Saturday, November 15, 2008

Really Old Bread

What To Do With Old Bread

When your stuck with lots of leftover bread that's accumulated over a few weeks (sliced, loaves, buns, waffles, cornbread) here's a great way to use them up. Make bread pudding! It's really versitile, you can go sweet with rasins, fruits, cinnamon and nuts, savory with meats, cheese, vegetables and garlic, or a combination such as bacon pineapple or turkey cranberry. Basic bread pudding is really just the vehicle for whatever flavors you want to give it. Get creative!

I had a half-eaten loaf of French bread and a few end pieces of whole grain sandwich bread stuffed in the back of the refregerator for a few weeks. I try not to be wasteful so I decided to make a sweet bread pudding to use it up. I used a recipe and made sure I had the basic ingredients (eggs, milk and sugar - check!). I also found some apricot preserves and pecans so that became my flavoring. I was on my way.

After it came together, the bread pudding baked for about 55 minutes. When it came out of the oven, it had a crunchy top and tasted amazing! Here's the recipe I used, but you can use pretty much whatever you have available for the style and flavorings. Enjoy this recipe. It would make a great breakfast or brunch dish, or have it for dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Yum!

Apricot Pecan Bread Pudding
Serves 8
4 C. Bread, cubed or torn into 1" pieces (French or mixed breads)
4 Eggs
2 C. Milk
1/2 C. Sugar
3 Tbs. Apricot Preserves
1/2 C. plus 1/4 C. Pecans, chopped
1 Tsp. Nutmeg, ground
1 Tsp. Cinnamon, ground
1/2 Tsp. Clove, ground

Apricot Icing
1/2 C. Cream Cheese Frosting (or homemade frosting)
1 Tbs. Apricot Preserves
1/4 C. Heavy Cream (or milk)
Bread Pudding:

Pre-heat oven to 350. Place bread cubes into a cassarole dish and set in oven. In a bowl, wisk together eggs, milk, sugar, apricot preserves, 1/2 C. pecans, nutmeg, cinnamon and clove until well combined. Remove cassarole dish from oven and pour liquid mixture over the bread cubes, saturating each one well. Place into oven and bake, uncovered for 55 to 60 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let rest for 10 mins.
Mix together all ingredients until well combined. Drizzle over top of bread pudding, and sprinkle with additional chopped pecans. Serve warm.

Apricot Preserves: Orange Marmalade, Raspberry Preserves
Pecans: Walnuts, Almonds, Cashews

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