There are two things I wish to avoid on this blog...politics and recipes. It's not that I don't love and follow both, but there are so many blogs dedicated to one, the other, or both that I would feel superfluous in the blogosphere. But then there's bread pudding.
I first tried bread pudding as a 12 year old. My mother had a new friend at work who invited us over for tennis and bread pudding. I tried it, and I hated it. I suspect my dislike of it was due to disappointment; I liked pudding (chocolate, butterscotch), and I liked bread, but combining them was odd. And then there were raisins, which, for all my life, I have considered rude impostors of real treats (like chocolate chips).
Since then, I have grown not only to like bread pudding, but to be rather good at making it in various forms. Those of you who know that I have very limited cooking facilities available to me won't be surprised to hear that I make a mean toaster-oven bread pudding. And it's easy. I rarely have stale bread, but a bit of cinnamon bread, dried in the toaster, does the trick. The second trick is the cinnamon bread itself. No need to keep fancy spices from the East Indies on hand when there is cinnamon bread available at the bakery outlet. Here's the recipe:
Coat the bottom of a glass baking dish with melted butter, spread cubed bread in the dish...how much? Hmm. Maybe 7 slices, gently torn into rough cubes. Mix 1/4 cup of skim milk with 1/4 cup of light cream...or use 1/2 cup of whole milk, if you like. Warm the milk mixture slightly in the microwave, but don't boil it! Add a bit of vanilla, if you like. Whisk three eggs and 1/3 cup of sugar together, and add to the milk/cream. Pour the entire mixture over the bread, and press bread gently until the mixture is soaked in. Bake at 325 degrees for 70 minutes, or until the top is crisp. Serve hot, with cream.
See? No raisins!