You could say it was a great reminder, you could call it providence of sorts, or you could just simply say that my curiosity [and perhaps eagerness to bake anything new] is easily piqued. Whatever it was, the moment I read the latest comment I received on my Nutella Chocolate Bread Pudding post, I knew precisely what I wanted to bake the very next day. As I had mentioned in my previous post, I have not only been nursing a writer’s block, but also have been quite stumped with regard to what’s next on the to-bake list. That, coupled with an abundance of milk in the refrigerator;– a result of not resisting the 2-for-1 deal at the mart;– as well as leftover baguette sitting by the counter, which I must concede is not exactly stale yet, paved the way for an easy choice of quick bake to start the morning.
As some of you would know, I’m not diagnosed lactose-intolerant, but my stomach can’t take any dairy products in its original form. I don’t take cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, milk, butter, which concomitantly means that I don’t take any of its by-products if they have an overwhelming taste of dairy. Case in point: bread pudding, or bread and butter pudding, as it’s more commonly referred to here.
Bread pudding and me don’t exactly go well together. The only bread pudding I’ve had and loved (besides my aforementioned Nutella one) is my mother’s roti kukus, which is a steamed pandan (screwpine leaves) – flavoured bread pudding. As much as I’ve eyed all the traditional English bread and butter puddings they serve in cafes and hotel breakfast buffets, just a bite gets me rushing to the washroom or elegantly spitting it out into my napkin. With the sister and father being fans, I guess you could say it is one of those bakes I sincerely wish I could love.
And when every version you’ve tried out there is either much too milky or custard-y, I guess the best thing about being a baker is to take a little nudge and adapt a much-craved bake to suit your own tastebuds.
4 thick slices of day-old baguette, cubed
1 1⁄2 cup milk
1⁄2 tsp cinnamon powder
1⁄2 cup loosely-packed brown sugar
1⁄2 cup raisins / dates (optional)
- Preheat oven to 170°C.
- Grease the bottom of an ovenproof casserole / baking dish, and arrange the bread cubes in it.
- If using raisins or dates, sprinkle them over the bread.
- In a large bowl, whisk the milk, eggs, cinnamon powder and brown sugar together.
- Pour the mixture over the bread, lightly pushing the bread down to ensure that every cube is covered by the milk. Leave aside for 10 minutes for the mixture to be absorbed.
- Bake at 170°C for about 35 – 40 minutes, until the surface is dry.