Saturday, August 16, 2008

Chicken Bread and Bread Pudding

There's a really great place near our house. The bunny bread thrift store. You walk in and there are folding tables set up in a long line, and all on top are, for what ever reason, bakery rejects that are still good and you can buy them for a slight discount. But underneath is where the real treasure lies. It's what my children call "chicken bread". For three dollars you can lug what feels like a fifty pound bag of bread across the room and to the register to pay the lady. Then lean way back as you lift the huge bag 2 inches from the asphalt all the way to the truck and gather strength to plunk the whole pile on the tailgate and shove it in. Then repeat basically the same thing in reverse, skipping the register part, when you get home.
Then open it up and discover all the treasures. All in all, there were 30 packages of bread! That's .10 cents a package. Ten cents!!! But before we give it to the chickens....., "This bread isn't out of date! A little smushed, but not old or moldy." So, Now there are 3 loaves of organic whole wheat bread, two packs of whole wheat hamburger buns, one pack of whole wheat hot dog buns and two loaves of white bread in my freezer. I was going to put three loaves of white bread in the freezer, but instead I made "Bon Ton Cafe" bread pudding and rum sauce without the raisins (I hate raisins). This traditional New Orleans dessert was invented to make use of old bread and excess eggs and milk. I still have 21 packs of "chicken bread".

Bon Ton Cafe Bread Pudding
(This is a cafe at 401 Magazine St. in New Orleans)
5 cups French Bread cut in 1 inch cubes (I used torn white bread)
1 qt whole milk
3 large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup raisins (optional)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Tear the bread into 1 inch pieces, and soak them in the milk. Make certain the bread is soaked through. Add eggs, sugar vanilla, cinnamon, raisins, and stir well.
Pour melted butter into bottom of a heavy 9 X 14 inch baking pan. Add the bread mixture. Sprinkle more cinnamon and raisins on top if desired. Bake 40 to 50 minutes until knife inserted 2 inches from center comes out clean. Do not overcook.
Whiskey or Rum Sauce
(I use imitation rum flavoring)
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter
1 lg egg beaten
1/4 cup rum flavoring
In small bowl, cream the sugar, and butter together. Cook in a double boiler until very hot, and the sugar is well dissolved. Temper the egg by gradually whisking the butter and sugar mixture into the egg. Tempering means do not add the hot butter too quickly or the eggs will scramble. Allow the sauce to cool, and stir in rum flavoring.
To serve. Cut warm bread pudding in squares (mine didn't exactly come out in squares) and spoon hot rum sauce on top.


Egghead said...

That is pretty cool about that bread. I often wonder why places like that don't donate the old bread to food banks and/or freeze the bread. I love the recipe and look forward to trying it. I agree. I hate raisins. I always leave them out of everything from cinnamon rolls to rice pudding.

judy from kansas said...

Sister Kristi the bread-pudding was delicious! I will make it again.I also seen your gumbo recipe, there are so many ways to cook gumbo,there is a secret when using okra,so your gumbo doesn't come out sliming.I told Sister Barbara to tell you. We also use it in our rice to keep it from being mushy. I have a very good recipe for banana bread,Caroly Licciardi in Chalmette gave me. Its very moist.