recipe that’s a great way to use up stale or left over bread, not a big restaurant style dessert. The 8 servings are modest in size, today’s eaters may want larger pieces, so you may want to count on six servings. Child number 2, the gluttonous one, can polish off half a pan, easily. Do you have one of those at home? You set something on the counter, walk away a few minutes, come back and it’s gone??

Use a sandwich bread, but a good one, in a pinch any regular loaf will do, but a soft Italian loaf, hand cut, like below, is wonderful!

Bread & Butter Pudding; the top has a slight crispiness from the caramelized sugar
Bread & Butter Pudding; the top has a slight crispiness from the caramelized sugar

Bread & Butter Pudding

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 4 slices of bread, toasted (stale is fine to use here)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • about 1/3 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup raisins, optional
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • dash of salt
  • 2 1/2 cups milk, scalded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast bread lightly (it can be tossed on the oven rack as the oven preheats, for about 10 minutes, turning once or it can be toasted in a toaster.)

Place a pan of water on to boil for a water bath and make sure to have a larger container for your casserole to fit in.

Scald milk or heat in the microwave, use a large container. *

Let bread cool, then spread with soft butter, sprinkle with brown sugar, then sprinkle with cinnamon. This is best done with the pieces lined up together. Cut each slice into two to three pieces and place in a buttered casserole, about 1/2 quart size. Sprinkle with raisins, if using, and try to get some of the raisins between the layers..

Mix eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt. Slowly stir in a little of the hot, scalded milk, whisking constantly, then add all back to the hot milk, still whisking. Pour over the bread in the casserole. You can press down once or twice on the bread, gently, but it is normal for the bread to float to the top.

Place casserole dish into a larger pan, carefully add boiling water to the depth of about an inch, place in oven and bake for 65 to 70 minutes until puffed and golden brown. A knife inserted half way between center and edge should come out clean.

Remove from oven and let cool to just warm before serving.

*Scalding is supposed to have a scientific reason, something about proteins lining up to form a bond, but I usually do it. When I haven’t, I’ve noticed a slight difference in the amount of liquid that seeps to the bottom. Heating also gives a good jump-start to the cooking.

 

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read {Strategies Applied} for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.

Nutrition:

Based on 8 servings, no raisins, 2% milk: calories; Total Fat 7 10 %; Saturated Fat 3 17 %; Monounsaturated Fat 2 g; Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 93 mg 31 %; Sodium 166 mg 7 %; Potassium 183 mg 5 %; Total Carbohydrate 37 12 %; Dietary Fiber 0 1 %; Sugars 30 g; Protein 6 12 %; Vitamin A 6 %; Vitamin C 0 %; Calcium 13 %; Iron 6 %

Put your own Spin on it:

  • Add a different dairy, a little cream or half and half may sub in for part of the milk.
  • Raisins, other fruit (apples, pears, dried fruit) may be added. Chocolate chips are great.
  • Consider another sauce, maybe a little chocolate drizzle, a Bailey’s sauce or Creme Anglaise.

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