I never had bread and butter pudding before (until now). The idea never really appealed to me. Bread soaked in milky custard. It sounded soggy and rather unpleasant. How wrong was I? Though it wasn’t love at first bite, it was rather nice! It’s rich, moist and perfect for winter.
Bread and butter pudding is a great way to use up stale bread. Breads are soaked in custard and baked until they are set. It can be served with fruits, chocolate sauce, etc. It is a popular Australian dessert, especially for kids. S said that it was something he loved and reminded him of his childhood (his mom made this often when he was a kid). I think it makes a great snack for kids. It got bread, milk and eggs (and of course, sugar). Doesn’t it resemble a breakfast recipe? Sure is, I made this in the morning and had them for breakfast dessert (after let the bread soak up the custard overnight).
|This one was baked in square tin andserved with sesame ice cream|
I used recipe from Tartine cookbook. Instead of white bread, I made this with stale me-made croissants. Isn’t it great to turn stale croissant to something absolutely delicious. S loved it so much and he was like, “now, we don’t have to give away croissants anymore ‘coz we can turn them into this”. Umm, don’t think so, I still like to share the buttery croissants with others. Though, we are both active persons, I don’t think we can keep up with eating 12 – 15 croissants every weekend. I say, let’s continue with the spirit of sharing croissants as usual.
Croissants enhanced the taste of bread pudding substantially (according to S, the pudding expert). The pudding would have been nice using white bread as well, but it was so much nicer with croissants. It was rich, buttery and velvety soft. I made this with two variations. One was baked in ramekins and served with chocolate sauce and poached pears. The other was baked in square tin with chocolate sprinkled on top and served with black sesame seeds ice cream. The one baked in square tin turned out nicer. However, it was also my second try and I had better understanding on how it worked and how it should have looked/tasted like.
|Shaved chocolate to sprinkle on the pudding, optional idea|
The pudding was wonderful with poached pear and chocolate sauce too. It made great dessert. The sauce and poached pears enhance the dish significantly. It is also simple and quick to make and a great way to use the stale leftover croissants.
From my two experiments/bakes, croissant bread pudding was best eaten warm, not hot from the oven (yup, don’t be like me, please refrain yourself). It should be left about 10 – 15 minutes to lightly cool down and for the custard to set.
It is very important that all custard is absorbed into the bread. Patient is a virtue here. Wait until custard is almost entirely absorbed before baking. I put the mixture (croissant filled with custard) in the fridge overnight and the custard was all absorbed the next morning. I then filled a little bit more custard into the tin before baking.
|custard was almost completely absorbed|
Don't overcrowd the bread as the bread will expand like sponge when it absorbs the custard.
Croissant Bread Pudding
Adapted from Tartine cookbook
Serve 4 – 6
Croissants (homemade or store bought) 4-5, cut into one-inch thickness slices (length-way)
Large eggs 4
Sugar 90 g
Thickened cream 1 cup
Full cream milk 1 cup (alternatively you can use 2 cups of full cream milk and omit thickened cream)
Vanilla extract 1 teaspoon
Salt ¼ teaspoon
Optional, Serve with
Preheat oven to 175c. Butter the baking tin or ramekins or any mould of your choice.
Arrange the croissant slices on a baking sheet. Place in the oven until lightly toasted, about 4 to 10 minutes, depending on the freshness of the bread. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
To make the custard, crack the eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk until blended. Add sugar and whisk until smooth. Add milk, vanilla, and salt and whisk until fully incorporated. Set aside.
Place the toasted croissant slices in the baking pan (I used 20-cm square tin), cutting the slices to fit as needed. Pour the custard evenly over the croissant, filling the dish to the top. You may not be able to add all of the custard at this point, Let sit for about 10 minutes, so that the croissants can absorb the custard.
(Or you can make the pudding up to this point, cover and refrigerate overnight and then bake the next day. Cover and refrigerate any extra custard for adding just before baking if the mixture does not reach the rim of the dish).
Just before baking, top off the dish with more of the custard if the previous addition has been completely absorbed. Sprinkled shaved chocolate on top of the pudding, if used. Cover the dish with aluminium foil, place in the oven, and bake the pudding for about 1 hour. (If you have refrigerated the pudding overnight before baking it, it will take 20-30 minutes longer to bake.) To test if the pudding is cooked, uncover the dish slip a knife into the centre and push the bread aside. If the custard is still very liquid, re-cover the dish and return the pudding to the oven to bake for about 10 more minutes. If only a little liquid remains, the pudding is ready to come out of the oven. The custard will continue to cook after it is removed from the oven and it will set up as it cools.
Let the pudding cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
Serve the pudding with poached pears, sautéed fruits, coulis, chocolate sauce or have them as is.
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