Sunday, November 18, 2012

Bread Pudding - November Kosher Connection Recipe Linkup

The theme for this month's linkup is Thanksgiving related - Stuffing.  The gauntlet was definitely thrown down for us dessert-y people, so I felt that I could not get away with another savory, defiantly non-dessert recipe.  I let my mind run amok, as it is wont to do anyway, and went on a whole stream of consciousness adventure.  Stuffed cookies, stuffed cupcakes, a cake with something fabulous hidden in the middle....the possibilities seemed endless.  But then work got intense, and the world got scary.  Elections, hurricanes, nor'easters - and none of that even where we live!  And now, we are embroiled in an unfortunate but utterly necessary military operation, and the world is a little scarier and colder place than it was before.

So the drifting in my brain became focused on two things: 1. the universal need for comfort food, and 2. figuring out what the sweet counterpart to savory stuffing would be.  Well, duh, if stuffing is stale bread with liquids, vegetables, and seasoning, then the sweet version is bread pudding!!  And let's be honest, call it challah kugel and serve it as a side-dish; call it bread pudding and it's dessert (yummy with Creme Anglaise!!).  And if you want to go all out, serve it for breakfast with some maple syrup and it's a fabulous French Toast souffle.  I get raves for this dish, especially from my family, who fight over the last piece...
Is it a side dish?  A dessert? Breakfast? Brunch? All of the above!!
Like almost all recipes I present to you, this is just a launching pad - feel free to change up the dried or fresh fruit components, or leave them out altogether.  Use any leftover challah you have, though I am partial to my own recipe, which happens to have a very soft crust, making it less crucial to trim the challah.  Make the seasoning more exotic, like cardamom and ginger, or more homey, with nutmeg and cloves in addition to the cinnamon.  Make the dish bigger, make it smaller, just incrementally adjust the amount of bread and the amount of custard.  This is a rather rustic looking dish, so don't sweat making it look perfect.  Just enjoy!

Sweet Bread Pudding
8 cups cubed day-old challah, crusts removed
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
1/2 cup raisins
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch salt
2 cups soy milk or non-dairy creamer or a combination of the two (use real dairy milk for a milchig/chalavi version)

Toss the challah cubes with the diced apple and raisins.  Place in a greased oven to table baking pan.
Beat together the eggs with the sugar until the sugar is fully dissolved.  Add in the the vanilla, cinnamon, and salt, then slowly whisk in the soy milk or creamer to make a custard mixture. Pour this custard over the challah cubes, making sure to evenly distribute it.

Press down lightly to make sure all of the cubes were moistened.  Turn the oven on to 350 and let the challah soak while it preheats. 

Bake for about 45 - 50 minutes, until top is lightly browned.


Now before I send you to see all the other delicious contributions to this month's link-up, please keep in your minds, hearts, and prayers the brave soldiers of the IDF, as well as the residents of the South of Israel, and the entire Home Front.  May we all be blessed to live in peace and security.



Kitchen Tested said...

I love that you made bread pudding instead of traditional stuffing. I am a huge bread pudding fan and I will definitely be trying this recipe.

The Kosher Spoon said...

ive never made bread pudding! this is such a great recipe

RonnieVFein said...

Bread Pudding is one of my favorites! I like the addition of apple.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of sweet and bread pudding is a delicious dish. I hope to make this recipe.

Anonymous said...

You know, I was thinking of making the same thing, but with some pumpkin added in! This is the perfect use for the challah leftover from Shabbos.

"May we all be blessed to live in peace and security"--Amen! said...

It's funny seeing how this was a curve ball for the non-dessert people. I think I had this post in mind the second the subject was announced - it's the desserts that I find really hard to participate in. That's one of the things I like about the Kosher Connection, we all get to push our culinary comfort zones.

Shoshana said...

It seems like a lot of us "dessert" people were thinking along the same lines. I originally made a pumpkin bread pudding for this roundup but had to change directions in the end. The apples your version sound delicious.

Dvora said...

I think bread pudding is just super popular this time of year - last night's Top Chef featured a fabulous looking version with toasted pecans and white chocolate - yum!

If you like the pictures you see here but would love to see more updated photos, make sure to check out our Facebook page! In the meantime, we will do our best to keep the blog a little more current.