Every Saturday, my husband visits Panera Bread. He comes home laden with breakfast sandwiches, muffins, bagels and a loaf of cinnamon-raisin bread.
That bread is the highlight of his bakery booty … for about a day. By Sunday afternoon, it’s dry and crumbly and in dire need of some kitchen resuscitation.
Usually, we just toast it. But yesterday, I decided to turn it into bread pudding.
I cut it into cubes, added a handful of bittersweet chocolate and shaved the zest of an orange over it. Then I whisked together eggs, milk, vanilla and brandy and let the dry cubes soak all that flavor in. After an hour in a low oven, we had a chocolate- and raisin-studded, rich and boozy pudding to cap off our Sunday dinner.
It was so good, I might expand my resuscitation repertoire.
Bagel pudding, anyone?
Brandy-Spiked Cinnamon, Raisin & Chocolate Bread Pudding
Bread pudding is one of those dishes you can throw together using whatever you have in the pantry, whatever you have in the fridge and whatever you have in the liquor cabinet. The only musts are slightly stale bread, eggs and milk. Here’s how I made our pudding:
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and coat a small casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Cut half a loaf of Panera’s cinnamon-raisin bread into large chunks. Place them in a bowl.
Add bittersweet chocolate. I had a bag of chocolate pastilles lying around from Christmas, so I put a handful of those in the bowl.
Zest one orange over the bread and chocolate.
Add a handful of sliced almonds.
Break 3 eggs into a measuring cup. Whisk, then add enough milk to double the liquid.
Add a splash of vanilla and a splash of brandy to the liquid.
Pour the liquid over the bread. Stir until all the liquid is absorbed.
Spoon the mixture into your casserole dish and cover with foil.
Bake for 40 minutes.
Remove the foil and bake an additional 15 minutes, or until puffed and golden.
Serve warm or at room temperature.