Bread Puddin’ and Jack Daniels Sauce

I don’t make a lot of desserts. Baking, for the most part, is too precise for my style of cooking. Perhaps one day when I move into an apartment with a kitchen that has ample counter space and … ah, who am I kidding. All that measuring and math isn’t for me. Until recently, my best attempt at dessert was “pudding pie” (mix up some instant pudding, slap it in a pre-made pie shell and cover with Cool Whip–now that’s good eats!).

Anyway, I’ve learned how to make Bread Pudding, something I don’t think I ever ate until I was well beyond 25. I’m still futzing with this recipe, which I’ve cobbled together from a few sources.

Bread Puddin’ and Jack Daniels Sauce

A foot and a half of (stale) French or Italian bread
1 Quart of Whole Milk
3 Eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips (or 1 cup raisins … or 1/2 cup of each)
2 tablespoons butter

If you didn’t think ahead to get bread and let it get stale, no sweat. Cut or tear the bread into bite-size chunks and let sit in a bowl while doing something else. (New Yorkers, if you set it on your steam-heat radiator, it’ll be stiff in no time).

Preheat oven to 375.

If your bread is good and stale, cover it in quart of milk and let it soak for half an hour. If it’s fresh bread, you don’t need to let it soak that long.

Beat eggs together with sugar. Add to bread. Stir in vanilla, cinnamon and chocolate chips (or raisins).

Melt butter in microwave. Pour into baking dish, making sure to coat all sides.

Pour bread mixture into relatively shallow pan … 13 x 9 or so. (Again with the measurements).)

Bake for one hour. Or until golden, crusty brown on top. It’ll have some give, but shouldn’t be soupy. Pull from oven and let cool just a bit before serving.

JACK DANIELS SAUCE.

1 stick of butter
1 beaten egg
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup Jack Daniels (perhaps more)

This stuff is really sweet, so I suggest you DON’T pour it on the bread pudding before serving. Pour it into a small container (like a cream dispenser).

You’ll need a double boiler … or a metal bowl wedged over a pot with a half inch of water in it.

In the double boiler, melt butter. Add sugar and melt that as well. When melted, turn off heat. Slowly add a bit of egg. Whisk. Add more. Whisk. Finish it off. (Uh, I think that’s called tempering.)

Add Jack Daniels and stir in.

Pour over bread puddin’ and eat!

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