This is a dish so easy, my six year old could put it together. Preparation time is all of 10 minutes (max) and you can eat it a mere 25 minutes later. Sounds pretty easy, huh? It is. Now mind you, this is not a fancy dessert by a long shot. It is extremely delicious, comforting, and soothing though. R, my little one took a bite and said "Mom, this tastes like French Toast!". Well, he is correct. Poor chap didn't get any Rum on his portion :-) I still wouldn't really have this as dessert. It was a perfect evening snack for us on this cold Sunday. We had a really light lunch, so this was a welcome 4pm treat.
A good hearty artisanal bread is a prerequisite here. Given the small number of ingredients, they must all be superior. We had some whole wheat apple-raisin bread from a local bakery that needed to be used up, and that worked beautifully. You can use any hearty bread though.
Bread and Butter Pudding
Based on Greg Atkinson's recipe
Serves 4 - 6
4 cups cubed day-old hearty bread (1-inch cubes)
4 tbsp unsalted butter
3 large eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar*
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 cup brown sugar*
1/4 cup slivered almonds
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Melt the butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. Pour the melted butter in an 8-inch square baking dish. Pile in the bread cubes. Toss the bread to coat with butter.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs with the brown sugar until smooth. Whisk in the milk and vanilla. Pour the mixture over the bread, pressing the bread with the back of a spoon to encourage the soaking of the egg mixture. The bread should be barely covered.
3. Stir the sugar, cinnamon, and almonds together and sprinkle over the pudding. Bake until the pudding is set, 25 to 30 minutes.
4. Serve warm or cold. I like mine right out of the oven with a bit of Myers rum on top.
* Since I used apple-raisin bread that was sweetened already, I used this amount of sugar. If you are starting off with a non-sweetened bread, you might want to increase the sugar buy 1/4 cup in the pudding and maybe 1/8 cup in the topping. It really depends on how sweet you like it.