I recently had a craving for bread pudding and satisfied the desire
by sampling this ultra-rich dessert at a restaurant.
The restaurant's version of bread pudding was quite tasty, but it didn't
quite measure up to the way my mother--the late Laura B. Scifres--made
it when I was growing up in Southern Indiana.
Being a big fan of my mother's cooking, I know I must have her recipe.
Finding it is another matter.
My mother, being an old-fashioned country cook, didn't have a lot of
recipes, but she would write them out for me on request.
Being unable to find the recipe she wrote for me (probably on a piece
of yellow Goldenrod tablet), I decided to try to duplicate her bread pudding
(as if that might be possible) from the memories of watching her cook.
Here are the ingredients, as best I could remember:
Mother's Bread Pudding
10 slices of bread (stale bread is fine, pinched into finger-size pieces).
I used eight slices of white bread and two slices of whole wheat.
1 stick of butter or margarine (I like Blue Bonnet).
2 cups brown sugar.
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
1 teaspoon ground cloves.
1 cup milk (more is optional).
Directions: In a 9-inch square baking dish melt butter
or margarine. Stir in eggs (well beaten), cinnamon and clove. When this
is well mixed (by hand with fork), stir in milk and bread pieces until
well saturated. If bread pieces are not well saturated, you may want to
use more milk until the consistency of the mixture suits your fancy. Level
mixture in baking dish and bake in preheated 350-degree oven until the
mixture slightly rises in the center of the dish or is well browned. I
start checking the process after half an hour.
Bread Pudding Sauce
½ cup cold water.
1cup boiling water.
2-3 tablespoons flour.
3-4 tablespoons margarine.
1 cup brown sugar.
1 teaspoon vanilla.
Directions: Pour cold water into a small saucepan (cover
not needed). Stir flour slowly into cold water to avoid lumps. If you get
lumps, crush them with stirring spoon. When flour/water is well integrated
stir in hot water slowly and add brown sugar, margarine and vanilla. Cook
slowly, stirring often to avoid sugar collecting in bottom of pan. When
sauce reaches desired consistency remove from heat.
When the pudding comes out of the oven pour hot sauce over top of pudding
Note #1: If you want to give your pudding some extra
zing (not to mention calories), cover top of hot pudding with four or five
tablespoons of caramel ice cream topping before hot sauce is poured on.
Serve with sweet cream, whipped cream, half-and-half, or let it stand on
its own--hot or cold.
Note #2: If you are sensitive to clove or cinnamon, stir
these in sparingly and test before pudding is baked.
Total Preparation Time: about one hour.
Serves 8 to 10, hot or cold.