Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Pumpkin Bread Pudding - made October 7, 2012 from King Arthur Flour

Okay, as promised, my baking experiments are turning to more of an autumn theme.  I've had this recipe for Pumpkin Bread Pudding in my "Still Need to Make" folder since at least last year, maybe even longer, when I saw it from the King Arthur Flour website.  While I've become a recent convert to bread pudding and a recent convert to all things pumpkin (except for pumpkin pie), I was a little leery about trying this one out just in case it was more the texture of the pumpkin pie rather than a bread pudding.

There's an awful lot of custard mixture and I was tempted to cut it in half and use 2/3 of the bread called for.  But some of my problems with bread pudding in the past have been I didn't use enough of the custard mixture and my bread pudding would be a bit dry and seem more like French toast than bread pudding.  So I remained faithful to the original recipe and used all the ingredients in the proper amounts.  And it really does make a big bowl of custard.  I couldn't help but add just a few more ounces of bread than the recipe called for as I was too afraid of having a custard than a bread pudding.

This turned out pretty well.  Bread pudding doesn't look pretty but it tastes good.  The pumpkin flavor was more subtle than I expected but still good.  Although the original recipe recommends serving it warm, this actually tasted better the next day rather than warm out of the oven.  When it was warm, it was a bit too gooey for me.  But at room temperature, it was great as the texture had firmed up and you can taste the goodness of the bread as well as the pumpkin flavor.  I probably would still cut back a bit on the amount of custard this makes or add more bread to it though.

6 large eggs
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
2 cups (16 ounces) light cream
1 cup (8 ounces) milk
3/4 cup (5 7/8 ounces) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (2 1/2 ounces) brown sugar
1/4 cup (2 ounces) rum, optional (I left it out)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons vanilla
8 cups (about 18 ounces) bread, cut in ¾" cubes (I used challah)
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, pumpkin, half and half, milk, sugars, rum, salt, spices, and vanilla, stirring to blend. 
  2. Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish or a 9" x 13" pan; if you’re going to refrigerate the pudding before baking, be sure to use a dish that can go from the fridge to a hot oven. Place the cubed bread in the dish in an even layer, and pour the liquid mixture over it. Let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, or for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. 
  3. When you're ready to bake the pudding, stir it together to redistribute the custard; quite a bit of it will have been absorbed by the bread. Sprinkle with grated nutmeg, if desired; and bake in a preheated 350°F oven till set and beginning to brown, about 40 to 50 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream; garnish with minced crystallized ginger, if desired.

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