A Recipe from Kelly’s Family: Simply Delicious Bread Pudding
Recipes that are passed down from generation to generation are gems to be treasured. Many of these recipes have stories connected to their tasty preparations. Berkley and I like to hear these stories as much as we like to eat the home-made results, and we’ve decided to document them whenever possible. Below is my maternal great-grandmother’s recipe for bread pudding and a story that will be forever linked to it.
During last year’s family reunion, my niece Samantha and I recorded an oral history interview with my grandmother that focused on her life during the Great Depression. Part of my grandmother’s story is about the family table, and the good food my great-grandmother prepared to sustain her five children and the children who became part of their extended family.
As an oral history practitioner, I’ve been honored to hear and document how history was lived from WWII veterans and survivors, farmers and ranchers, civil rights activists, and Apartheid protestors. Interviewing my grandmother was a joy. Below is a video with historic photographs, narrated with the recording of my grandmother’s interview.
Ingredients for Simply Delicious Bread Pudding
2 ¼ cups whole milk
2 eggs (room temperature) slightly beaten
½ cup brown sugar (measure by firmly packing)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup dried currants (or raisins)
About 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 heaping cups day-old bread cubes:
I recommend cutting 1 inch cubes then setting the cubes out on a cookie sheet or cooling rack over night. If you don’t have time to do this ahead, no worries. Your bread pudding will still be fabulous. We like using Hawaiian or Challah bread, however a good French loaf works very well.
Preheat oven to 350°. Butter an 8-inch baking dish, bottom and sides. Using a whisk, combine milk and eggs in large mixing bowl. To the milk mixture, add brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and salt until thoroughly combined. With a spatula or large spoon, gently mix in the cubed bread and currants (or raisins) and let sit for about 10 minutes. Spoon bread pudding mixture into the buttered baking dish, and dot the top with small pieces of butter. Set the baking dish inside a larger baking dish and then place that on the middle rack of your preheated oven. Slowly add hot/boiling water to the larger baking dish until it reaches a third-of-the-way to half-way up the sides of the bread pudding baking dish. This helps the bread pudding to cook evenly and give it a silky smooth texture. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm or cooled, topped with freshly made whipped cream.