Last night marked the 5th Monday in a row with a brand new Good Eats episode. This time the topic was bread pudding. I have never had bread pudding before. I always thought that the idea of eating soggy bread wasn't too appealing. But if I will ever try to make a bread pudding, it would probably be one of the two that Alton made in this episode.
When people see the word pudding, they probably think of chocolate or tapioca. In England, the word pudding just means dessert. Bread pudding is a dessert that utilizes stale bread. You want stale bread so that it absorb the liquid, just as you would want with french toast. That bread is mixed with a custard and baked. Alton came up with a formula for breading pudding that could be adapted to fit your tastes. The formula goes like this:
10-12 cups bread
5 cups dairy
1 cup sugar (can be combination of white and brown)
3 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
2 oz liquid
The bread itself must be a yeast bread. You need the gluten structure so the bed holds up. He recommends Challah and French Boule has two good choices.
Spiced Bread Pudding | Click here for the recipe
This pudding Alton uses French Boule. He hallows out the bread and bakes the pudding right inside, just like a soup bowl. The pudding contains cinnamon, orange peel, nutmeg, cloves, peppercorns, crystallized ginger, rum, golden raisins, and dried cherries.
Chocolate Bread Pudding | Click here for the recipe
This is the first chocolate bread pudding recipe I have heard of. The bread in this recipe is Challah. He uses hot chocolate mix (preferably the Good Eats hot chocolate mix), espresso, bittersweet chocolate and vanilla extract in this recipe.
Thanks for including the formula since Food Network does not include that on their website. I am finding that some episodes of Good Eats is sometimes described as "Paid Programming" and the recipes are not given on Food Network (or is it Cooking Channel.) What a shame!